Basketball is a game of runs and the Greenwich High School girls basketball team witnessed firsthand Friday just how damaging large spurts can be.
Ridgefield, playing its first game of the season after a home contest against Staples got snowed out on Wednesday, dealt the host Cardinals a 61-29 loss. The Tigers (1-0) began the game on a 12-0 run and then started the second quarter on a 14-2 spurt to take a 20-point halftime lead. Small forward Emily Favorite scored 17 points to lead Ridgefield. The Cardinals dropped to 0-2.
"We wanted to come out on top," Tigers coach Katie Smith said. "The girls did a phenomenal job. Emily Favorite is a talented basketball player who works really, really hard."
GHS, which lost at St. Joseph 50-32 on Wednesday, struggled to keep up with Ridgefield and its tight man-to-man defense in the first half. The Cardinals missed wide-open layups, shot airballs and passed balls out of bounds.
"I don't think we were mentally prepared for this game," said senior co-captain Erin Laney, who scored 11 points to lead Greenwich. "Sometimes we just stop thinking because we want this win so bad. We could have had this game except we were one step behind them."
The Tigers, whose starting lineup didn't have the presence of a senior because Abby Searfoss is out injured, controlled the boards for most of the contest. For instance, late in the second quarter Kathryn Cholko grabbed the rebound after missing her second free throw attempt. She made a shot in the paint and was also fouled. Cholko again missed the foul shot, but teammate Molly Welch snared the loose ball, got fouled and made one of two free throws to give Ridgefield a commanding 26-9 advantage.
"The first and second quarters for us is key to starting on a positive note," Cardinals coach Danielle Morgan said. "They jumped right on us. They were quick in getting their shots off."
It was more of the same theme in the third quarter. In fact, GHS managed only two points in the period. Nine different players scored for the Tigers. In addition to Favorite's 17, forward Michelle Gibbons had 12 points.
Greenwich outscored Ridgefield 13-9 in the fourth quarter. Cardinals point guard Angie Jaramillo scored four of her six points in the period. Laney added five points and junior Jessica Fiscella and junior Tori Dobson each scored a basket.
"We played with our hearts in the fourth quarter," said Jaramillo, a sophomore. "We could have done better (the rest of the game). I think we went out there too relaxed."
The Cardinals look to notch their first win when they travel to Brien McMahon on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Ridgefield plays Staples on Monday in a make-up game from earlier this week. Smith said that Searfoss, one of the team's two captains, will not play in that game due to her injury but should return before Christmas.
Kathryn Cholko 3 2-5 8; Michelle Gibbons 5 2-4 12; Emily Favorite 6 5-6 17; Molly Welch 2 2-3 6; Brooke Antonitis 3 0-0 6; Leah Petrucelli 2 0-0 4; Lauren Eckstrom 0 4-4 4; Holly Brennan 1 0-0 2; Elizabeth Abercrombie 0 2-2 2; Totals: 22 17-24 61.
Angie Jaramillo 3 0-2 6; Jennifer Biagiotti 1 1-1 3; Jessica Fiscella 2 0-0 5; Tori Dobson 2 0-0 4; Erin Laney 3 5-8 11; Sandra Colon 0 0-2 0; Totals: 11 6-13 29.
RIDGEFIELD 12 22 18 9--61
GREENWICH 7 7 2 13--29
Fouled Out: G--Dobson.