Class M girls quarterfinal preview: No. 4 Holy Cross vs. No. 5 East Hampton

No. 5 East Hampton at No. 4 Holy Cross
Monday, 5:30 p.m.
Timothy J. McDonald Gymnasium (“The Pit”), Holy Cross High School
About East Hampton: The fifth-seeded Bellringers (21-3 overall) knocked off No. 12 Watertown by a single point, 33-32, in a second round game on Thursday night. East Hampton canned one of two foul shots with 32.6 seconds left to grab the win. Meghan Orbann led the Bellringers with 12 points. East Hampton held a narrow 17-15 lead at the half, and the game was tied at 25 entering the fourth quarter. Orbann is a 5-foot-10 senior.
East Hampton’s only regular season losses (18-2) were to Cromwell, Class M’s top seed, and Morgan, the division’s No. 8 team. Those two meet in a quarterfinal at Cromwell. The Bellringers made it to the Shoreline Conference semifinals, where they were knocked out by Morgan. East Hampton, Morgan and Cromwell all call the Shoreline Conference home.
East Hampton defeated No. 28 Bethel by a mere two points, 55-53, in a first round matchup in Class M.
About Holy Cross: The fourth-seeded Crusaders (24-1 overall) lost just once in the regular season, then swept their way to the NVL Tournament title. Holy Cross smacked No. 29 Kaynor Tech 66-19 in the first round, then got past No. 20 Weston by a score of 59-44. The Weston game wasn’t Holy Cross’ best, but the Crusaders got contributions up and down the lineup, which was a big key to victory.
Holy Cross is the only girls team left from the NVL.
Key contributors for Holy Cross: Senior RaShana Siders, senior Caitlin Cipriano, senior Kaitlyn Grimshaw, junior Idalis Miranda, junior Gabby Goldman, sophomore Aiyana Ward
(That’s just to name a few. The Crusaders are pretty deep, and got many contributions in the win over Weston in the second round.)
Key contributors for East Hampton: Senior Meghan Orbann, senior Renee Radavich (5-foot-6), junior Gyanna Russell (5-9), junior Jenna DeMartino (5-2)
Tournament history: The Bellringers reached the Class M quarterfinals last season, where they were eliminated by top-seed Morgan. Morgan lost to Cromwell in the semifinals, then Cromwell lost to St. Joseph in the championship game. East Hampton lost in the first round to St. Joseph in 2014.
The Crusaders reached the Class M quarters last year as a No. 2 seed, but lost to No. 10 Enfield 45-38 at home.
As far as championships go, East Hampton has one state title, back in 1980. The last state championship appearance for the Bellringers was 1985, a loss to Westbrook. Both of those games were in Class S.
The last time Holy Cross played for a state title, it beat Career Magnet 67-58 to take Class M in 2007. The Crusaders lost state championship games in 2006 (M), 2002 (L) and 1988 (LL).
What does the winner get? A matchup with either No. 1 Cromwell or No. 8 Morgan, both of the Shoreline Conference, on Friday night at a time and place to be determined.