Junior Bria Holmes and senior Andreana Thomas combined for 53 points, as Hillhouse broke away from E.O. Smith with a 22-6 fourth quarter to post a 77-50 victory in the Class L girls basketball championship game Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Holmes had 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, while Thomas added 26 points to lead the Academics to their third straight Class L title.
"I wanted to go out with a bang, knowing it was my last game and last time playing with Bria," Thomas said.
"It's not like we didn't know who they were," E.O. Smith coach Kirk Murad said. "We tried to pack in the lane as much as we can, but Thomas hit some threes. We beat them on the boards in the first half, 20-14, but they're just monsters on the boards. They just keep coming at you."
A pair of free throws by Morgan Stewart with 4:06 remaining brought the Panthers within 13 at 63-50, but Hillhouse poured in the final 14 points of the game to account for the runaway outcome.
Turnovers played a pivotal part in the contest, as E.O. Smith gave the ball up 29 times to just 12 for the Academics. The Panthers also played most of the game without top reserve Murphy Murad, who sustained a leg injury with 3:36 left in the first quarter and did not return.
E.O. Smith trailed 42-31 at halftime, and a three-pointer by Morgan Olander early in the third quarter marked the only time the Panthers would cut the deficit to single digits in the final 16 minutes.
Senior Maggie Sundberg finished her career by leading the Panthers with 16 points, while Taylor Vonasek added 14.
Hillhouse finished the season with a 25-2 record; their two losses came to Career Magnet and Mercy, who met in the Class LL finals prior to the Class L championship. E.O. Smith wound up with a 22-3 mark.