BRISTOL - Throughout the season, the Bristol Eastern girls basketball team has dropped seven games by single-digit margins.
Three of those losses were within three points - games against Farmington, Platt and Weaver.
“We talked a lot about those close games,” Lancers senior guard Hannah Maghini said. “We try not to focus on them. We just try to improve on what we did. And that’s what we’ve focused on throughout the season - coming together and finding a way to win.”
With seven wins on its season, Bristol Eastern was on the outside looking in following its win over Bristol Central on Monday night, before finding out that Brien McMahon lost its game to St. Joseph.
After that loss, the Senators must win their remaining two games in order to get into the tournament ahead of the Lancers.
“No matter if we make the tournament or not, it was good to end [with a win over rival Bristol Central],” Maghini said. “Especially as a team together.”
The Lancers haven’t missed the postseason since 1995, an added pressure for a group that has gone through adversity this season.
Early in the season, Bristol Eastern lost forward Meredith Forman to injury for the season.
Without her, the Lancers have relied heavily on younger players such as Avery Arbuckle and Sage Scarritt.
Yet, Bristol Eastern has discovered ways to keep fighting, a testament to the seniors on the roster.
“They’ve done a great job this season,” Floyd said. “With the injuries, it’s hampered their season a little bit, but I think that they kept it together. Maghini, Janick, Karly Martin, Cassie Doyon and Cheyenne Sargent did a great job keeping the team together, because we have some young kids, so we’ve had to go deep this season.”
Bristol Eastern recently lost guard Paige McLaughlin to injury as well.
McLaughlin was an outside shooter that gave the Lancers a third element behind Maghini and Miranda Janick.
With all the adversity Bristol Eastern has been through, the fact that the postseason is still a possibility is impressive.
“It was not a disappointment,” Floyd said. “If you bought a ticket to our games this year you would have been happy to watch the games, because they were always a game. They went down to the wire. Overall, I’m very pleased with this team and how the kids have developed this season.”
The Lancers still have a good shot to get back in the playoffs, with Brien McMahon still tasked with facing 15-win Wilton in its final game of the season on Wednesday.
It’s a waiting game for now.
At the very least the Lancers have been battle-tested.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org