Farmington Girls Fall in CCC Semifinal

In an uncharacteristic evening, the Farmington High girls’ basketball team was upset by E.O. Smith in the semifinals of the Central Connecticut Conference tournament 59-55 at New Britain High School on Monday.

The top-seeded Indians (19-3) struggled from the free-throw line, going 10-for-21, while also allowing second-chance baskets on the defensive end, enabling the fourth-seeded Panthers (18-4) to secure a place in the CCC title game against Weaver. The Beavers defeated South Windsor 65-51 in the other semifinal earlier in the evening.

“[The Panthers] executed stuff better than us tonight,” Farmington High head coach Russ Crist said. “We could have a great defensive stop, but then let them get an offensive rebound and they would hit a 3. That just crushes you.”

Crist said that his team also had an atypical evening from the free-throw line.

“We’ve been a really good free throw shooting team for the entire year,” Crist said. “Those little things … They made their free throws and had big offensive rebounds and made big 3s. … I told the girls that all eight teams in the tournament could win it. We knew it was going to be a fight.”

Farmington’s Sophie Borg led all scorers with 25 points, while teammate Cheray Saunders had 13, Bridgit Kelly had 10, Brittany Galske scored six and Mary Schoenherr had one.

The Indians, who are the state Class L defending champion, head into the state tournament as the No. 2 seed.

E.O. Smith head coach Mary Roickle, for her part, credited her players for maturing over the course of the season.

“From the end of November to December, we came together as a team,” Roickle said. “You saw it tonight. We lost a starter with five fouls. But we can play eight players.”

McKenna Dale and Holly Worski led the Panthers balanced attack with 12 points each, while Isa Peczuh and Nicki Fuentes both had 10 in the winning effort.

The Panthers will play second-seeded Weaver on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at New Britain High.farm eo 2 farm eo 4 farm eo 5 Jumpball

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