BRISTOL - With time winding down in the fourth quarter Thursday night, the Bristol Eastern girls basketball team was trying to complete a big home win over Enfield.
It came down to foul shots.
Hannah Maghini knocked down four straight free throws, while Miranda Janick knocked down a pair to ice the game.
The big foul shots sent the Eagles home with their second loss of the season as Bristol Eastern won its fourth game, 61-55, snapping a three-game losing streak.
“It’s a big thing focusing and concentrating on free throws,” Maghini said. “They’re a big part of close games like that, so you just have to settle down and take your time.”
Maghini led the Lancers in scoring with 24 points and went 14-for-22 at the stripe as the primary scorer for Bristol Eastern.
That role is one she’s beginning to embrace.
“I’m trying to get used to it,” Maghini said. “It’s something you learn to get used to, but I know I have my team behind my back no matter what the situation is during the game.”
Maghini received help from her teammates in a complete team effort.
Scoring-wise, sophomore Jordan Ouellette added 18 points and Janick also finished in double figures with 11.
Bristol Eastern also got strong minutes out of Paige McLaughlin, Avery Arbuckle and Sage Scarritt.
McLaughlin had big points in the fourth and the duo of Arbuckle and Scarritt did their best to slow down the Eagles’ top player and Providence College commit - 6-foot-3 center Mary Baskerville.
The game started just as Bristol Eastern had hoped.
In the first quarter, Enfield started its reserves and the Lancers took advantage. Maghini made the Eagles pay, scoring eight of Bristol Eastern’s first 10 points, and Bristol Eastern got out to a convincing 12-2 lead.
At that point, Enfield sent its five starters to the floor.
The Lancers hung in tough even with the Eagles starters in the game. Bristol Eastern outscored Enfield 9-7 to close out the remaining time in the first quarter and led 21-9.
Momentum shifted to Enfield in the second quarter. After Bristol Eastern began the quarter on a 6-4 run, the Eagles picked up steam.
Cat Fonseca led Enfield in the second quarter with six points and the Eagles outscored the Lancers 19-10 to close out the first half with Eastern leading 31-28.
Coming into the second half, it was anybody’s game.
Maghini had a big third quarter, scoring the first five points.
Defensively, Bristol Eastern held the Eagles to a meager eight points in the third period and had 11 points on the offensive end.
The Lancers led 42-36 going into the final quarter.
McLaughlin made her presence felt, scoring the first four points in the fourth quarter, including a big 3-pointer from the corner to extend the lead to 46-38 early in the fourth.
Following McLaughlin’s four points, Ouellette chipped in four points of her own, extending the Lancers’ lead to 50-40.
Down 10, the Eagles turned to their best player, Baskerville.
She did her best to try and pull out the win, with 12 of her 25 points coming in the final period, all coming in the paint.
The Eagles closed out the fourth on a 15-11 run, but Bristol Eastern was the tougher team for 32 minutes, outlasting Enfield down the stretch.
“I’m very pleased about everything that they’ve done,” Bristol Eastern head coach Tony Floyd said. “It’s going to be tough. We’ve got a tough schedule and every game is going to be similar to this game. We’ve got to make our foul shots and execute at the end and they did.”
With the win, the Lancers move to 4-6 on the year. The Eagles fell to 8-2 with the loss.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or email@example.com