Lady Wreckers lose to Stamford
Something had to give when the undefeated Staples girls basketball team hosted the undefeated Stamford Lady Black Knights Friday.
In the first three quarters, Staples appeared to be on its way to its fourth win with a 28-25 lead after the third quarter. However, Stamford had other plans and outscored the Lady Wreckers, 18-6 in the final quarter to leave Westport with a 43-34 victory, raising its record to 4-0. The Lady Wreckers dropped to 3-1.
Staples had a 14-8 lead after one quarter, thanks to the strong inside play of senior captain Jess Coelho (12 points, eight rebounds). The Lady Black Knights trimmed the lead over the next two quarters and tied it 25-25, but the Lady Wreckers ended the third quarter with a lead thanks to junior Erica Stein's (12 points) 3-pointer.
In the fourth, Stamford caught a few breaks. Baskets started falling for the Lady Black Knights and calls went in their favor. Meanwhile, Staples' shots were finding a lot of rim, with no net.
Stamford senior Kelsey Cognetta (15 points) controlled the final quarter and was instrumental in saddling the Lady Wreckers with their first loss.
"I thought the game was ugly. When you win ugly, it's a great thing. When you lose ugly, you go home and you fret, and you wonder why," Staples coach Ed Huydic said.
In the end, the Lady Wreckers could blame their shooting. Going in, they averaged 61 points a game. Defensively, they played well and allowed four points less than they did in last Wednesday's 50-47 win at Norwalk.
"If we're up by 11 or 12 points, we're in a much more comfortable and relaxed mode. The fact that we weren't finishing and not putting them away and Stamford's perseverance, coupled with our continually bad shooting, we had probably as bad a night as our team could have had," Huydic said.
While Huydic's players couldn't pull away with the lead early, Stamford had no luck until the second half, when it began to turn it on, and it became too late for Staples.
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"We played good defense in the first half, but we kept letting certain girls get shots and it became hard to come back," Stein said. "I wasn't getting good shots and good looks which didn't help the team. Stamford just kept getting open shots."
Huydic's captain believes the team didn't play its best game on Friday night.
"We didn't play our game, we lost because we couldn't finish and didn't execute on offense," senior captain Remy Nolan (two points, four steals) said. "I got two fouls in the first five minutes of the game so I was disappointed to sit out most of the first half. Erica [Stein] hit some great shots that I thought would bring us out alive, but I guess it just wasn't our night."
Huydic sums the game up well with his description of what went wrong.
"I thought we handled the boards well, I thought we passed well, we didn't lose on turnovers, we lost because we couldn't shoot and let an otherwise strong defensive effort go to waste," Huydic said.