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Cromwell KOs Bears in third quarter

CROMWELL, Conn. — Things looked promising early for the Stonington High girls’ basketball team in its Class M second-round game Thursday but unfortunately that promise faded quickly.

The Bears led Shoreline Conference powerhouse and reigning Class M champ Cromwell 20-17 at halftime but the Panthers took control in the second half, outscored Stonington 18-4 in the third quarter and ended up with a comfortable 47-30 win.

Stonington started the game on a 7-2 run but the Panthers rallied and tied the score at 12-12 by the end of the first quarter.

Stonington was on the better side of a low scoring (8-5) second quarter and took a slim three-point advantage into the locker room.

The second half was a different story entirely as the Bears offense could not get going and managed just 10 total points.

The 30 points for Stonington matched a season low. The Bears also managed just 30 points in a 28-point loss to New London Feb. 11.

Had the Bears (14-8) been able to hold on for the improbable win it would have been just the second loss for the second-seeded Panthers in the last two years.

Cromwell (24-1) finished the 2012-13 season with a perfect 28-0 record, won the Class M state title and has won 23 consecutive games this season after losing to Morgan 54-44 in its second game.

The Panthers have since avenged the loss to Morgan and won the Shoreline Conference championship.

Cromwell’s Janelle Harrison, who will play college basketball for Division I Hartford next season, led all scorers with 17 points.

Margot Calmar capped her season with her 20th double-double. The junior forward led the 18th-seeded Bears in both points (11) and boards (13).

Two other ECC teams were in action Thursday.

ECC tournament champion Norwich Free Academy lost 55-51 in overtime to No. 10 E.O. Smith in the second round of the Class LL tournament.

New London routed 12th-seeded Coginchaug 46-21 and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Class M tournament where it will host No. 20 East Catholic Monday at 7 p.m.

Cromwell hosts seventh seeded Lewis Mills Monday at 7 p.m.

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