WEST HARTFORD — It was almost too much, too late, but Northwest Catholic’s all-state guard Erin Carucci was going to keep trying anyway.
As far as Glastonbury was concerned, she was welcome to keep firing away. The Tomahawks had plenty of answers in this early season CCC showdown of once-beaten teams looking for a signature win to start the new year.
Carucci poured in 29 points on seven 3-pointers, five in the final quarter, but Glastonbury had built a big enough lead to stroll comfortably off of Mirabello Court with a 73-64 victory Thursday night.
Glastonbury got several lights out performances, too. Junior guard Jill Margaglione scored 17, forward Rachel Roman added with 15 and guard Caroline Bassett, whose primary concern was keeping Carucci under wraps, chipped in with 14, including 7-of-8 from the foul line down the stretch.
Glastonbury and its talented of juniors have won seven-straight since its season-opening loss to Newington.
“We talked in the locker room about this being a measuring-stick game, to see where we were at after seven games in,” fourth-year coach Chris Vozzolo said. “We responded.
“Man, Carucci… She hit some shots. But we responded and we responded all night.”
Carucci, however, wasn’t much of a scoring factor until the second half — all seven of her 3-pointers and all but four of her 29 points came after halftime.
“Charlotte’s a really good defender, and we talked about staying disciplined with (Carucci),” Vozzolo said. “She’s a tough guard and credit the rest of our girls. It’s a team effort to guard one girl and it’s a team effort to guard all four of the other ones on Northwest. Even though at the end of the night we gave up some points we defended her well enough.”
Instead, it was Morgan Murphy doing most of NWC’s damage early, scoring 10 of her 15 points in the first quarter.
But Glastonbury had answers with the diminutive Margaglione fearless from outside and Roman scoring inside. They teamed up to stake Glastonbury out to an 18-12 lead and 31-19 at halftime
Caroline Rutenberg led NWC on a mini-run to get the Lions within 31-28 early in the second quarter. But Glastonbury blasted off on a 14-0 run to take control.
Then, suddenly, Carucci couldn’t miss. She hit a pair of 3s in the third quarter and then five more in the fourth. Her final 3-pointer of the game put the senior over 1,000 points for her career.
The loss dropped Northwest Catholic to 7-2, which is a marked improvement of last year’s regular season, in which NWC won just eight games before making a run to the Class S semifinals.
“We took this as one of our biggest tests of the season, outside of East Catholic (a 46-39 loss),” said NWC coach Jenniqua Bailey, an NWC alumnus and former 1,000-point scorer herself. It was her sixth game as head coach since taking over for Al Phillips four games into the season.
“It’s a hurtful loss. But it’s something we’ll learn from,” she said. ‘We’ve got some stuff we need to work on in practice. It exposed some stuff that we really need to focus on.”
One of those will likely be foul shots. Northwest Catholic finished just 16-of-33 from the line. “Honestly, I thought we hurt ourselves,” Bailey said.