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Girls high school basketball Week 8: A transfer for Windsor; E.O. Smith struggles with an injury

Windsor’s opponents can’t just focus on senior guard Ayanna Franks anymore.

Sophomore guard Kamaria Bowens, who transferred from Morris Catholic (N.J.) to Windsor, played for the first time for the Warriors against Newington Jan. 26 and had 19 points in the 51-42 Windsor victory. She had practiced for one day for the Warriors (9-7).

“She can breathe a little bit,” Windsor coach Brittany Huggins said of Franks, the team’s leading scorer who is heading to the University of Rhode Island next year.

Huggins said Bowens, who received a scholarship offer from Manhattan as a freshman and who is originally from Connecticut, hadn’t played much at Morris Catholic this season because there were two other highly-rated players in front of her.

“It happened really fast,” Huggins said. “One day she sat and watched practice to get a feel for us. She practiced Thursday, the day before we played Newington. I said, ‘Are you ready?’”

She was.

“What’s really nice is the way she’s fitting in with the girls,” Huggins said. “She’s bringing a fun energy to the team.”

Bowens had 20 points in Windsor’s 62-42 win over RHAM on Friday.

Top performances of the week

Bella Arcouette, Stafford: Arcouette hit two free throws with 3.7 seconds left to give Stafford a 27-26 victory over International/Aerospace Monday.

Maddie Benigni, Mercy: Benigni scored 32 points in Mercy’s 67-47 win over Amity Friday.

Amanda Gallagher, Simsbury: Gallagher scored her 1,000th career point in a win over Newington Saturday; she had 18 points and seven assists in a win over Conard and 24 points, six assists in the Newington game while holding Newington’s Bela Cucuta to 11 points.

Niya Islam, Bolton: Islam scored 20 points in Bolton’s 33-31 win over Suffield Thursday, 20 in a 50-42 win over SMSA Tuesday and a double-double (17 points, 10 rebounds) in a 58-31 loss to Somers Friday.

Emily Knowles, Conard: Knowles scored 32 points in a 69-43 win over New Britain Friday and had 24 points in a loss to Simsbury.

Kylie Lake, Old Saybrook: Lake had 22 points and 12 rebounds in a 72-45 win over Griswold Wednesday and another double-double (17 rebounds, 16 points) in a 61-33 victory over Westbrook Friday.

Kendall Miller, Newington: Miller had 10 points, 10 rebounds and eight steals in a 44-32 win over NFA Thursday.

Ruby Thenerge, Canton: Thenerge had 26 points, making 11 free throws, in a 61-45 victory over Coginchaug Monday and had 20 points and eight rebounds in a 38-33 victory over East Windsor Tuesday.

Sequoia Turcotte-Briggs, Classical: Turcotte-Briggs had 48 points, five rebounds and three assists in a 62-60 loss to Bunnell Friday.

Bailey Winner, East Windsor: Winner had 37 points in a 59-53 victory over SMSA Monday.

Storylines of the week

Simsbury had a big week, with games against top CCC teams Conard and Newington in a four-day span. The Trojans (14-1) won both, 50-46 over Conard, handing the Red Wolves their second loss of the season, and 48-38 over Newington Saturday. Amanda Gallagher scored her 1,000th point against Newington. “It was a good week for us,” Simsbury coach Sam Zullo said. “We knew Conard and Newington back to back was going to be something. I think leading up to this point, our goal was to get some of our younger kids and role players to a point where they didn’t necessarily look like role players anymore. I thought those girls did some really big things for us this week. We have people stepping up at the right times and that’s what it takes to win games like that.”

E.O. Smith (11-6) had a few rough games last week after losing leading scorer Jill Dingler to a right ankle sprain. The Panthers lost to RHAM 41-34 on Tuesday and Enfield 51-50 Friday. Coach Mary Roickle said Dingler should return for the CCC tournament but she will find out more midweek about the injury.

Games to watch

Ellington (14-3) at Bolton (10-4), Wednesday, 6 p.m.: Bolton had an eight-game win streak broken by Somers on Friday with a 60-31 loss and will look to get back on track against Ellington, one of the top teams in the NCCC.

Middletown (14-3) at Bristol Eastern (13-4), Thursday, 6:30 p.m.: Both teams are 4-0 in the CCC South and 10-3 in the CCC.

St. Paul (14-2) at Holy Cross (16-1), Friday, 7 p.m.: Holy Cross handed St. Paul its second loss of the season last Tuesday, 64-36, and the two NVL teams will have to face each other again Friday.