East Catholic girls’ basketball wins first round of state tournament
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Tue., Mar. 1, 2011
The East Catholic High School girls’ basketball team made it to the CCC north semi-finals, losing to Glastonbury High School in a close game, 53-50. Glastonbury went on to win the conference title against Manchester High School, 67-53.
Continuing on to the Class LL state tournament, East Catholic, which was ranked 15th, took on 18th-ranked Norwalk High School on March 1 in the first round. The game started slowly, with East Catholic scoring only six points in the first quarter. By the second quarter, East Catholic had pulled ahead with 29 points, but slowed in the third quarter to add only seven points. The game ended with East Catholic winning 55-40.
According to coach Al Lewis, his team was the sharpest in the second quarter. For the rest of the game, he did not feel his team was at its best. “They need to relax and play basketball,” he said. He also did not think his team gave their best effort on defense. “I thought we didn’t box well at all,” he added.
Helping his team members evolve mentally has been one of Lewis’ goals this season. He had developed drills to practice game situations. “It’s hard to simulate that kind of pressure,” said Lewis.
Junior Megan Murphy, a point guard wearing number 22, felt her team did well pushing the ball and distributing it to teammates. “We went on a run, and took the easier pass,” noted Murphy about her team’s successes in the game. She found that East Catholic needed to push the pace some, as Norwalk likes to settle down to a slower pace.
Murphy was on the team last year, but missed the second half of the season due to an injury. “I learned a lot on the bench,” she noted. In comparison to this year, which is the second year with Lewis, she said, “This year we’re used to his style.”
Summarizing the March 1 game, Murphy said, “We knew exactly what we were supposed to do.” She credits this to Lewis making the practices harder than most games. “He keeps telling us we’ve seen it all,” she said
“I think everyone’s been playing their best games,” commented Murphy. She noted that if one girl is not playing her usual best, the other team members will step up. It has also helped that the team has not experienced any big injuries.
East Catholic moves on to the second round of the tournament on March 4 against Mercy High School, ranked second in the LL division. Mercy had a bye in the first round.