By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – The Bristol Eastern and Plainville girls basketball teams have formed a nice little rivalry over the past few seasons.
With the Blue Devils leaving the Northwest Conference and moving to the CCC South for the 2009-10 season, the squads have had a couple of memorable battles.
And while Plainville hasn’t enjoyed the success it has hoped for against the Lancers, the Blue Devils have made the showdowns more than a little competitive over the years.
On Tuesday, Jan. 8, Plainville gave it a run but in the end, fell to Eastern 45-37 in a CCC showcase from the Thomas M. Monahan Gymnasium in Bristol.
The win propelled Eastern to a 6-4 mark while Plainville fell to 4-6 on the campaign.
However, both teams are still on track for a postseason appearance if their respective records hold over the course of the second half of the campaign.
Daijia Brooks scored a team-high 15 points for the Lancers as the youngster also popped in a three-pointer in the victorious effort.
Karissa Smith, Eastern’s usual double-double machine flipped in 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Lancers while Jamella Shoultz made a strong showing and blazed in 13 points.
Eastern point guard Cassie Aiken also played well and zipped in four points.
Carly Martino turned in her best performance of the year with a game-high 16 points for the Blue Devils while blasting in two three-pointers to boot.
Kelsey Clemens cashed in on 12 points while Rachel Lancaster added three as did Katy Dressel.
Kiera Jackson, Kelley Slabinski (two points), and Deja Nolan also played well for the Blue Devils.
Plainville kept the affair in check by hanging around in the third period of action, cutting a double-digit halftime lead by the Lancers to 29-24 before falling just short in a competitive fourth period of action.
Eastern opened the game the advantage and led 12-7 after one frame of play.
The Lancers limited Plainville to only five points in the second stanza and took a 22-12 push into the halftime break.
The Blue Devils played very well in the third tilt – outscoring Eastern 12-7 – as the game was only a five point affair at 29-24 with eight minutes to go.
But the Lancers hung on – winning the final period by a 16-13 edge – as Eastern won for the sixth time this season and grabbed a 45-37 victory.
And then on Friday, Jan. 11, Eastern defeated Maloney 67-45 from Meriden.
Brooks threw in 23 points while Smith added 21 in the victorious effort.