Blogs > Run to the Sun - Girls Basketball in CT

Follow all the coverage of girls high school basketball throughout the state on their way to Mohegan Sun Arena, the site of this year's championship weekend, March 19-20.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Class L Title Game Familiar Territory For Hillhouse

Hillhouse is no stranger to the routine.

First there’s the CIAC girls’ basketball state championship luncheon, which was held Wednesday at the Mohegan Sun Convention Center. Then there’s the few days of eagerness and anticipation that follows. Finally, the time comes to play for a state title at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

The ninth-seeded Academics were crowned queen of Class L last season and will defend their state title Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena against No. 3 Wethersfield.

“It helps a lot,” said Hillhouse point guard Andreana Thomas of last year’s experience. “We know what to expect. We know the bright lights will be shining when we’re playing this year.”

The run to the sun has been different this season for Hillhouse. Academics coach Catrina Hawley-Stewart said last year’s squad was motivated by the senior factor: A handful of seniors focused on finishing with a ring. This year, a loss to Branford in the Southern Connecticut Conference championship has sparked the Academics tournament run. Hillhouse enters, coming off a quarterfinal win over previously undefeated and top-seeded Northwest Catholic and a semifinal win over last year’s Class M champion Berlin.

Is there pressure that comes along with the title defense?

“It’s back-to-back,” Thomas said. “It’s Hillhouse. You have to win it.”

Standing beside Thomas, Hawley-Stewart added: “Pressure isn’t always that bad. We take pressure as expectations that we could and should do it.”

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