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BL girls hoops race has host of contenders

POSTED January 21, 2014
BY John Nestor
Twitter: @nestorjdn

The regular season may be about halfway over but the is still a lot of basketball left to be played as far as the Berkshire League girls title race is concerned.

A group of five teams have separated themselves from the pack and within that group a pair are starting to emerge as the front runners.

Nonnewaug (9-1) and Lewis Mills (10-1) are setting the pace with one league loss each. The Chiefs edged the Spartans, 32-31, in the second game of the season in Woodbury and round two is scheduled for Jan. 31 in Burlington.

Mills is heading into a 10-day break coming off a big weekend. The Spartans knocked off Housatonic on Friday night and put the clamps on Northwestern on Saturday night in a 39-23 victory. Mills has won nine straight and has a date with Wamogo on Jan. 28 before hosting the Chiefs.

Nonnewaug has overcome the loss of Katie Burke to graduation quite well and it's lone loss of the season was to Thomaston. The Chiefs wrap up the regular season in Thomaston on Feb. 17.

Thomaston (8-4), Housatonic (7-3) and Northwestern (9-3) make up the second tier of BL contenders and each has shown that they have the ability to have a big impact on the league race down the stretch.

"The league is pretty much what I expected, there is a lot of competition and a number of tough teams," Mills coach Joe Capitani said.

Mills was expected to be among the league front runners with just about all of its key players back from a year ago. Nonnewaug got off to fast start and has now won four straight since a loss to Thomaston.

The Golden Bears are finding life without Maggie Eberhardt and Sydney Keith a little tough but it's not as if they gave been getting blown out, to the contrary. Thomaston has lost its games by four and one point to Mills, by one to Notre Dame-Fairfield, a Class M state finalist last season, and by three to Norwestern.

A couple of hoops here and one there and the Bears could be undefeated and with a young team growing by the day, Thomaston could yet have a big impact on the league race.

Housatonic and Northwestern were wildcards entering the season and the emergence of those two teams has made the league even tougher. Housy was down just two entering the fourth quarter against Mills on Friday night and Northwestern owns wins over Thomaston as well as Weston of the SWC.

"I'm really very pleased with the kids," Northwestern coach Fred Williams said. "We've played pretty well this season and we will grow from this. It seems that any one of the top four, five teams can beat any of the others on any given night, so we'll see."

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