Bobcats are good enough on this night

Bacon's Carlee Putnam, right, is fouled by Berlin's Ashley Malloy during first-half action of a Class L state quarterfinal Monday night in Colchester. Bacon advanced with a 52-41 victory.
Bacon's Carlee Putnam, right, is fouled by Berlin's Ashley Malloy during first-half action of a Class L state quarterfinal Monday night in Colchester. Bacon advanced with a 52-41 victory.

Colchester - Katie Mahoney smiled after win No. 25 for Bacon Academy on Monday, no matter how atypically sloppy she and her teammates played.

"Hopefully this is the bad game," the senior said after a 52-41 victory over Berlin in the CIAC Class L girls' basketball quarterfinals.

Terming any tournament win a "bad game" surely sounds odd, but consider that the top-seeded Bobcats were not as efficient as they've been for most of this season.

Bacon used a big second quarter to lead comfortably at halftime, 32-15. It seemed too easy for the Bobcats at times, especially because the No. 8 Redcoats (17-7) were completely out of sorts.

"The first half, we did really well," Bacon sophomore Sarah Rogers said. "Thank God for that."

Berlin sprung to life in the third quarter thanks to a frenetic full-court press.

The Bobcats have seen enough defensive pressure this season, but they unraveled against the Redcoats' press. Bacon committed 11 of its 24 turnovers came in the third quarter.

A 3-pointer by Alyssa Barrett to start the fourth quarter sliced the Bobcats' lead to 40-34.

"We came out in that third quarter like it was all over," Bacon coach Dave Shea said. "(We were) sloppy. We didn't meet our passes. We just had a bad game. Lucky we won. That's the main thing."

It was hardly the way that Bacon (25-0) wanted to play with a game looming against two-time defending champion Hillhouse of New Haven. The teams will play in Friday's semifinal at a site and time to be announced.

The Academics, ranked first in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, trounced No. 12 Masuk of Monroe, 54-27.

"(Berlin) outhustled us, (they) outplayed us," Mahoney said of the second half. "We didn't come out the way we should have."

The game could've been more troublesome for the Bobcats if a 3-pointer by the Redcoats' Chelsea Vujs hadn't been waved off to end the third quarter. The officials ruled that her shot came after time expired.

"That three goes in, we're down six going into he fourth quarter and momentum is going on way," Berlin coach Sheila King said. "I thought that (call) was atrocious. I don't know what else to say."

Mahoney said, "I think it was a good call. Of course I'm a little biased."

Mahoney scored seven of her game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter to help Bacon win. She scored five of those points during a 9-0 run that put the Bobcats ahead, 49-34, with over three minutes remaining.

Sophomore starters Taylor McLaughlin and Rogers also contributed to the victory. Rogers had eight points and a game-high 14 rebounds, six of which were offensive.

"I didn't notice I was getting a lot of rebounds," Rogers said. "I was focusing on trying to get to the ball."

Mahoney said, "Sarah Rogers really pulled through with the rebounding. She was a big reason we were able to pull it out."

McLaughlin scored all eight of her points in the first half. She gave her team a lift after fellow starter Kelly Dixon picked up her second foul late in the first quarter and sat most of the half.

"I'm just happy with what we've accomplished this year," Shea said. "Twenty five wins. We're not a super team or anything. We're a good team that usually plays hard."

Rogers said, "We're going to prepare (for Hillhouse) and we're going to be ready. ... We'll just play like we know how to play."

n.griffen@theday.com

Bacon Academy's Kelly Dixon, right, jumps into the arms of teammate Sarah Rogers as they celebrate the Bobcats' 52-41 over Berlin in a Class L state quarterfinal Monday night in Colchester.
Bacon Academy's Kelly Dixon, right, jumps into the arms of teammate Sarah Rogers as they celebrate the Bobcats' 52-41 over Berlin in a Class L state quarterfinal Monday night in Colchester.

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