Playing solid defense and smart offense carried the Weston girls basketball team to a 34-28 victory at Notre Dame of Fairfield Tuesday.

Weston was also quick on offense, which helped the team outplay an aggressive Lady Lancer squad. The Lady Trojans raised their record to 5-6. Notre Dame dropped to 4-6.

"We played really hard for 32 minutes," Weston coach Dan Rosen, said. "It was a tough physical game, but we had executed and had great defense."

Notre Dame Catholic began the game aggressively but the Lady Trojans quickly adapted to its tight play by passing patiently and effectively around the paint until they found openings.

By midway into the first quarter, Weston not only exhibited deliberate offensive strategy, but also began to make most of its shots. Senior captain Ellie Martin (14 points) and junior Taylor Swanson (six points, four assists) hit layups.

Defensively, junior center Anna Mahony (five points), classmate Morgan Moubayed, and senior captain Lianna Hursh (eight points) repeatedly rebounded and helped thwart Notre Dame's offense. Rosen attributed Weston's success to its rebounding advantage.

More Information

Fact box

"We really outrebounded them," he said. "We outrebounded them 25 times, as we got 36 and they got 11."

The Lady Trojans led 15-12 at the half, but during a tough third quarter, they fell behind because they missed several shots and the Lady Lancers were more aggressive than they were in the first half. Notre Dame hit back-to-back 3-pointers to take an 18-17 lead.

This lead short-lived, though, as Weston soon shot back with determined play. Specifically, with tenacious defense from all five starters and took a 24-18 lead. The Lady Trojans led 24-20 after three quarters.

During the last minute of the quarter, Swanson showed patience before passing to a teammate and fended off the Lady Lancers with her dribbling it away from from them at mid-court.

The fourth-quarter was very tense, marked by a constant but unsuccessful effort by the Lady Lancers to come back. Despite Notre Dame's aggressive play with Martin, she fought hard and continued to grab rebounds, win tussles in the paint, and make her lay-ups. Hursh rebounded and Moubayed helped around the court with rebounding and passing. Moubayed and Martin each set up a Swanson basket.

The Lady Lancers kept fighting, but their inability to finish their shots stopped them from ever catching up to Weston. They conjured up a few creative plays, but were ultimately unsuccessful in these endeavors because they missed important shots and free-throws.

Meanwhile, the Lady Trojans continued to steal it from the Lady Lancers and held on for the victory.

"We rebounded outstandingly, and we worked well together as a team, I think that's what really did it tonight," Hursh said, reflecting on her team's success.