By MICHAEL LETENDRE
The 2015 Bristol Observer Girls Basketball All Tournament Team
Girls First Team
Name/Grade Team Position Tournament Numbers
Lizzy Cretella, Jr. St. Paul Guard Notched 10 points in 3rd round
Ashley Edler, Sr. Central G/F 7 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals
Daijia Brooks, Sr. Eastern Forward Dumped in 45 total points, 36 rebs.
Diana Wnuk, So. Eastern Forward Had 15 points, 9 rebs. vs. NWC
Jillian Kilmer, Jr. St. Paul Guard Snared 11 points, 8 rebs. in 2nd round
Runner’s Up: Erika Monsalve, Bristol Central (2 points, 8 rebounds at Stamford); Esharra Walton, Bristol Central (2 points, six rebounds); Jamilla Shoultz, Bristol Eastern (14 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals vs. Sacred Heart Academy); Kelly McMahon, St. Paul (Scored 13 total points in tournament play, 3 threes); Mekaela Giantonio, St. Paul (11 total points. 5.5 per-game); Kianna Brooks, Bristol (9 points, 10 rebounds vs. NWC).
BRISTOL – The postseason for the three scholastic girls basketball team in town this year proved to be a bit of a mixed bag.
All three squads battled adversity, and in terms of both Bristol Eastern and St. Paul, that bump in road ended up being very tough and challenging fourth quarters against two worthy foes on state tournament play.
The Falcons made it to the quarterfinal round of the Class S bracket, falling against Immaculate 49-38 to end the season at a more than impressive 18-5 – an excellent ledger for any team to boast.
And then for the Lancers, a damning fourth quarter saw Northwest Catholic sneak out a 66-64 win, punching their ticket to the Class L Finals (don’t feel bad, Capital Prep wiped out the Indians by 30 points).
Finally, for Bristol Central, the squad battled a buzz saw in the form of 10th-ranked Stamford in a first round, Class LL affair and the Rams had to deal with tomfoolery before falling 78-20.
But regardless of finish, each squad had standouts throughout the postseason and the stars did indeed come out and shined, earning places on the sixth Annual Bristol Observer All Tournament Team Awards.
St. Paul had a bull’s eye on its collective backs since day one of the season but managed to get out of the second round of the tournament and was an eight minute period away from advancing to face old friend Thomaston once again.
But Class S was packed with challengers and Immaculate was one such challenger.
And while St. Paul’s season ended with a 49-38 loss at home, a number of players had a solid postseason to keep the Falcons alive in each tournament challenge.
Crafty junior Lizzy Cretella made the Bristol Observer All Tournament team and averaged 7.5 points-per-game, flashing in 10 against Immaculate while also canning two threes along the way.
Fellow junior Jillian Kilmer was a rock in the second round game against Housatonic as she canned 11 points and nabbed eight rebounds in the winning effort, also nabbed a slot the first team.
Seniors Kelly McMahon and Mekaela Giantonio made the second team and are no strangers to postseason honors as well.
The slick McMahon netted 13 total points in postseason action, netting three 3-pointers and scored eight points in the victory over Housatonic.
Giantonio averaged 5.5 points-per-game over the two game fray, scoring six points in the 63-29 win over Housatonic.
For Eastern, Marshall University bound Daijia Brooks had a whopper of a tournament and almost carried her squad into the quarterfinal round of the playoffs.
Despite facing epic foul trouble in that fourth quarter against Northwest Catholic, she stung the squad for 24 points, 17 rebounds and six assists in a brilliant display against the Class L runner-up.
In a first round encounter with No. 28 Sacred Heart Academy, Brooks dropped in 21 points, 19 rebounds, and rejected six shots – only four rejects away from a rare scholastic triple-double that included blocked shots.
For the tournament, Brooks put up averages of 22.5 points, 18.0 rebounds and 5.0 blocked shots in two very impressive displays, easily making the Bristol Observer All-Tourney First Team.
Teammate Diana Wunk followed Brooks with that honor as well and the sophomore hardly played like a second year player.
She torched Northwest for 15 points and nine rebounds while zipping up 11 points and six rebounds against Sacred Heart academy.
Overall, she averaged 13.0 points and 7.5 rebounds over the two postseason games, snatching 10 offensive rebounds in the process.
Making the Bristol Observer second team was junior Jamilla Shoultz and sophomore Kianna Brooks.
Shoultz kicked in 11.0 points-per-game, scoring 14 against Sacred Heart Academy, while also gobbling up six rebounds, six steals, and four assists.
She also nabbed nine points, six rebounds and four assists in the two-point loss to Northwest.
The younger Brooks has a bright future for Eastern and just missed notching a double-double against Northwest with nine points and 10 rebounds.
In tourney play, she averaged 6.0 points and 9.0 rebounds an outing.
Central had a tough time dealing with Stamford but the Rams still had some worthy performances during tournament play.
Senior Ashley Elder kept plugging away and came through with seven points, eight rebounds, and three steals to earn a first team nod.
She hit Central’s only three-pointer of the evening but played with guile and grit against an overwhelming foe.
Erika Monsalve (two points, eight rebounds) also played well in her final scholastic game as did Esharra Walton (two points, six rebounds) as Central’s trio of stars hung in to the end of a very difficult and bizarre first round tournament game.
By MICHAEL LETENDRE