PLAINVILLE – The Plainville girls basketball squad came rolling into its game against Bristol Eastern on a hot streak.
With its big three of Caitlin Barker, Sam Lozefski, and Jaida Vazquez, the Blue Devils had won seven of its first nine games this season and were looking to qualify for state tournament play with a victory over the Lancers.
However, Eastern had a different plan in mind.
Playing a physical game, the Lancers gave Plainville shooters fits late in the fray and with the contest on the line, it was Eastern’s Sage Scarritt with a huge hoop; while Ciara Collins added insurance free throws as the Lancers upset the Blue Devils 59-56 from the Ivan Wood Gymnasium in Plainville on Monday, Jan. 7.
Eastern moved to 4-5 over the winning effort while Plainville dropped to 7-3 at the halfway mark of its season.
And for the Lancers, it was a complete team effort to slow down Barker (23 points), Lozefski (13), and Vazquez (19) and when Eastern needed stops, the squad from Bristol got them.
Eastern’s Jordan Ouellette had another all-conference performance with 18 points – on 8-of-13 shooting from the field – along with 14 rebounds, two assists, and four steals while Collins nabbed 13 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.
Scarritt scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter while also snatching four rebounds, Avery Arbuckle contributed six points, 11 rebounds, and two assists, and Paige McLaughlin added four points and two rebounds as all five starters did well for the Lancers.
The bench was excellent as Cali Doyon added six points, including two pointers; Meredith Foreman collected three points, six rebounds, and a team-high five assists; while Julia Gettings hit a huge jumper to open the final period of play.
Plainville was held to 31-percent shooting in the game and Eastern’s defense did just enough to keep Barker away from the hoop at the end.
Collins kicked in seven first period points, including a late 3 to give Eastern the lead towards the end of the frame but four straight points from Barker tied the affair up at 16-16 just eight minutes in.
Early in the second quarter, Doyon found Arbuckle for a hoop and Ouellette canned two free throws to put the Lancers up by four before the Blue Devils ended the half on a 15-9 mini-run — giving Plainville a 31-29 edge at the half.
Ouellette went on a 6-2 run all by herself to open the third frame but Plainville later retook the edge.
Even as Ouellette finished the stanza with one final lay-up, the home team was leading 42-39 with the fourth period on tap.
Gettings hit her jumper early in the fourth as the Lancers were about to put together a 20-point quarter.
Towards the end of the contest, Doyon hit her second three of the game to close the deficit; and Scarritt and Arbuckle both had chances at and-1s but missed free throws.
In the closing moments of the showdown, Scarritt made a steal. When it looked like Arbuckle was about to fall down with the ball, she dished it off to Scarritt for a hoop and Eastern led it 57-56 with less than a minute to go.
Off a Plainville miss, Collins kicked in two free throws as the tallies gave the Lancers a 59-56 edge and the Blue Devils had one last shot at it to tie things up.
But a game-tying three was missed by Plainville late and as the final buzzer sounded, Eastern came away with a three-point win on the road.
NOTES…The Lancers then turned around to defeat Enfield, also on the road, by a 54-29 final on Friday, Jan. 11. Jordan Ouellette dropped in 16 points while Ciara Collins added 12 as Eastern moved to 5-5 at the halfway point of the season.