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Raiders get by Wildcats in NVL quarters while the UConn women survive against Tulane.

POSTED February 19, 2017
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Nice job by the Torrington girl’s basketball team in moving on to the semi-finals of the Naugatuck Valley League Tournament on Saturday by getting by Faith Thurmond and the Seymour Wildcats by a 55-54 final.

Thurmond, who haunted the Raiders volleyball team in the fall finals, was a force all game long but was matched by Torrington senior Brie Pergola who scored 27 points in the win against a team that the Raiders traditionally don’t match up against well.

After falling behind by five midway through the fourth quarter, Torrington came back to take the lead and held on thanks to a key late steal by sophomore Alyssa Maraia (12).

With Pergola graduating this year, much of the offense Torrington will muster will fall into the hands of Maraia, who has quietly had a very good season and should get better as she goes on.

Thurmond scored 26 points and grabbed 17 rebounds while Mike Fritch was pleased with the effort he got down low from Kayla Williams, who will also be counted on in a big way next season.

It’s another match up for Torrington against rival Holy Cross on Monday night at 7 p.m. at Kennedy High School, looking for a chance to reach the finals on Wednesday.

St Paul and host Kennedy square off in the first semi-final at 5 p.m.

---Wow, days after securing their 100th straight win in a 66-55 victory over sixth ranked South Carolina, the UConn woman nearly did something they have yet to do in the American Athletic Conference since they joined four years ago; lose.

The Tulane Green Wave, in front of 2218 in a gym like setting in New Orleans, did something to the Huskies that only Florida State had done to them in their season opener by taking them down to the wire in a 63-60 loss.

Tulane was down 17 at one point after the number one team in the land but roared back to get within two several times down the stretch.

UConn, without Kia Nurse (foot) and a limited Naphessa Collier late due to foul trouble, barely held on after shooting just 38 percent.

Head coach Geno Auriemma has said it all along that his team is not as good as everybody thinks they are and after just getting by a team they beat by over 40 points last time they met, who can argue with him?

This team looks tired, having risen to every challenge thrown their way so far may have taken more out of them than most expected.

It’s not a deep team and it is starting to show.


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