The Staples girls basketball team delivered coach Ed Huydic his 400th career victory with a 40-25 win over Joel Barlow last Wednesday in the Notre Dame of Fairfield Christmas Tournament consolation game. He comments, "I gave it a lot of thought after we played a tough game against St. Joe's. I realized that it was something I really wanted and when it did happen against Barlow, I felt a sense of pride, a sense of validation and I felt most of all a great sense of gratitude. This gratitude is owed to my assistants, supportive parents and all the players over all the years. I am very appreciative of the support and their best wishes throughout my time."

Staples started strong with sophomore Jessica Coelho (a career-high 20 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, five blocks) dominating in the post in scoring 14 first half points.

Huydic said, "Jess was on the receiving end of some real good passes in transition but most importantly was finishing off moves that she missed against St. Joe's and she made against Barlow. I felt very happy for her and proud because she had a career game in this seventh game as a starter this year. Hopefully there will be many more 20 point games for her."

Coelho said, "My teammates are now looking inside for me which makes it easier for me to score and I have become more confident in my scoring ability."

Coelho's points came off of passes from sophomore Remy Nolan (nine points, three rebounds, three assists) and senior captain Suvi Puritpatarrapan. Puritpatarrapan said, "I drove to the basket which attracted defenders towards me. Then I dished the ball to Jess when I could."

The biggest weakness for the Lady Wreckers is their inability to rebound. However, last Wednesday was different as Staples out-rebounded Barlow, 27-21. Huydic said, "I thought part of our rebounding advantage came because we were getting after team rebounds which are shots that hit the floor or rebounds that tip off of somebody's hands and hit the ground. We were winning those team rebounds because of the high energy the team had. I clearly noticed players like Remy and [MaryKate Van Sant] who throughout the game really were able to establish space."

Van Sant (five points, two assists, two steals, one block) was a powerful force on the boards as she led the Wreckers with eight rebounds.

Other contributors for the Lady Wreckers were seniors Caroline Accardi (two points, two rebounds, two steals) and Chelsea Salamone (one assist) and junior Julie Strickland (three assists, two steals, one block).

Puritpatarrapan was voted to the all-tournament team due to her performance in both games of the tournament. She said, "It feels great to be selected. This was my third time getting this award and it means a lot to me because it represents how I play and shows the effort I put into the tournament." While playing Barlow, Puritpatarrapan didn't score as much as she usually does, but added to the win in other ways. Huydic said, "Though she only had four points in this game, the box score was deceptive because the overall floor game that she had was outstanding. She had six rebounds, four assists, and five steals. Those are strong numbers that don't show up in the box score."