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Montville - With all the Colchester Public Schools closed over the weekend to allow for snow removal, Bacon Academy girls' basketball coach Dave Shea gathered his team for a shootaround Monday after school, prior to a game against Montville.
"We spent a half-hour shooting," Shea said. "We were throwing up a lot of bricks in that half-hour."
Bacon went on to beat Montville 40-29, getting 25 points from Katie Mahoney, who was 15-for-16 from the free throw line.
The victory was of significance to the fourth-ranked Bobcats, who clinched at least a share of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division title, and to Bacon coach Dave Shea, who earned his 300th career victory as a girls' basketball coach.
Shea, a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, is 300-105 in 17 seasons as the girls' coach and also has more than 300 wins as a boys' basketball coach at Bacon. That makes him the first high school basketball coach in state history to have more than 300 wins on both the boys' and girls' sides. Shea is 629-273 overall.
"Just looking back, the 300 wins in girls' basketball came a lot faster than in boys' (23 season). With the girls, we've had some big years over the last 10-12 years.
"Before I took the girls' job, I talked to Pete Shuler (former Westbrook coach) — he coached both boys and girls — and he said don't change anything you're doing basketball-wise for the girls. I found out the girls work very, very hard and they're appreciative."
Taylor McLaughlin added 11 points and 18 rebounds for Bacon (16-0, 8-0) and Mahoney, who is Shea's granddaughter, had seven rebounds and surpassed the 1,500-point mark for her career (1,523). Mahoney was 16-for-18 from the free throw line and finished with 32 points the first time the Bobcats played Montville this season.
Bacon shot 9-for-42, its worst shooting performance of the season.
Kim Bigelow had a team-high nine points for Montville (12-5, 5-4), which trailed 18-12 at halftime.
"We were sluggish," Shea said. "I think a lot of it had to do with we haven't had any practices ... but I give credit to Montville's defense."
Shea said Mahoney, a senior, was in fourth or fifth grade when she announced she'd like to play for her grandfather someday at Bacon.
"I said, 'Katie, there's no way,'" Shea said with a laugh. "I just took the job for a year to help out. But I ended up still being there. ... I can't complain. I enjoy the game."