Hillhouse girls headed back to State Championship! Career boys onto Class M semis.

“You open up the floor and you’re going to see magic out there,” said Hillhouse coach Catrina Hawley-Stewart about Holmes. “It’s hard to defend a 6-foot guard who has a really quick dribble, (who) can shoot and score at will.”

Hillhouse closed out the first quarter with a 15-6 lead. That’s when Holmes really began to shine. She came up with an emphatic block on Katie Mahoney, the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year, in transition early in the second quarter.

Holmes followed with back-to-back 3-pointers and a coast-to-coast drive to highlight a single-handed 8-0 run. That gave the Academics a 23-6 lead with just 5 minutes before halftime.
Career moves on

A low-scoring affair took place at Wilbur Cross Friday night. Neither team, Career or Weaver, had more than a 5-point lead in the game. Career came from behind and held off Weaver 55-52 in the Class M state quarterfinals, thanks to some great free-throw shooting in the fourth quarter (10 of 11) and a steal by guard Brandyn Benson in the final seconds to prevent a last-second three-point attempt by Weaver.

Now top-seeded Career makes its first appearance ever in a state semifinal Tuesday night, facing No. 4 Enfield at New Britain for the right to head to the Mohegan Sun next weekend. Career is the only team from New Haven left in the entire tournament.