Perry, Danbury cruise past Staples to advance to FCIAC girls basketball semifinals

Photo of Scott Ericson

WESTPORT — It is no secret where the Danbury girls basketball team holds an advantage over most teams.

With two of the FCIAC’s best low-post players in Tianna Rogers and Amar’Ryi Edwards barely getting their hands on the ball in the first half, coach Jackie DiNardo’s message to the team at halftime was clear.

“Halftime, we got yelled at. It was because we weren’t finding the post players,” Danbury guard Kianna Perry said. “The post players are very impactful players. We have to find them in our offense and get them open looks and more touches. That’s what helped us get some points on the board. The ball movement, we were able to pass the ball around quickly and get some 3s up. It was pretty amazing.”

Leading by just a point at the half, Danbury’s ball movement inside and out led to a 10-0 run to begin the third quarter and eventually helped them cruise in the second half to a 47-30 win over Staples in the FCIAC quarterfinals.

Danbury will face Trumbull in the semifinals Wednesday after the Eagles knocked off Stamford in their quarterfinal.

Danbury used a 9-0 run in the second quarter to go up 19-10 but the Wreckers went on a 9-0 run of their own to end the half, capped by a baseline jumper by Nicole Holmes, making it 23-22 Danbury at the break.

After Danbury’s run in the third, Staples never got back within 10 points.

“(Rogers) had four touches in the first half and one was her own offensive rebound. You can’t do that,” DiNardo said. “It was a different game for them once we got the ball inside. We made the adjustments but we are still rusty and we need to iron out some stuff. Going against Trumbull is going to be tough.”

The Wreckers did not have a field goal in the third quarter and only two in the fourth, scoring eight points in the second half.

“We gave everything we had, we have no excuses,” Staples coach Paco Fabian said. “Sometimes the ball doesn’t fall. I’d love to see the numbers of the shooting. I’ve never seen something like that where the ball just doesn’t fall. It’s a really bad day for that to happen. We’ve never shot like that before.”

The 30 points was the lowest point total of the season for the Wreckers, who played without starting senior forward Marley Lopez-Paul and with fellow senior forward Alva Nordin playing sparingly off the bench nursing an injury.

Sydelle Bernstein led Staples with 10 points, hitting three 3s.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Kianna Perry, Danbury: The junior scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the second half with her outside game opening up after the ball started flowing through the low-post.

QUOTABLE

“We’re so excited, but it’s one step at a time,” Perry said. “We’re not getting too ahead of ourselves. We know we have something to prove and we know the teams we are going to face coming up are going to be very tough.”

Sericson@stamfordadvocate.com; @EricsonSports

DANBURY 47, STAPLES 30

DANBURY 10 14 13 11—47

STAPLES 8 14 2 6—30

DANBURY: Viviara Flores 1 0-0 3; Amar’Ryi Edwards 2 1-2 5; Tianna Rogers 3 2-4 8; Kianna Perry 4 5-8 16; Chloe Perreault 3 2-2 8; Tenley Wallin 2 1-1 6; Gabriella Kufuor 0 2-2 2. Totals: 15 13-19 47

STAPLES: Sydelle Bernstein 3 1-2 10; Lexie Moskovit 1 6-6- 8; McKenzie Didio 0 0-0 0; Nicole Holmes 4 1-1 9; Caroline Delaurentis 0 0-0 0; Alva Nordin 1 1-2 3; Mia Didio 0 0-0 0; Jennifer Westphal 0 0-1 0. Totals: 9 9-12 30

3-point field goals: D—Flores, Perry 3. S—Bernstein 3

Fouled out: None