By RICH ZALUSKY
Chronicle Assistant Sports Editor
HEBRON â€” Itâ€™s been quite the wait.
RHAM High senior Anna Barry remembers back when she played along with a few of her current teammates on a Hebron travel squad.
The one team her squad never beat was Enfield.
Flash-forward to last season. Enfield combined with Enrico Fermi and, with the two schools consolidating and joining the Central Connecticut Conference, the newly-formed powerhouse was placed in the same division as RHAM.
Enfield won both meetings.
And earlier this year, Enfield handed RHAM its only loss of the season â€” 58-50 on January 19.
The return match-up was on Monday night â€” Senior Night for Barry, Lia Baroncini, Katie Shea, Gretchen Kron, Daphne Wampold, Jordan Synodi and Samantha Bodey.
The long wait would finally come to an end.
Baroncini led all scorers with 14 points, Barry recorded a double-double (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Gretchen Kron added 10 as RHAM (19-1 overall, 9-1 league) earned a share of the CCC Patriot East Division title with a 60-49 victory over Enfield (16-4, 9-1).
â€śThis feels really nice,â€ť Barry said. â€śEspecially to do it on Senior Night. We wanted this so bad.â€ť
The first meeting between the two teams saw Mary Baskerville, the Eaglesâ€™ 6-3 center bound for Providence College, scored 25 of her 33 points in the second half while shooting 15-of-17 from the floor overall and grabbing 17 rebounds to rally back from a 6-point fourth-quarter deficit.
â€śThat wasnâ€™t going to happen tonight,â€ť RHAM coach Keith Moyer said. â€śWe put in a different zone defense to stop her.â€ť
Barry used her athleticism inside to cut off the passing lanes and Shea clogged things up with her size to put a body on her.
â€śWe wanted to make her feel uncomfortable,â€ť Barry said. â€śWe guarded her on both sides to make sure she couldnâ€™t open up and post on us.â€ť
Said Shea: â€śWe worked so hard in practice the last couple of days. All the hard work paid off.â€ť
Baskerville finished with nine points, going scoreless in the fourth quarter, and had 10 rebounds.
Enfield built a 9-point lead in the third quarter, 35-26, scoring the first seven points after halftime with Kaitlyn Bourque hitting a 3-point shot for her only points of the night that forced a RHAM time-out with 5:35 remaining.
Less than a minute later, RHAM had answered back with seven consecutive points fueled by its press that turned Enfield over on three straight possessions.
The Sachems had 16 steals overall with Kron and Barry each recording six.
â€śOur guards are fantastic,â€ť Barry said. â€śTheyâ€™re so fast and willing to put it all out there.â€ť
Baskerville scored on a put-back with 1.2 seconds remaining to beat the third-quarter horn to put Enfield ahead, 39-37.
RHAM went ahead for good on two free throws from Jaclyn Santella with 6:25 left in the fourth quarter.
The lead grew to seven, 52-45, with 2:14 remaining and Enfield got as close as four, 53-49, on two free throws from Cat Fonseca (10 points) with 57.7 ticks left.
RHAM sealed it at the foul line, shooting 7-of-8 over the final 50.6 seconds.
â€śThe kids didnâ€™t want to lose,â€ť Moyer said. â€śThis is the biggest crowd weâ€™ve ever had since Iâ€™ve been here coaching [3 years]. Everyone contributed. We have a lot of hard-fighting kids.â€ť
It also marked the first time RHAM won a division title of any kind since winning back-to-back Charter Oak Conference titles in 1997 and 1998 under head coach Jim McGee.
Back when names like Darcy Mund, Lindsay Dakin, Sarah Conlon and Kim Custance were on the floor at Wall Street in Hebron.
Barry said she didnâ€™t even know when the last time it was. All she knew that the banner was somewhere hidden in the corner of the gymnasium.
It was Baroncini that reminded everyone in the locker room that there would be a new banner soon to be displayed.
â€śWe all just went nuts,â€ť Barry said. â€śIt was one of the best feelings in the world. It will be nice to put up a new one.â€ť
RHAM, which jumped up two spots to No. 4 in this weekâ€™s GameTimeCT/New Haven Register state poll, is the No. 1 seed in the CCC tournament and will host a first-round game on Thursday.