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Top seed Thomaston ends HVRHS tourney run

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WASHINGTON — The Thomaston High School girls basketball team defeated Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) 53-25 in the Berkshire League tournament semifinals Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The defending champion Golden Bears advanced to the championship for a rematch of last year’s title game against Northwestern, which defeated Gilbert 61-44 in the semifinal match prior to the HVRHS/Thomaston game.

The Mountaineers entered the second round of the tournament coming off an electric win in the quarterfinals against Nonnewaug. The momentum did not carry over, however, and HVRHS wrapped up conference play on a tough loss to a strong team.

Round two of the Berkshire League playoff was played on neutral ground at Shepaug Valley High School in Washington. Supporters from both sides made the trip to cheer on their teams.

Thomaston set the tone of the game early. Unshakeable defense from the Golden Bears forced repeated turnovers and fueled a dominant performance in the first quarter. 

Mia Dodge looked to create offensive opportunities against defending-champion Thomaston Feb. 20. Photo by Riley Klein

Trouble for HVRHS persisted into the second quarter. Thomaston’s possession control and ability to find open shots enabled the Golden Bears to take a 31-point lead by halftime.

HVRHS coach Jake Plitt adjusted to a zone defense in the second half, which proved effective against Thomaston. Defensive stops led to successful fast breaks and HVRHS outscored Thomaston 10-4 in the third quarter.

HVRHS battled to the final buzzer, but the game was out of reach. Thomaston remained undefeated in the Berkshire League this season with a 53-25 win in the semifinals.

Nicole Dekker led the Golden Bears in scoring with 17 points. Ava Harkness scored 11 points and Lily VanOrmer finished with 10 points.

HVRHS’ top scorer was captain Anne Moran with 7 points. Kylie Leonard and Olivia Brooks each scored 5 points for the Mountaineers.

HVRHS qualified for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class S tournament as the 17th seed. The Mountaineers headed to Durham for round one Feb. 26.

Thomaston went on to play Northwestern in a championship rematch Feb. 23. Thomaston entered the final game with a chance at winning its seventh Berkshire League title since 2014.

Northwestern shocked the reigning champs with an upset victory to claim the Berkshire League title for 2023-24. Northwestern secured revenge with a final score of 41-36 over Thomaston. 

Junior star Maddie Topa led the Highlanders to the win by scoring a team-high 11 points.

Story courtesy of the Lakeville Journal

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