BRISTOL, Conn. — Stonington High used an 8-0 run in the fourth quarter to overtake St. Paul Catholic and defeat the Falcons, 41-32, on Thursday in the second round of the CIAC Class M girls basketball tournament.
The 14th-seeded Bears (16-7) trailed 30-28 with under seven minutes to go before going on their run to take a 36-30 lead with 2:26 left. The No. 3 Falcons (18-5) scored just two points the rest of the way.
Coach Paulla Solar said the key for Stonington down the stretch was slowing its pace and taking higher-percentage shots.
“We took a timeout and told them, ‘The clock’s on our side. There’s no reason to hurry through an offense.’ They calmed down a little bit. … Discipline-wise, they understood what we needed to do in the last couple minutes.”
Stonington will travel to Rocky Hill for a quarterfinal game on Monday at 7 p.m. The No. 6 Terriers beat No. 11 Seymour, 62-44, on Thursday.
Izzy Yarnall and Aliza Bell both posted double-doubles for the Bears. Yarnall finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Bell had 11 points and 11 rebounds. Miranda Arruda added six points, 11 rebounds and four steals, and Kate Hall scored eight.
Solar praised the play of Yarnall, Stonington’s 6-2 center. Yarnall was matched up against St. Paul’s 6-1 Jade Udoh, who scored just six points. Solar said her scouting report noted that the Falcons’ offense revolves around Udoh.
“It’s really exciting,” Solar said. “I feel like Izzy is peaking at the right time. Not only did she do a good job offensively, she had to battle with [Udoh]. She had to work at both ends.”
Stonington has not advanced beyond the second round of the state tournament since 2008. That year the Bears fell to East Lyme in the Class L quarterfinals, 55-50.