By Eliot Schickler

eschickler@bcnnew.com

For the first time since 2003, the Staples girls basketball team lost to Wilton. Staples lost 52-46 at Wilton Friday to drop to 8-11, 7-10 in the FCIAC in losing its fourth straight game.

This game was a tale of two teams going into two different directions. While the Lady Wreckers have struggled lately in failing to take advantage of their opportunities (two of their previous three loses before Friday's game were winnable) while the Lady Warriors have won seven of their last eight games to raise their record to 10-8, 9-7.

Wilton was led by junior Maddie Fulton and sophomore Casey Pearsall with both players each scoring 18 points. The Lady Warriors also had a rebounding advantage over Staples and took advantage of many second-chance opportunities.

"They have good players and one of the best players in the FCIAC in Maddie Fulton," Lady Wreckers sophomore point guard Erica Stein said. "She dominated us and we weren't able to get the rebound."

No one can blame Stein for the loss. She led Staples with 18 points and was on fire from outside with five 3-pointers.

"In the previous two games, my shooting was off, so I stepped it up, worked on my shot and listened to my coaches about my shooting," Stein said.

Staples found the outside range as it canned 10 3-pointers. Junior Remy Nolan (10 points) hit three treys and senior captain MK Van Sant (six points) nailed two trifectas.

Junior Jess Coelho and sophomore Nikki Bukovsky each had four points and senior captain Nikki Brill and junior Sydney Houseworth had two points each.

Another deciding factor in the game was free throw shooting opportunities. Wilton had 31 free throw attempts, many in the games latter stages when the Lady Wreckers purposely fouled the Lady Warriors to extend the game. In a way, Staples was successful because Wilton only made 15 free throws and shot 48 percent from the foul line. The Lady Wreckers had only eight free throw attempts and were 4-8 from the charity stripe.

"We played tight defense and we fouled a lot," Stein said. "We took a lot of outside shots and didn't drive a lot, which prevented us from drawing contact [and earning trips to the free throw line]."