Blue Dragons Secure 10th Straight Tournament Berth

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BRISTOL – Middletown is headed to the postseason for the 10th straight year.

The Blue Dragons’ defense held Bristol Central to a single point in the opening quarter, Tyah Pettaway dropped a game-high 22 points and the Blue Dragons notched a 56-43 CCC girls basketball victory over the Rams.

Its eighth win gave Middletown a berth in the Class LL tournament.

“We have been focusing the past couple practices on implementing a new press and the kids really did a great job with it in the first quarter,” Middletown coach Rob Smernoff said.

The Dragons outscored the Rams (5-12) 27-1 in the first eight minutes.

“They were ready to go from the tip and we played probably our best first quarter of the season,” Smernoff said. “After that, we focused on working on our offensive sets as well as half-court defense.”

Sophomore guard Shadae Bushay added 18 points for Middletown, which has lost three starters to ACL injuries over the course of the season.

“With all these student-athletes have been through this season, they are very deserving of qualifying for the state tournament,” Smernoff said.

MIDDLETOWN (56)
Azra Cecunjanin 0-0-0; Jenaya Salafia 2-0-4; India Weston 2-0-4; Alexa Desena 1-0-2; Aysia Henderson 0-0-0; Tyah Pettaway 10-1-22; Olivia Vaughters 1-0-2; Jada Bryant 0-1-1; Shadae Bushay 8-0-18; Travyonna Jefferson 0-3-3. Totals: 24-5-56

BRISTOL CENTRAL (43)
Olivia Minton 0-1-1; Janessa Bartell 6-7-20; Alyah Rodrigues 0-2-2; Ella Watson 2-0-4; Sophia Torresso 5-1-13; Keley Laird 1-0-2. Totals: 14-11-43.

Score By Quarters
M  27 12 5 12—56
BC 1 9 14 19—43

3-Pointers: M—Bushay 2, Pettaway 1; BC—Torresso 2, Bartell 1.
Records: Middletown 8-9, Bristol Central 5-12.

Next Game

  • Middletown hosts Berlin, Tuesday, 5:15pm

In other girls basketball games Thursday:

Coginchaug 48, Morgan 39

CLINTON – Junior center Jessica Berens scored 16 points and Coginchaug overcame a 21-point,12-rebound game from Morgan’s Catie Donadio for a Shoreline Conference road win.

The Blue Devils have a five-game winning streak.

Kerry Turecek hit three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points for the Blue Devils.

COGINCHAUG (48)
Sam Mancini 2 2-4 6, Jessica Berens 8 0-1 16, Amalia DeMartino 2 0-1 4, Raegan Moore 0 0-1 0, Taylor McDermott 1 0-0 3, Kerry Turecek 4 0-0 11, Molly Shields 4 0-0 8. Totals: 21 2-7 48.

MORGAN (39)
Catie Donadio 5 10-12 21, Caeley Ayer 1 0-5 2, Katie Martin 0 1-2 1, Leah McComiskey 3 0-0 7, Rachel Leon 3 1-2 8. Totals: 12 12-21 39.

Score By Quarters
C 12 14 9 13—48
M 4  5 14 16—39

3-Pointers: C—Turecek 3, McDermott 1; M—Donadio 1, McComiskey 1, Lehn 1.
Records: Coginchaug 10-7, Morgan 10-5.

Next Games

  • Coginchaug hosts H-K, Monday, 7pm
  • Morgan hosts North Branford, Monday, 7pm

East Hampton 45, Portland 20

PORTLAND – East Hampton held Portland scoreless in the third quarter, and Angela Mercaldi and Hannah Barrientos each scored 12 points in Thursday’s Shoreline Conference win.

The Bellringers won their fourth straight game.

EAST HAMPTON (45)
Meryl Curtin 3 0-0 8, Angela Mercaldi 4 2-2 12, Mya Field 4 0-2 8, Hannah Barrientos 6 0-0 12, Danielle Adams 2 1-2 5. Totals: 19 3-6 45.

PORTLAND (20)
Maddie Brunk 1 0-0 2, Ava Hurley 2 1-2 5, Carly Graves 1 2-2 5, Morgan Lasky 1 0-1 2, Sam Lasky 2 0-0 4, Leah May 1 0-0 2. Totals: 8 3-5 20.

Score By Quarters
EH 14 13 13 5—45
P     4   6   0 10—20

3-Pointers: P—Graves 1; EH—Curtin 2, Mercaldi 2.
Records: East Hampton 14-1, Portland 8-8.

Next Games

  • East Hampton hosts Hale-Ray, Monday, 6pm
  • Portland at Westbrook, Monday, 7pm

Cromwell 59, North Branford 27

CROMWELL – Vanessa Stolstajner had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Monica Dewey had a great all-around game — 8 points, 6 assists and 8 steals — in the Panthers’ Shoreline Conference home win.

Erica Dewey hit four 3-pointers for the Panthers to finish with 12 points. Braeden LeBeau had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Thunderbirds.

NORTH BRANFORD (27)
Hannah Senerchia 0 4 4, Braeden LeBeau 7 2 16, Julia Ricardo 0 2 2, Marissa Ricardo 2 0 4, Briana Dautaj 0 1 1. Totals: 9 9-17 27.

CROMWELL (59)
Sadie Budzik 2 0 4, Erica Dewey 4 0 12, Khaya Skene 1 1 3, Nevaeh Clark 2 1 5, Vanessa Stolstajner 5 4 14, Jessica Grodzicki 2 2 6, Adela Cecunjanin 0 0 0, Madison Tessmer 0 0 0, Brynn Kovacs 0 0 0, Monica Dewey 3 2 8, Likita Chanda 1 0 3, Grace Mikan 1 0 3, Marykate Sullivan 0 1 1. Totals: 21 11-21 59.

Score By Quarters
NB 4 13 7 3—27
C  15 21 9 14—59

3-Pointers: C—E. Dewey 4, Chanda 1, Mikan 1.
Records: Cromwell 11-5, North Branford 8-9.

Next Games

  • Cromwell at Newington, Saturday, 10:30am
  • North Branford at Morgan, Monday, 7pm

H-K 48, Valley Regional 41

HIGGANUM – Freshman Kaleigh Bodak had 17 points and 10 rebounds as H-K stayed in contention for a state tournament berth with its Shoreline win over the Warriors.

Belle Carini added 9 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists for the Cougars. Alena Crosby led Valley with 15 points.

VALLEY REGIONAL (41)
Ava Cunningham 5 0 11, Addi Marchese 0 4 4, Alena Crosby 6 2 15, Salmi Miller 1 0 2, Bitzy Klomp 1 0 2, Lily Grow 0 1 1, Reagan Brenneman 2 1 5, Liz Allen 0 1 1. Totals: 15 9 41.

H-K (48)
Kaleigh Bodak 7 3 17, Belle Carini 4 1 9, Anna Biondi 3 2 8, Haley Phelps 0 0 0, Tessa Wills 3 0 7, Julia Favalora 1 0 2, Leah Sosnowski 0 1 1, Ella McGlynn 1 0 2, Peyton Yazmer 1 0 2. Totals: 20 7 48.

Score By Quarters
VR 4 9 12 16—41
HK 10 8 15 15—48

3-Pointers: VR—Cunningham 1, Crosby 1; HK—Wills 1.
Records: Valley 7-9, H-K 6-10.

Next Games

  • Valley Regional at Stonington, Saturday, 1pm
  • H-K at Coginchaug, Monday, 7pm

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