Thomaston downs Bolton in Class S girls basketball semifinal, earns trip to final at Mohegan Sun

Thomaston’s Nicole Decker led all scorers with 18 points in the Bears win over Bolton in the Class S semifinals on Monday

Thomaston’s Nicole Decker led all scorers with 18 points in the Bears win over Bolton in the Class S semifinals on Monday

Will Aldam / Hearst Connecticut Media

NEW BRITAIN — Five years removed from its last state final appearance, the Thomaston girls’ basketball team will make the trip back to the Mohegan Sun following its 48-42 Class S semifinal victory over Bolton on Monday.

The top-seeded Bears appeared in five straight title games from 2013-2017, winning twice. This year, they met little resistance in the first three rounds before edging Bolton by six points.

“I feel happy for our players because they worked really hard to get here,” Thomaston coach Robert McMahon said. “To see them finish it off like this is great. Now we have one final step, and we will see what happens then.”

Thomaston was led by sophomore Nicole Decker who led all scorers with 18 points. Ava Harkness contributed 12 points to the winning effort, while Aurelia Barker scored 10.

“We knew when Nicole was in kindergarten that she would get the keys to the car,” McMahon said. “We waited a long time to get her here and we are soaking up every minute.”

Thomaston jumped out to a first-quarter lead and never relinquished it, leading at the end of every quarter.

“We knew they had two sophomore guards that we needed to stop,” Decker said. “We just played good defense and didn’t foul, that was a big thing today. I think we did a good job on them.”

After a tough loss in the semifinals of the Berkshire League tournament, Thomaston has returned with a vengeance and a determination not to experience that losing feeling again.

“We went into practice after that with a ‘we are not going to lose again’ mentality,” Decker said. “And we are not, we are going to win.”

“People were trying to tell me that things happen for a reason, and I didn’t want to believe it,” McMahon said. “But right now, we will take it.”

Thomaston will look to begin a new dynasty in Class S if it can get past No. 3 Coventry in the championship this upcoming weekend.

“It is really exciting, the whole team has stepped up,” Decker said. “I think we showed that today. We know it is going to be a tough game on Saturday, but we are ready for it.”

While Bolton’s season is over, the No. 5 seed in the tournament can hang its head on two strong tournament runs in which it advanced to the semifinal round (NCCC and Class S tournaments).

Isabell Kennedy was the leading scorer for Bolton, as the junior scored 16 points in the final game of the season.\

Thomaston 48, Bolton 42

at New Britain

Bolton12 13 10 7 — 42

Thomaston18 13 13 4 — 48

BOLTON: Emma Diehl 2 1 0-0 7, Niya Islam 2 1 0-1 7, Isabel Kennedy 5 2 0-1 16, Julia Zimmerman 2 0 0-0 4, Makenna Graves 3 0 2-2 8.

THOMASTON: Aurelia Barker 0 3 1-2 10, Kylie Decker 0 1 0-0 3, Nicole Decker 6 2 0-1 18, Ava Harkness 5 0 2-6 12, Emma Sanson 1 0 2-5 4, Kiera Fainer 0 0 1-2 1.

Records: Thomaston 20-3; Bolton 42

Will.Aldam@hearstmediact.com; @AldamWill