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Staples girls hold off Warde

Updated 5:01 pm, Monday, February 4, 2013
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In a span of just over eight minutes, the Staples High girls basketball team saw its once-commanding lead over Fairfield Warde fall apart.

The Wreckers, however, managed to recover.

After Warde came back from 10 points down to tie it in the first minute of the fourth quarter, Staples responded and pulled away for a 46-39 win at home.

Staples, which led 30-20 at halftime, got a game-high 17 points from Nicole Bukovsky. The senior guard put the Wreckers up 37-33 early in the fourth -- just seconds after teammate Abigail Lustig broke a 33-33 tie with a bucket -- and hit a free throw to extend the lead to five.

"Having a 12-point lead (cut) down to basically nothing, to win shows the courage and the heart of the team," said Staples coach Ed Huydic, whose team improved to 6-10. "This was a fantastic win."

Senior guard Erica Stein added 13 points for Staples, while Lustig scored eight.

Staples led just 16-14 after one quarter, but stormed ahead in the second with a 14-0 run. The Wreckers built their largest lead of the game, 30-18, right before halftime.

"I thought we handled their two (defenders) to the ball very, very well in the first half. We found some good open looks and were able to attack for same layups," Huydic said.

Losing for the sixth time in seven games, Warde (7-9) got 13 points from freshman forward Mollie Kerrigan and nine from junior guard Tiara Fountain.

Despite falling behind early, Warde owned the third quarter. The Mustangs held the Wreckers without a field goal in the quarter, and outscored them 11-3.

"The third quarter, the lull was visible to me. We lost our discipline," Huydic said. "We started to get some open looks but couldn't finish them because I thought we were just a little too jazzed up."

Trailing 33-31 after three quarters, Warde evened it 33-33 on a bucket by Kenzie Burns (seven points) early in the fourth. The Wreckers, however, responded with a 10-4 run.

Staples, which hit 14 field goals in the game, relied heavily on the free-throw line for points down the stretch. Twelve of the Wreckers' 15 points in the second half were scored from the charity stripe.

"To get to the foul line and to finish there," Huydic said, "was crucial."

Fountain cut Staples' lead to 38-37 midway through the fourth, but missed a free throw to tie it. The Wreckers extended their lead to 43-37 by connecting on five of their next six free-throw attempts.

Warde's Lejla Markovic cut the lead to 43-39 in the final minute, but Staples closed out the game by hitting three more free throws.

dbonjour@scni.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 114; twitter.com/DougBonjour

STAPLES 46, FAIRFIELD WARDE 39

WARDE (7-9)

Michele Treglia 1 0-2 2 Kenzie Burns 3 0-0 7 Lejla Markovic 1 0-2 2 Jacqui Lanese 0 0-0 0 Mollie Kerrigan 6 1-4 13 Carley Strachan 0 0-0 0 Kaitlin McKenna 3 0-0 6 Charlotte Choinski 0 0-0 0 Gabby Howard 0 0-0 0 Rachel Maltz 0 0-0 0 Sam Schwartz 0 0-0 0 Sarah Cotto 0 0-0 0 Samantha Dunn 0 0-0 0 Tiara Fountain 3 2-3 9 Mary Kate McTague 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 3-9 39.

STAPLES (6-10)

Margaret Fair 0 0-0 0 Allison April 0 4-6 4 Abigail Lustig 2 4-6 8 Dayna Gelman 0 0-0 0 Fallon Bottone 0 0-0 0 Madeline Schemel 1 0-0 2 Nicole Bukovsky 6 3-5 17 Kelsey Bobrow 1 0-0 2 Sophie DeBruijn 0 0-0 0 Erica Stein 4 3-4 13. Totals 14 14-21 46.

WARDE 14 6 11 8 -- 39

STAPLES 16 14 3 13 -- 46

3-pointers: W -- Burns, Fountain; S -- Bukovsky 2, Stein 2.

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