Sanson leads Thomaston girls basketball to Class S championship, holding off Coventry for first title since 2015

Photo of Scott Ericson

UNCASVILLE — Many of the players on the Thomaston girls basketball team were sitting behind the bench as youth players watching the Bears play in the 2017 Class S title game, dreaming of one day getting their chance to play for a championship at Mohegan Sun.

Those players got their chance Saturday afternoon and made the most of it, beating No. 3 Coventry 42-38 for the CIAC Class S championship.

Along with the dream of making it to the Sun, the current Thomaston players played this season for the teams the previous two seasons that never got a chance to play in a state final due to COVID-19 canceling the last two state championships.

Thomaston was unbeaten in 2021 and was in the Class S quarterfinals when the 2020 tournament was halted.

“Most of the kids we have now, were sitting right there behind the bench five years ago and they dreamed of being here and look what they did,” Thomaston coach Bob McMahon said. “Our kids brought up last year’s team many times. They always brought up those names in the locker room and at practice. They wore the brown and gold as proudly as anyone else and never got their chance. We did it for them too.”

This was Thomaston’s fourth state title, third since 2013 and first since 2015. The bears lost in the 2016 and 2017 Class S finals.

No. 1 Thomaston 9th appearance. Won three times, last winning Class S in 2015 Since 2013, Thomaston has won Class S twice in five championship game appearances, last making the Class S final in 2017

Thomaston, the top seed in Class S, had to hold on as Coventry rallied in the final minutes, cutting a 39-27 lead with 1:54 to play into just a three-point margin on a 3-pointer by Amy Prior with 7 seconds to play before sophomore Ava Harkness converted a free throw to seal the win for the Bears.

“I was relieved and excited when the clock finally hit zero,” Thomaston senor Emma Sanson said. “All the girls from the team last year were my best friends and we did it for them today. We had such a big parade leaving town last night as we were leaving. We knew the town and school had our backs and we had theirs and we won today.”

Sanson led Thomaston with 17 points with Harkness adding 10.

Coventry, despite being down double-digits with under two minutes to play, kept playing to the final whistle.

“They never gave up,” Coventry coach Kevin Clancy said. “That was a really tough game to play in. It’s our first time in that situation and the volume and everything in the arena plays a factor. It was a great game and we made it a close one down the stretch. I am very proud of them.”

Coventry was paced by 15 points from Charlotte Jordan and 13 from Anaka Eaton.

Thomaston scored 21 points off Coventry turnovers in the game.

The Bears never trailed in the game, leading 20-13 at halftime and were up by six after three quarters.


Emma Sanson, Thomaston: Sanson not only led the Bears in scoring but pulled down 5 rebounds and was on the floor multiple times scrapping for losses balls.


“That was a crazy last minute. You are sitting her up 10 with a minute to go and thinking ‘can we possibly blow this?’ and then they cut it to three and we made just enough free throws.” — Thomaston coach Bob McMahon; @EricsonSports


COVENTRY 6 7 9 16

THOMASTON 11 9 8 14

COVENTRY: Amy Prior 2 1 0-0 5, Natalie Neal 0 0 1-6 1, Charlotte Jordan 4 2 5-8 15, Anaka Eaton 5 0 3-5 13, Samantha Coughlin 2 0 0-0 4.

THOMASTON: Nicole Decker 3 0 3-6 9, Ava Harkness 3 0 4-9 10, Emma Sanson 6 0 5-13 17, Kiera Fainer 0 0 3-4 3.