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Three local girls teams enter quarterfinal action this week.

POSTED March 07, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Torrington junior point guard, Mariah Cerruto, directs traffic during her team's 61-39 win over Wilton in the second round of the Class L State Tournament in Torrington.

TORRINGTON-With an important second round win in Class L play, the Torrington girls basketball team is one of eight team remaining as play resumes tonight in Torrington.

The #3 ranked Raiders will play host to the #11 RHAM Sachems from the Central Connecticut East Conference with the winner moving on into the semi-finals.

With the new format the States, the Raiders will stay home for one more night before going to a neutral site if they advance.

The ghosts of Tournaments past were removed from the Connie Donahue Gymnasium in the Raiders impressive 61-39 win over Wilton on March 3 behind a 27-point effort from senior Sarah Royals and a 16-point output by fellow senior Taylor Christiano.

A blinding press made live miserable for the visitors in the second round as the pressure helped Torrington race out to a 16-5 lead in the first quarter.

While the Warriors came back some late in the first quarter to keep things close, the Raiders kept their opponent under 10 points in two of the next three quarters to put the game away.

Against a RHAM team that tied for second in their league with a 13-3 record (16-6 overall), Torrington will deal with a tough, athletic team that tries to control the boards on both ends.

The Sachems beat Foran at home by a 49-34 score in the opening round before disposing of # 6 New Canaan, 48-36 in what could be called a mild upset.

If they advance, the Raiders would match up against either #2 E.O. Smith (20-1) or #10 Platt (16-6) on a neutral court on Friday, March 11.

Key to the win over Wilton was the play of Christiano, who was asking for the ball from the outset.

Keeping RHAM from concentrating solely on Royals is a key for the Raiders, when their offense is balanced, the results are usually good.

When Royals, Christiano and Aly Otis are all in double digits, this team is hard to beat with the defense it plays.

CLASS S GIRLS: The team that refuses to lose just keeps on rolling in Thomaston

Not many would have predicted a quarterfinal appearance by the Golden Bears (18-3) after losing so much to graduation a year ago.

Sure, blame it on a down year in the Berkshire League, some teams have (see Montville versus Lewis Mills) and have paid the price for not taking these team seriously.

Thomaston will be on the road tonight when they face off against the team that ended their dream season a year ago, far too early.

It was the Highlanders who knocked the Bears out in the first round in Thomaston a year ago after their perfect 20-0 regular season.

A touch of pay back has to be on the Bears mind as they travel to Portland trying to keep this most improbable, yet remarkable season going.

Class M Girls: The above mentioned Lewis Mills Spartans don’t expect to see any disparaging remarks from their quarterfinal opponent from Kolbe Cathedral in area newspapers

Mills had taken disparaging newspaper statements about the strength of the BL as an insult and proceed to run the Indians off the court in a 50-29 second round win.

Nicole Bisson had a tremendous night for the 24-0 Spartans, connecting on six, three -pointers on her way to a 23-point effort.

Don’t expect to see any negative printed remarks from the Cougars, who come in ranked #8 but are the defending Class M champions.

Kolbe split with Pampering (LL) and Masuk (L) during the regular season and played LL teams from Lauralton Hall and Newtown tough before losing.

Three divisions, three local teams, three games to go for the ultimate prize.

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