The Staples girls basketball opened its Darien YMCA Summer Basketball League season on Tuesday with a 57-44 victory over New Canaan.

Incoming senior Nicole Brill said, "It is important to set the tone early into the summer season. These games are big indicators for what will happen in the winter season. We have been doing really well so far in the Desantis and Darien leagues and I know we can keep improving."

The Summer Lady Wreckers started off the game strong, outscoring New Canaan 32-17 in the first half. Brill, classmate MaryKate Van Sant and incoming junior Lisa Shirafuji contributed all but six of the team's first half points.

In addition to scoring, Brill was dominant on the glass. She finished the game with 20 points and 20 rebounds.

Stellar rebounding is not something new for the scrappy Brill. She is a player known for her defensive ability and work down low. However this offensive dominance was unexpected. She attributes this to her mother, "My mom always tells me that I will miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take. I am grateful that she has supported me all these years and she is the reason I've started shooting more."

Although Staples was great on offense in the first half, the key to gaining this lead was its defense. Going into the game, the Summer Lady Wreckers knew that Sarah Mannely would be New Canaan's most lethal weapon. Staples was able to limit her to only six first half points by playing a tenacious man-to-man help defense on her.

The lead that the team established in the first half was crucial to the win because the Summer Rams outscored the Summer Lady Wreckers in the second half. Mannely hit her stride by scoring 21 points after halftime.

Although Mannely stepped it up, New Canaan wasn't able to overcome Brill, Van Sant and Shirafuji.