SCC girls basketball: Thacker leads Law to upset win

Samara Thacker made one of two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter on Thursday night giving the No. 13 seed Jonathan Law girls’ basketball team a 52-51 upset win over No. 4 Amity Regional in a first-round game of the Southern Connecticut Conference play-offs.

The win in Woodbridge earned the Eagles (11-10) a quarterfinal round match-up with No. 5 Career, a 65-38 winner over Lauralton Hall on Saturday at Wallingford’s Sheehan High School. The victory by Law also avenged a 48-40 regular-season loss to the Spartans.

Law turned the ball over in the frantic final minute of Thursday night’s game only to get it back on a turnover with 35.2 seconds to play and looked for a last-second shot. Thacker drove through the lane and was fouled by Amity’s Elise Graham, the game’s top scorer with 22, with 3.4 seconds left. Thacker calmly sank the first shot, but missed the second allowing Amity one last chance. The Spartans, who now have a 14-7 record, couldn’t get off a shot.

“Our kids just showed real grit tonight,” said Law coach Dan Young. “We used defense and hard work to get back in this game. I’m really proud of the way we fought all game long.”

Down 47-39 early in the fourth quarter, the Eagles battled back, converting 13 of 15 free-throw attempts in the quarter where they didn’t make a single field goal.

Law was 17 of 26 from the line for the game and was led by 17 points from senior guard Jessica Centore. Laura Dulin added 12 and Erin Saley had eight.

Amity had taken a 51-49 lead when Graham made two free throws with 2:43 remaining, but Law’s Paige Szygiel knocked down two from the line, deadlocking the score at 51-51 with two minutes to play.

Amity’s Emma Gehr missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1:32 left before Law’s Saley turned the ball over only to steal it away from Amity’s Kate Helfenbein, setting up Law’s final possession and Thacker’s eventual successful free-throw.