It’s Survive And Advance For Bellringers, Huskies, ‘Cats

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The top two seeds in the Shoreline Conference girls basketball tournament survived and advanced Monday into the semifinal round.

No. 1 East Hampton, playing without injured star forward Angela Mercaldi, pulled away at the free-throw line in the final two minutes to defeat No. 9 Portland 34-27. The Bellringers have won a school-record 26 straight dating to last season and will play in the semifinals for the seventh consecutive year.

After trailing for all of the third quarter, No. 2 Morgan whipped up a 17-5 run in the fourth to shake off upset-minded/10th-seed Westbrook 51-38.

Shoreline Semifinals
  • No. 4 Old Lyme at No. 1 East Hampton, 5:30
  • No. 3 Cromwell at No. 2 Morgan, 5

The Bellringers (13-0), who beat Morgan in last year’s championship game, host No. 4 Old Lyme on Wednesday, while the Huskies (10-3) host No. 3 Cromwell (9-3). Old Lyme advanced with a 60-56 victory over North Branford, while Cromwell got a free pass after its quarterfinal against Haddam-Killingworth was canceled due to COVID-19 issues with H-K.

Portland (3-11) trailed 28-24 with 5:30 remaining but managed just three points the rest of the way as East Hampton used its experience and possession game to pull away. Hannah Barrientos drove the baseline for a basket with 1:57 left and Meryl Curtin (team-best 10 points) was 3 of 4 from the foul line down the stretch.

In her final game for the Highlanders, Carly Graves scored a game-high 13 points.

PORTLAND (3-11)
Jaime Lasky 0 0 0, Ava Hurley 2 0 5, Izzy McClelland 1 0 2, Carly Graves 4 1 13, Sam Lasky 2 1 5. Totals: 10 2 27.

EAST HAMPTON (13-0)
Meryl Curtin 3 3 10, Jackie Russell 0 0 0, Jordan Murphy 0 0 0, Madison Yorker 2 0 4, Mya Field 3 2 8, Hannah Barrientos 4 0 8, Danielle Adams 1 2 4. Totals: 13 7 34.

Score By Quarters
P 4 8 9 6–27
EH 12 9 7 6–34

3-Pointers: P–Graves 4, Hurley 1; EH–Curtin 1.

Morgan 51, Westbrook 38

The Huskies’ game-breaking run in the four quarter, with nine unanswered points to get it going — was powered by its defense and an offense led by Catie Donadio, Caeley Ayer and Katie Martin.

Donadio and Martin finished with 15 points apiece.

A 3-point play by Donadio early in the fourth quarter put Morgan ahead for good at 35-33. Ayer scored six consecutive points — four in transition and two at the foul line — to widen the advantage to six.

After a Westbrook 3-pointer, Martin converted offensive rebounds on consecutive possession, followed by two free throws, to give the hosts a 47-38 lead with about two minutes left. The Huskies scored 21 in the fourth quarter to Westbrook’s five points.

Westbrook finished its season with a 1-13 record. Emma Parkhurst scored four points in her final game for the Knights.

WESTBROOK (1-13)
Emma Parkhurst 2 0-0 4, Jamie Sacco 6 1-2 17, Alexandra Zanzalari 3 0-0 8, Gianni Salisbury 1 0-0 2, Adriana Stranieri 2 2-2 7. Totals: 14 3-4 38.

MORGAN (10-3)
Catie Donadio 5 5-6 15, Caeley Ayer 3 4-4 11, Katie Martin 5 5-5 15, Sofie Passante 0 1-2 1, Alex Kelly 2 0-2 4, Ava Johnson 2 0-0 6, Victoria O’Neill 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 15-19 51.

Score By Quarters
W 11 7 15 5–38
M 11 6 13 21–51

3-Pointers: W–Sacco 4, Zanzalari 2, Stranieri 1; M–Johnson 2, Ayer 1.

Old Lyme 60, North Branford 56

Emily DeRoehn had 16 points and 12 rebounds and Sam Gray scored 14 points to lead the Wildcats into the Shoreline semifinals. Braeden LeBeau scored 25 points for North Branford (5-7).

Old Lyme also received strong games from Grace Lathrop (10 points), Emma McCulloch (9 points, 11 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Megan Loflin (7 points, 9 boards).

Marissa Richardo contributed 16 points for the Thunderbirds.

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