Trumbull dominates No. 3 Norwalk in girls basketball
TRUMBULL — Trumbull went on the attack from the opening tip on its way to a 70-37 victory over No. 3 Norwalk on Thursday. The outcome between the host Eagles and the Bears was a tossup coming in. The margin of victory was surprising.
Trumbull improved to 11-3 overall and moved to 8-2 in the FCIAC. Norwalk is now 10-3 and 8-2 FCIAC.
The Eagles’ Cassi Barbato finished with 20 points, 12 of those coming in the opening frame when Trumbull closed it on a 19-7 run to take a 24-12 lead.
“It was a great team effort and great team win,” Trumbull coach Steve Tobitsch said. “We began to play better in our last game (a 67-51 win against Westhill) and it continued tonight. Cassi scored those 12 points in the first quarter and then everyone stepped up.”
Emma Gentry was first to begin filling in the scorebook. A sophomore, Gentry scored 7 points in the first period and had 13 by game’s end.
“I really think that we came out with a lot of energy and were ready to attack them,” said Gentry, who added 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists. “We played good defense and we drove on offense. I think that was the key. It (the season) has been so much fun. We are playing well together.”
Norwalk closed the gap midway through the second quarter when Caryn Langhorn (11 points) had consecutive hoops and senior classmate Belina Hunte drained a pair of free throws.
“Credit to Trumbull, they were prepared, they were ready and locked into the game plan. They did what they were supposed to do,” Norwalk coach Evan Kelley said. “On our end, we didn’t share the ball well. We got into a shell when we faced adversity.
“We cut it to four (24-20), but from there on we didn’t get close. This is another learning curve for us. We are still looking at the end of the season. We still have high expectations. I think we are going to have a great rest of the season. It begins tomorrow in practice.”
Trumbull mixed it up to extend its lead from four to 35-20.
Emi Roberto (11 points) sparked the run with four free throw, two rebounds and an assist. Sam Guimont, Julia Lindwall and Barbato (a three) made buckets.
“We played 10 players in the first half and all the players got in the game,’ Tobitsch said. “This team has been a pleasure to coach all year. They have worked very hard together to improve and put themselves in the position they are with six games to go.”
It was Sarah Stolze (9 points) getting it done in the third quarter. She scored inside with a nice drop-step and canned three freebies. Roberto had two hoops. Maeve Hampford and Amanda Ruchulski each hit a pair from the stripe, and Grace Lesko knocked down a 3-pointer.
Trumbull took a 53-31 lead into the final period, where Gentry connected on two 3-pointers around a basket from beyond the arc by Barbato. Stolze had all three assists.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Trumbull’s Cassi Barbato is the Eagles rock. Her ability to drive to the basket,as well as make long-range jumpers takes pressure off her teammates. A junior, Barbato is a staunch defender, tough rebounder and adept passer.
“Absolutely not,” Norwalk coach Evan Kelley said when asked if he was going to erase the tape of the game. “We are going to watch. They are going to go home and come back with a page full of notes on what they did wrong individually and that we did wrong as a unit. I’m going to look up some things for myself to make myself better and put them in better position to succeed. I’m happy it happened now and not in the playoffs.”
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TRUMBULL 70, NORWALK 37
Trumbull (11-3, 8-2 FCIAC)
Emma Gentry: 5 0-0 13; Emi Roberto: 3 4-4 11; Sarah Stolze: 3 3-4 9; Amanda Ruchalski: 0 4-4 4; Maeve Hampford: 1 2-4 4; Sam Guimont: 1 0-0 2; Mary Lynch: 0 2-2 2; Julia Lindwall: 1 0-0 2; Grace Lesko: 1 0-0 3; Cassi Barbato: 8 1-1 20 ; Brooke Guimont: 0 0-0 0
Totals: 23 16-19 70
Norwalk (12-2, 8-2 FCIAC)
Carsyn Langhorn: 5 1-2 11; Anaijah Moran: 2 0-0 4; Grace Potochney: 0 0-0 0; Jakara Murray: 3 2-4 9; Belinda Hunte: 2 2-2 6; Lamia Ashley: 1 0-0 2; Rosalinda Kennerly: 0 1-2 1; Rachel Miller: 1 0-2 2; Serenity Mayhew: 0 2-4 2
Totals: 14 8-16 37
Trumbull: 24 11 18 17 - 70
Norwalk: 12 11 8 6 - 37
3-Pointers Made: Trumbull: Emma Gentry-3; Emi Roberto - 1; Grace Lesko - 1; Cassi Barbato - 3
Norwalk: Jakara Murray-1