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Masuk boys to host state tourney game after hard-fought SWC setback

Alex Simoulidis and the Panthers will host a first-round state playoff game on Tuesday, March 5.

STRATFORD, C.T. — Seeded sixth in the South-West Conference Tournament the Masuk High boys basketball team nearly pulled off a playoff-opening upset at third-seed Bunnell in the quarterfinals held on Feb. 23.

The Panthers fought back to tie the game before Bunnell hit the game-winning shot in the waning seconds to advance to the semis with a 72-70 victory.

Masuk will look to rebound in the Division III State Tournament. Masuk, 11-9 in the regular season, is ranked 15th and Bunnell (15-5) is ranked fifth. The official seedings and brackets were announced Wednesday.

The Panthers will host No. 18 Ansonia on Tuesday, March 5, at 6:30 p.m. The winner will advance to visit No. 2 Lewis Mills in the second round two nights later.

In the game against Bunnell, Mitch DeBernardo hit a 3-pointer, one of a pair from behind the arc in the final quarter, to knot the score at 70-apiece with about 25 seconds to go.

Tyler Newsom also hit a late 3-pointer to help the Panthers stay in the game. Newsom scored 24, Ethan Palma had 16, and DeBernardo and Alex Simoulidis both contributed 10 points.

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