East Granby girls make it to state quarterfinals

By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
East Granby - posted Fri., Mar. 11, 2011
Kaleigh Dumas of East Granby High School takes a shot in the playoff game versus Putnam. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.
Kaleigh Dumas of East Granby High School takes a shot in the playoff game versus Putnam. Photos by Kathryn Elliott.

On Thursday, March 3, the East Granby High School gym was packed to capacity in anticipation of the Lady Crusaders’ Class S state tournament second-round match-up with Putnam. (The seventh-seeded East Granby had a bye in the first round.) Noise levels reached maximum decibels as the starters, led by co-captains Dani Davis and Kaleigh Dumas, took to the court.

Under the leadership of head coach Tim Doherty and assistant coach Joey Reynolds, the team’s regular season record ended at 19-5. “This is a very close-knit group,” Doherty said. “The team chemistry is great.”

Loaded with talented upperclassmen, the Lady Crusaders were poised for a strong playoff performance. Senior Dani Davis, All-NCCC in 2009 and 2010, has been an integral part of the team’s overall success. “Dani has scored over 1,000 points,” Doherty said. “In the NCCC semi-finals against Avon last year, Dani made a lay-up with one second left. She is an outstanding player.”

Senior Kaleigh Dumas is described by Doherty as a great shooter and defender. In the match with Putnam, her outside shooting and accuracy led the team in the early quarters.

Four additional seniors have contributed to the team’s stellar play this season. Pleased with the senior leadership, Doherty lists the graduating player’s strengths. “Nina Zagaja is a deadly outside shooter, rebounder and defender,” he said. “Kaydence Kawa is the team’s best defender and a great rebounder with strong shooting skills. Shelby Mears does whatever the team needs – and can shoot and handle the ball. Shelby is our sixth starter. Lastly, Allison Schaar, who comes off the bench, is rugged rebounder and feisty defender.”

Supporting the seniors, several up-and-coming underclassmen add considerable talent to the roster. “Sophomore Kari Dumas will be our only returning starter for next year, but we have some solid players coming off the bench for next season,” Doherty said. “Sophomore Eileen Dempsey won two games this year by sinking free throws with the game on the line. Junior guard Haylee Kulig is a great shooter that leads the team in taking charge, and sophomore Mairead Loschi is a hard worker who can play multiple positions.”

In the game against Putnam, East Granby came out on top with a 41-17 victory, advancing to quarterfinals against Cromwell.

The EGHS Crusaders fell to Cromwell in that quarterfinal game on March 7, 49-31, ending their post-season play.

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