NEW BRITAIN - The New Britain girls basketball team was able to celebrate its two seniors by getting one game closer to .500 on the regular season.
The Hurricanes capped off Senior Day with a 47-39 win over Bristol Central on Monday to improve their record to 5-6 this season, beating the Rams for the second time this year. Central falls to 1-10 this year with one game to go and was led by 12 points from senior Janessa Bartell.
New Britain sophomore Kaylee Cahill drilled five 3-pointers for the second consecutive game and led all scorers with 16 points while senior Maya Slisz finished with 15 points and six assists as the team’s floor general.
“We kind of beat ourselves tonight,” Central head coach Steve Gaudet said. “We [were] missing free throws, missing layups, [committing] turnovers, really disappointing, we really beat ourselves tonight.”
New Britain started the fourth quarter up eight points and did a good job of fending off all comeback attempts from the Rams, who were never able to get closer than four points late in the period. Cahill knocked down her final two triples and the Hurricanes had an answer for every bucket Central scored. New Britain coach Beryl Piper said she wants to see her players display better clock awareness late in games going forward, but was pleased with the team’s execution in the final minutes.
“We needed to contain [Bartell] because she was going to the rim and we needed to get rebounds on missed shots,” Piper said. “The next thing is trying to limit their possessions in the end, which I’m not so sure we did a really good job of that. But we were able to make stops and get rebounds when we needed to.”
The two teams exchanged scores to a 9-9 tie after one quarter. The Hurricanes scored three points at a time early, kicked off by sophomore Kaylee Cahill with a long-range shot from the wing. Senior Damani Hough answered back for the Rams with a shot from the same spot, but Layla Mejia drilled another for New Britain. Bartell finished the opening period with five points as one of the main scoring options for Central.
Slisz converted the first of two and-one opportunities late in the frame, absorbing contact on a right-handed layup. Slisz did most of her damage in the second quarter, posting six points and her second and-one of the game to help the Hurricanes build their lead. The Rams were held to four points each for Bartell and senior Gwen Torreso while Cahill and junior Xandra Silva both made threes for New Britain.
“I feel like we passed the ball really well and everyone really contributed today,” Cahill said.
The Hurricanes avoided much self-inflicted damage in this game, only committing 10 turnovers and finding open space. The Rams tried to speed their opponents up with a full-court press to aid their comeback efforts, but New Britain handled it well and prevented unforced mistakes.
Senior Kaylie Lee grabbed 12 rebounds for the Hurricanes in addition to her six points.
The Rams will finish out their regular season Thursday on the road against Lewis Mills while the Hurricanes will host Bristol Eastern the same day.
Matt Hornick can be reached at (860) 973-1811 or email@example.com
NEW BRITAIN 47, BRISTOL CENTRAL 39
At New Britain
Bristol Central 9 8 11 11 - 39
New Britain 9 15 12 11 - 47
BRISTOL CENTRAL: Damani Hough 1-0-3, Janessa Bartell 5-2-12 , Ella Watson 2-0-4, Sophia Torreso 2-0-4, Brooke Watson 1-0-2, Arianna Rivera 3-1-7, Gwen Torreso 3-1-7. Totals 17-4-39.
NEW BRITAIN: Kaylee Cahill 5-1-16, Layla Mejia 3-0-7, Maya Slisz 4-6-15, Kaylie Lee 3-0-6, Xandra Silva 1-0-3. Totals 16-7-47.
Three-point goals: Hough (BC), Cahill (NB) 5, Mejia (NB), Silva (NB), Slisz (NB).
Records: Bristol Central 1-10, New Britain 5-6.