Mulligan and Woodland thwart Torrington comeback bid in NVL quarter-finals

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WATERBURY — Woodland Sophomore Casey Mulligan’s 25 points led the No. 4 Hawks to a 57-53 victory over No. 5 Torrington in an NVL quarterfinal game that began as a rout of Woodland in the first quarter and ended with a nail biter in the fourth quarter at Lycée Sainte-Croix.

The Hawks came out shooting behind 6 points in the first quarter from Mulligan and a pair of 3s by Ireland Starziski on offense and a 2-3 zone defense that blocked the Raiders for a 13-0 lead in the first five minutes. Match.

Torrington’s Amelia Boulli eventually hit a pair of 3s from the corner to spark a Raider comeback, but the score in the first quarter was 22-9 at the buzzer.


“We can’t go a first quarter without scoring because then we have to work hard to get back in the game,” Torrington coach Mike Fritch said.

In a second quarter turnaround, Torrington did just that. Pedling balls on defense left Mulligan as Woodland’s lone scorer for the quarter with seven points while Marissa Burger, Julianna Latina and Haley Burger found the range for four 3s in the second quarter, coming within four points (31 -27) by the half.

“We were letting them shoot more than we should have and they had a lot of offensive rebounds,” Mulligan said.

“They were playing a triangle out of our zone, so we went 1-2-2 in the second half,” Woodland coach Jennifer Deeley said.

Casey Burger and Brianna Murelli scored the first five points of the second half for Torrington’s only lead in the game, 32-31, but Mulligan was there for a three-point response that sparked another Woodland run.

“We take the pressure together,” said Mulligan, the Hawks’ 5-9 point guard. “I try to get everyone involved.”

Haley Burger, Torrington’s leading scorer with 19 points, had two of her four 3s for the game in the third quarter, but the Hawks regained a 46-39 lead late in the period as Riley Kane, Gabriella Matropietro and Ireland Starziski remained active behind Mulligan.

In the final period, another corner three from Boulli, a pair of foul shots from Marissa Burger, a backhand and an outside shot from Rachel Brewer-Kamini put the Raiders up 50-47; 52-49; 53-51; and 55-53 with 10 seconds left.

Mulligan didn’t have it. With a second left in the match, she took two foul shots to finally end the Raider threat.

“We really wanted another chance to play at Holy Cross,” Mulligan said.

The Hawks get that chance in Tuesday’s semifinals against the No. 2 team in the state polls.

Forest 57, Torrington 53

At Sainte-Croix high school

Torrington9 18 12 14 — 53

Wooded 22 9 15 11 — 57

Torington: Marissa Burger 3-4-11; Rachel Brewer-Kamini 3-0-6; Amelie Boulli 4-0-11; Julianna Latina1-1-4; Haley Burger 7-1-19; Brianna Murelli 1-0-2; Totals: 19-6/8-53.

Woodland: Casey Mulligan10-4-25; Riley Kane 4-1-9; Andra Bojka 3-2-8; Gabriella Matropietro 2-2-7; Ireland Starziski 3-0-8; Totals: 22-9/16-57.

Objectives in 3 points: TM. burgers; Boulli 3; Latin; H. Burger 4. W-Mulligan; Matropietro; Starzisky 2.

Recordings: Torrington 14-7; Forest 16-5.

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