GHS girls lose heartbreaker in semis

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Tue., Mar. 12, 2013
Glastonbury's Courtney Latham tries to find a way around the Mercy defenders in the Class LL semi-final match on March 11. Photos by Steve Smith.
Glastonbury's Courtney Latham tries to find a way around the Mercy defenders in the Class LL semi-final match on March 11. Photos by Steve Smith.

The Glastonbury High School girls' basketball team battled to the end, but ultimately lost a heart-breaker to Mercy High School in the CIAC Class LL semi-final game, on March 11, at New Britain High School.

Mercy got out to a quick 10-4 lead and tried to take control, but Glastonbury's guards used several give-and-go passes to their forwards and were able to get quick buckets, ending the first quarter just one point down, 12-11.

Glastonbury took its first lead early in the second, after senior Ashley Mulryan drove down the court on a breakaway for a field goal, and then followed with a three-pointer. Soon the Tomahawks were enjoying a nine-point lead, and went into the locker room up 24-15 after senior standout point guard Courtney Latham layed in another two points at the buzzer.

Both teams played more aggressively in the third, and Mercy narrowed the gap to just five, with seven points from Jordyn Nappi.

With every possession crucial in the fourth, Glastonbury lost its lead with about three minutes left in the game. Mercy stepped up on defense and frustrated Latham and Mulryan, but the Tomahawks simply utilized Olivia Still and Kerstan Mahland more, and the game stayed close. Mercy pulled ahead on foul shots, and then seemed to find another gear on defense. Down by three, Glastonbury was unable to get anyone open enough to shoot as the final seconds ticked away, leading to a 46-43 win for Mercy.

Glastonbury coach Brian Fleming said Mercy's defense was effective at slowing down Latham, who already has a full scholarship to play for Boston University next year. “They closed down any driving lane that she had,” Fleming said. “They had a good game plan, and it worked.”

Fleming said that while the game was rather even throughout, factors that contributed to the outcome included that Glastonbury didn't quite rebound as well as it usually does, and it was a struggle to get key hoops, especially after Mercy took the lead. “They've been here before,” he said. “It was going to be tough to get the lead back. When we cut it to one, we thought we had as good a chance as any, but we couldn't get a bounce to go our way. They beat us in a lot of ways, and that's why they are a good team.”

Latham lead her team with 17 points in the game. Still had eight and Mahland had seven.

Fleming said that while the loss certainly stings now, he and his players can look back on a fantastic season in which they won 24 games and hadn't lost since Dec. 13. “It's been a good run,” he said. “I couldn't be more proud of the heart that they played with. I wanted it for them, that's the hard part. They deserved it, we were ready, and we were right there.”

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