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Enfield Girls Finally Experience the Thrill of Victory

Raiders hang on to defeat Stafford, 46-45 for first win since 2008.

The streak is over for the Enfield High School girls basketball team.

After 66 consecutive losses dating back 46 months, the Raiders opened up a 13-point fourth-quarter lead, then withstood a furious Stafford comeback to hold on for a 46-45 victory in the debut of new head coach Megan Willis.

The last Enfield victory was on Feb. 1, 2008, a 50-31 win over East Windsor; no players on the current roster were with the team at that time. Since then, the Raiders endured three straight winless seasons under a pair of head coaches before Willis took the reins this fall.

"They were nervous, with the crowd and the noise," Willis said. "It takes them a while, but in the end they need to play their game, because they are good and I've been telling them that, to try and instill it in their heads that they are winners."

A basket by Taylor Maier gave Enfield a 42-29 lead with 4:34 to play, but the Bulldogs fought back with a 16-3 spurt, tying the game at 45 on a 3-point shot by Lauren Shaw, her fourth of the evening, with 32 seconds remaining.

Maier was fouled with 12 seconds left, and converted one of two free throws to push the Raiders back in front by a point.

"She's got a great shot, and I knew she could do it," Willis said.

Stafford was not done yet, bringing the ball back up the court, but the Bulldogs were unable to score on two last-second opportunities, sending the Enfield players and fans into a frenzy of joy as the buzzer sounded.

Freshman Hannah Lempitsky led the balanced Raider offense with 11 points, while Tiara Johnson had 10, Rachel Kaliff added nine and Maier contributed eight, all in the second half.

Shaw led all scorers with 14 points, while Brenna Roy was also in double figures with 11 for the Bulldogs (0-2).

Both teams return to action Tuesday at 7 p.m. Enfield travels to Windsor Locks, while Stafford plays host to East Granby.

Scoring Summary

Stafford - Lauren Shaw 4 2 14, Dani Clark 4 1 9, Mykala Perrier 1 1 3, Jamie Sierra 1 0 2, Jordan Hosey 1 0 2, Isabella Randazzo 1 1 4, Brenna Roy 2 6 11. Team 14 11 45.
3-point goals: Shaw (4), Randazzo, Roy.

Enfield - Maggie Richards 2 1 6, Tiara Johnson 3 2 10, Rachel Kaliff 1 7 9, Wendy Paul 1 0 2, Hannah Lempitsky 5 1 11, Taylor Maier 2 4 8. Team 14 15 46.
3-point goals: Johnson (2), Richards.

Score By Quarters

Stafford 5  10  10  20 - 45
Enfield   6  17   9   14 - 46

Barbara Crowley December 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM
Awesome job girls

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