Girls basketball: Stamford tops Trumbull to gain finals
The Stamford High girls basketball team came out ready to play well when the second-seeded Black Knights took on third-seeded Trumbull High in the FCIAC semifinals at Fairfield Ludlowe on Wednesday night.
Stamford established a 25-7 lead and then found a way to fend off the Eagles with a late surge, winning a 63-47 decision to earn a spot in Friday’s 7 p.m. FCIAC title game at Ludlowe. Top-seeded Fairfield Warde edged fifth-seeded Ridgefeld High, 51-49, in the other semi.
Camille Martinez made seven 3-pointers and finished with 25 points for the Black Knights. Tiana England ran the offense and scored 19 points. Martinez had four treys in the second quarter, as Stamford took an 18-point lead that was narrowed only to 36-22 at the half.
Stamford coach Diane Burns said, “People respect Tiana for obvious reason. When other people can step up, that’s the difference between this year and last year. I know she (Martinez) hit a lot of threes tonight, but that one (in the fourth quarter) was my favorite one, the air was out of the gym.”
Claudia Tucci, who led all scorers with 27 points, tallied on the block and Julie Keckler scored off a turnover and Trumbull had closed the gap to 40-35 with 6:26 remaining in the game.
Stamford was 0-for-5 from beyond the arc in the third quarter, when the Eagles outscored the Black Knights 9-4.
Coming out of a timeout after Trumbull extended its run to 13-4, Martinez set up on the right side and buried a 3-pointer to stem the tide.
After a turnover by Trumbull, the sharp-shooting junior guard made another trey off England’s sixth assist. Martinez hit two free throws the next trip down to take the score to 48-35.
Nina Vetter had consecutive buckets for the Eagles, but England responded with first a trey and then a 15-footer.
Trumbull had one last push, with Alyssa Breunig and Tucci scoring on drives and Tucci making a brace of free throws.
That made it 57-47 with two minutes remaining. Stamford scored the next six points.
"Excellent FCIAC semifinal game,” Trumbull head coach Steve Tobitsch said. “They (the Eagles) didn’t fold at halftime, they didn’t fold when they (Stamford) kept knocking down threes. Credit to Stamford, it was a phenominal team effort by them.
“You are limited against Stamford because they have so many weapons. I thought our girls competed for thirty two full minutes. cut it all the way to five. Two high quality teams playing each other and they shot the ball extremely well They got the better end of it.
“The lucky thing about playing FCIACs is you don’t take the jersey off for the last time tonight. We do have a state tournament game (Saturday at home versis Simsbury). They are hurting in there and I feel for them.”