GLASTONBURY—Thirty-seven points from Maximus Edwards was not enough to push seventh-seeded Bunnell past No. 2 Glastonbury in the quarterfinal round of the CIAC Division II state tournament Friday night.
The Bulldogs put together a 30-point fourth quarter to keep it close, but Glastonbury’s Aaron Latham and Co. built an early first-half lead to defeat the visitors 74-69 and earn a spot in the D-2 semifinals next week.
The Tomahawks sliced through Bunnell’s defense all night, especially along the baseline, and sank key free throws late in the game.
The loss ends Bunnell’s impressive postseason run and consequently snaps a nine-game winning streak that began at the tail end of the regular season.
The Bulldogs fought hard until the final buzzer, but didn’t get key shots to fall when they really needed them.
Edwards, who picked up a technical foul in the third quarter for an apparent shove to a Glastonbury player after getting fouled and pushed toward the player after the whistle, sank a huge three to end the third quarter, making it 50-39 Glastonbury with eight minutes to play.
Josh Giannoni made a three with 2:20 left in the fourth to make it a nine-point game. He finished with 21 points total and offensively was a big reason Bunnell stayed in the game.
With a minute to go in the contest, Edwards fouled Glastonbury’s Thomas Shea to stop the clock. Shea was unhappy with the fact that Edwards put his arms around him to hold him up after the foul and shoved the Bunnell player away.
After two of the officials got together to discuss the incident, they handed out an intentional foul on Edwards and gave Shea a technical for the extracurricular push.
Both teams exchanged free throws and Bunnell was awarded the ball.
With the score 72-66, Jerrod Leak nailed a corner three for the Bulldogs with 10 seconds left. Glastonbury would sink their next two free throws down the floor to clinch the win.
“They’re a tough team and a tough matchup. We just ran out of time,” Bunnell first-year head coach Dannie Powell said.
In his last game as a junior, Edwards fouled out with a minute left. For being sick the day before the game, Edwards’ performance was astonishing.
Powell tried to conserve his timeouts as best as possible to give Edwards rest late in the game, but Glastonbury hit 10 straight free throws in the closing minutes to hold off the Bulldogs.
“They were tremendous from the foul line. They made their shots and went to their guys. They’re a great team,” Powell said.
The Tomahawks, who shot nearly 70 percent from the floor in the first half, took a 37-25 lead into halftime.
Latham led the way with 29 points for the Tomahawks (21-4) while Jack Shea added 12, Andrew Sullivan 11 and Tom Shea 10.
Outside of Edwards and Giannoni, no other Bunnell player had more than three points.
The Bulldogs finished the season with a 20-6 overall record and will enter next season as the defending SWC Champions.
Glastonbury will move on to play New Britain on Tuesday at a site that has yet to be determined.
GLASTONBURY 74, BUNNELL 69
Khalid Moreland 1 1-2 3m Maximus Edwards10 11-14 37, Elijah Alexander 1 1-2 3, Jerrod leak 1 0-0 3, Derrick Gyimah 1 0-0 2, Josh Giannoni 8 3-4 21. Totals 22 (6 3-pointers 16-22 69.
Freddie Thomas 1 0-0 2, Aaron Latham 11 5-6 29, Drew Daniels 1 0-0 2, Andrew Sullivan 4 3-4 11, Tom Shea 3 4-5 10, Jack Shea 4 4-5 12, Cameron Stiepock 1 1-2 3, Jarese Eddie 2 1-3 5. Totals 27 (2 3-pointers) 18-25 74.
BUNNELL 11 14 14 30—69
GLASTONBURY 19 18 13 24 —74
3-pointers: Bunnell 6 (Edwards 3, Giannoni 2, Leak); Glastonbury 2 (Latham 2). Records: Bunnell 20-6; Glastonbury 21-4.