Top seed Thomaston eliminates HVRHS from Berkshires tourney

Mia Dodge looked for offensive opportunities against Thomaston’s dominant defense in the Berkshire League semifinal game.

Riley Klein

Top seed Thomaston eliminates HVRHS from Berkshires tourney

WASHINGTON — Thomaston High School girls basketball defeated Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) 53-25 in the Berkshire League tournament semifinals Tuesday, Feb. 20.

The defending champion Golden Bears advanced to the championship for a rematch of last year’s title game against Northwestern, which defeated Gilbert 61-44 in the semifinal match prior to the HVRHS/Thomaston game.

The Mountaineers entered the second round of the tournament coming off an electric win in the quarterfinals against Nonnewaug. The momentum did not carry over, however, and HVRHS wrapped up conference play on a tough loss to a strong team.

Round two of the Berkshire League playoff was played on neutral ground at Shepaug Valley High School in Washington. Supporters from both sides made the trip to cheer on their teams.

Thomaston set the tone of the game early. Unshakeable defense from the Golden Bears forced repeated turnovers and fueled a dominant performance in the first quarter.

Trouble for HVRHS persisted into the second quarter. Thomaston’s possession control and ability to find open shots caused the lead to grow to 37-6 by halftime.

HVRHS coach Jake Plitt adjusted to a zone defense in the second half, which proved effective and rattling the Golden Bears. Defensive stops led to successful fast breaks and HVRHS outscored Thomaston 10-4 in the third quarter.

HVRHS battled to the final buzzer, but the game was out of reach. Thomaston remained undefeated in the Berkshire League this season with a 53-25 win in the semifinals.

Nicole Dekker led the Golden Bears in scoring with 17 points. Ava Harkness scored 11 points and Lily VanOrmer finished with 10 points.

HVRHS’ top scorer was captain Anne Moran with 7 points. Kylie Leonard and Olivia Brooks each scored 5 points for the Mountaineers.

HVRHS qualified for the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class S tournament as the 17th seed. The Mountaineers will head to Durham for round one Monday, Feb. 26.

Thomaston went on to play Northwestern in a championship rematch Feb. 23. Thomaston entered the final game with a chance at winning its seventh Berkshire League title since 2014.

Northwestern shocked the reigning champs with an upset victory to claim the Berkshire League title for 2023-24. Northwestern secured revenge with a final a score of 41-36 over Thomaston.

Junior star Maddie Topa led the Highlanders to the win by scoring a team-high 11 points.

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