Wolcott, Bristol Eastern girls post first round state tournament victories

The high school girls’ basketball state tournament began on Monday for some teams. There were games that were postponed due to the winter storm threat.

Wolcott began its run in Class MM with a dominating home win over Branford, and Bristol Eastern scored a first round Class L upset at South Windsor. WCA and Kennedy each saw their seasons end in agonizingly close road losses in Class L. The season also came to a close on the road for Kaynor Tech in Class MM.

Here’s more on each game:

No. 7 Wolcott 56, No. 26 Branford 28

The last team to qualify for the Class MM bracket (6-14 record) didn’t stand a chance against the Eagles in the John H. Morris Gymnasium.

Defense led to offense for Wolcott as its 2-2-1 full-court pressure gave Branford fits. Senior Mimi Reilly was very active at the top of the press. The Eagles scored 10 points in less than three minutes to open the game. The Hornets grabbed a rebound to end one Eagle possession, but Reilly managed to force a 10-second violation by herself. Reilly was subbed out after the play to a nice ovation from the crowd. 

Fellow senior Mayci Abou Arrage put a great effort in on one play on the offensive end of the floor.

Abou Arrage missed a short shot and was knocked down with no foul called. She got back up quickly, rebounded a three-point miss and hit a shot from the left baseline for a 14-0 lead. Wolcott ended the quarter with a 15-0 lead. Juliva Sullivan led the Eagles with 18 points, and twin sister Amanda joined her in double figures with 10. Abou Arrage tallied nine points and Reilly added eight. Wolcott faces No. 23 Watertown, an NVL Iron Division foe it went 1-1 against during the regular season, on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. The Warriors upended No. 10 Bullard-Havens Tech, 61-30.

No. 19 Bristol Eastern 52, No. 14 South Windsor 46

The Lancers took down the Bobcats, also from the CCC, and secured themselves a second round game in Class L.

Eastern guaranteed at least one more game for lone senior Taigan Parent with the victory. That game will be against No. 3 E.O. Smith on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Storrs. The Panthers beat No. 30 Farmington, 56-32. Both Eastern and E.O. Smith faced Farmington once in the regular season, and each put together convincing victories.

No. 10 New Canaan 39, No. 23 WCA 38

The Spartans ran out of time in their bid for a Class L first round upset of their FCIAC foe in New Canaan.

WCA trailed, 38-33, when Malinna Figueroa buried a 3-pointer from the corner to cut the deficit to 38-36 with 15 seconds left. The Rams made one of two free throws with 12.5 left and the Spartans had a chance to tie. Kiyarah Watson drove inside the three-point line and was fouled with 2.3 seconds left. She missed her foul shot, and Chandler Bryant rebounded it and scored, but the time had expired and WCA fell by a single point. Figueroa led the Spartans with 14 points. Watson added 10 points in her final game for WCA, which finished 9-12. It was also the final game for fellow seniors Bryant and Dashalee Ribot.

No. 6 St. Joseph 51, No. 27 Kennedy 48

Junior sensation Niyah Brown poured in game-high 38 points, but it wasn’t enough for the Eagles in their Class L first round loss to the Cadets in Trumbull.

Brown made a game-high eight 3-pointers for Kennedy, which finished 8-13 in its first season under head coach Mike Forgione. Me’Kayla Caraballo and Madelyn Kieras added five points for the Eagles. It was the final game for Kennedy senior Janiah Hyman.

No. 13 East Haven 47, No. 20 Kaynor Tech 32

The Panthers lost their Class MM first round game to the Yellowjackets in East Haven and finished their season at 10-12 under first-year head coach Rob Wallace. 

It was the final game for Kaynor seniors Lillibeth Moreno, Jazmine Morales, Allie Webster, Alondra Gonzalez, Lilliana Moreno and Marlyn Broadnax-Allen. 

Caption: The Wolcott girls’ basketball team earned itself another state tournament home game with its rout of Branford in Class MM first round action on Monday. Pictured here (during the NVL tournament) are: From left to right Amanda Sullivan, Julia Sullivan, Olivia D’Alessio and Mayci Abou Arrage. (Copyright, Sports on CT-69, file)