Nudd's big night helps Bacon girls beat Stonington and share ECC D-II title

Colchester — Bacon Academy senior Kellie Nudd was candid describing how she played the first time against the Stonington girls’ basketball team.

“I played like crap, excuse my language,” Nudd smiled. “It was so bad.”

That wasn’t a problem for Nudd in Monday’s rematch against the Bears. She ran wild in the decisive fourth quarter, scoring 12 of her game-high 24 points, to pace the Bobcats to a 56-53 win on Senior Night and a share of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II title with Stonington.

Nudd scored just two points in a 54-25 loss at Stonington on Jan. 22.

“After school today, the first place I went was the gym,” Nudd said. “Number three (Bears senior Aliza Bell) is an amazing player. She shut me down the first game. This game, I have to give all props to my teammates. … They gave me all the open looks that I had.”

Nudd made nine of 11 field goals, including 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter.

“Nudd did a good job tonight, especially in the paint,” Stonington head coach Paulla Solar said. “She has a real feel for the hoop and the backboard. She did a good job.”

Senior guard Bridget Anderson, who was out sick the last time Bacon played Stonington, had six steals and five assists for the Bobcats (16-4, 7-1). Sophomore Caitlin Shea added 10 points.

“Me, Bridget and Taylor (Rochette), we’ve been playing together since we were big enough to walk,” Nudd said. “We’ve been with each other through everything, youth basketball, AAU basketball. This was just our night.”

Senior Miranda Arruda had 16 points, five rebounds and three steals for the Bears (16-4, 7-1) and junior Zoe Ribeiro had four 3-pointers and scored 14. Aliza Bell and sophomore Sophia Bell each had 13 rebounds.

Stonington did itself no favors as it shot just 26.9 percent. It also missed 10 of 22 free throws. The Bobcats, by comparison, shot 52.3 percent and made 7 of 12 free throws.

Nudd opened the fourth quarter with a go-ahead layup to give Bacon a 37-36 lead.

Nudd scored nine during a 13-7 run that gave the Bobcats a 52-43 lead with 2 minutes, 34 seconds. It was the largest lead for either team.

The Bears proceeded to make the game manic with defensive pressure and 3-pointers. Ribeiro made back-to-back threes to cut Stonington’s deficit to 52-49 with 1:35 remaining.

Freshman Valerie Luizzi answered with a layup for Bacon. Aliza Bell’s steal led to an Arruda layup with 1:02 remaining.

Arruda forced a tie-up with 41.9 seconds left to give the Bears the ball back, and Sophia Bell had a put-back to pull Stonington with one, 54-53, with 30 seconds left.

Nudd made a free throw to extend the lead two two before sophomore Victoria Violette made the second of two free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining for the game’s final points.

“I’m really proud of my kids at the end because we didn’t give up,” Solar said. “I saw some good things that I liked, like the fullcourt (defense) because Bacon is a good team.”

Nudd said, “We just wanted (this game) more than any game this season. This is probably our proudest win of (my) four years.”

n.griffen@theday.com

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