Ridgefield's last run too much for St. Joe's in girls semifinal

Fifth-seeded St. Joseph coach Chris Lindwall said his team “weathered” many a storm before top-seeded Ridgefield put together one last run to secure a 64-51 win in the FCIAC girls’ basketball semifinals on Wednesday night.

“Kayleigh Carson made a layup with 1:32 to go and I looked at the clock and we were only down five,” Lindwall said. “I thought, Holy cow, we weathered the storm again. But after we fouled, they made their free throws and then hit a three. Suddenly in 25-26 seconds they are back up by 10 again.”

Ridgefield improved to 15-0 and will host No. 3 seed Trumbull (13-2) for the title on Saturday. Trumbull defeated No. 7 Danbury 57-45 in its semifinal.

Ridgefield’s Kelly Chittenden scored a game-high 21 points and went 8-for-10 from the foul line in the final quarter.

Lindwall said: “Kelly Chittenden, I’ve seen enough film on them to say that was the best game she played all year. Without Katie Flynn (non-COVID illness) on the floor, she and Cali Stietzel (12 points) really stepped up their game.”

St. Joseph (11-4) was led by junior guard Carson with 17 points and junior forward Dennaye Hinds with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

“The kids overcame a lot of mistakes and I was okay to only be down two after 19 first-half turnovers,” Lindwall said. “We talked about it for two days that Ridgefield is going to press us. Ridgefield adjusted as the game went on and we adjusted. We began to rush our offensive set because of the way they were defending us. Our advantage was inside. Tonight, we just weren’t efficient enough.”

Izzy Casucci had nine rebounds and four blocks. Hinds added three steals and two blocks. Kirten Rodriguez had eight rebounds. Carson chipped in with four assists and three steals.

Ridgefield 64, St. Joseph 51

St Joseph (11-4)

Dennaye Hinds 3 4-7 10 KK Geignetter 0 0-0 0 Nicole Zito 1 0-0 3 Kate Rudini 1 0-0 2 Kayleigh Carson 6 5-7 17 Erin Parchinski 0 0-0 0 Erika Stephens 2 1-2 5 Izzy Casucci 2 0-2 4 Kirsten Rodriguez 2 1-3 5 Grace Cottle 0 0-0 0 Emily Haverl 1 3-8 5

Totals 18 14-29 51

Ridgefield (15-0)

Maya Rubio 0 1-2 1 Anna Gillan 0 0-0 0 Kelly Chittenden 5 10-12 21 Cara Sheafe 1 0-0 2 Harley Zins 0 0-0 0 Siovhan Moroney 2 6-12 11 Faith Arnold 2 3-4 7 Cali Stietzel 4 2-6 12 Kaya Weiskopf 3 2-2 10 Kate Dowd 0 0-0 0 Kelsi Wilkentoh 0 0-0 0

Totals 17 24-38 64

St Joseph 9 11 10 21 - 51

Ridgefield 12 11 14 27 - 64

3pt FG: St Joseph - Nicole Zito - 1; Ridgefield - Kelly Chittenden - 1, Siovhan Moroney - 1, Cali Stietzel - 2, Kaya Weiskopf - 2

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354