Lancers meet defensive match in title game

Amber James (3) drives around a screen set by Aly Furgiuele (24) during Notre Dame's Class M state championship game with Cromwell at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday. (Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Amber James (3) drives around a screen set by Aly Furgiuele (24) during Notre Dame’s Class M state championship game with Cromwell at the Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday.
(Photo by Bill Bloxsom)

Notre Dame of Fairfield girls basketball coach Eric DeMarco, a proponent of strong defensive play, was quick to praise Cromwell High’s tenacity in that area of the game, after the top-seeded Panthers defeated his second-seeded Lancers, 42-28, in the Class M state tournament finals at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville on Friday night.
“I just said to my team that something has always derailed us (from reaching the championship game), but tonight there are no excuses to be made.
“They (Cromwell) were the better team. They wore us down with their post players (on offense) and their size and athleticism made it difficult for us to drive the ball.”
Cromwell, in winning the program’s first title, finished the season as the state’s only unbeaten team with a 25-0 record.
Notre Dame closed out its season with a 21-4 record.
Jovan Kingwood scored 12 points, including nine in the opening period, and Amber James had five of her nine points, as the Lancers took a 14-10 lead.
Scoring was tough to come by in the middle two quarters. Cromwell won the second period 6-4 and the third stanza 7-1.
Down by 23-19 with one period to play, Notre Dame matched points for the first half of the final frame.
James’ layup off a drive made it 30-26 with 4:19 remaining. Kingwood slit a pir defenders to score at 3:52, but that would be the Lancers’ final points.

Cromwell scored the last seven points.
“Hats off to 40 (Lindsay Langenauer and 23 (Janelle Harrison), their defense was outstanding,” DeMarco said.
Langenauer finished the game with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Harrison finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds.

See the next edition of the Sun for complete game story.

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