Girls basketball: Trumbull bests Warde in three overtimes

Claudia Tucci looks for room to shoot in Trumbull's overtime thriller with Warde. — Dave Stewart photo
Claudia Tucci looks for room to shoot in Trumbull's overtime thriller with Warde. — Dave Stewart photo

Taylor Brown took a step back to launch a game-tying 3-pointer to force a second overtime, when top-seeded Trumbull High took on fifth-seeded Fairfield Warde in the FCIAC girls basketball semifinals in Fairfield on Tuesday night.

And then the Eagles' senior forward hit a pair of free throws to deadlock the game and force a third extra session.

Free throws by Julie Keckler and Aisling Maguire gave Trumbull the go-ahead markers when the Eagles defeated the Mustangs, 36-34,before a full house at Fairfield Ludlowe.

Trumbull (17-1 FCIAC) will play defending champion Stamford High (16-2) for the title on Thursday at 7 p.m., also at Ludlowe.

The second-seeded Black Knights defeated third-seeded Ridgefield High, 59-52, in their semifinal.

Brown’s third 3-pointer of the night came off a long rebound on a missed trey by Maguire with four seconds remaining. Warde (13-5 FCIAC) never got off another shot in the frame.

“This was two heavyweight teams fighting it out,” Trumbull coach Steve Tobitsch said. “This was a battle on the defensive end. Both teams know each other so well. They have great players over there, we have great players and we both wanted to make it to Thursday night.”

The Mustangs took the lead in the second overtime on a basket by Olivia Parisi.

Warde coach Dave Danko said, “The basketball gods were a little tricky with those rims, balls going in and out. We battled from start to finish. I’m proud of them (his Mustangs). I told the girls, if we both win (in the first round of states), we get another chance at them in Trumbull."

Brown’s two freebies tied the game for the sixth time, four times in regulation.

In the third overtime, Keckler made one of two 11 seconds into the four-minute session.

Maguire added her free throw on a second attempt with 16.2 on the clock.

Warde looked to go low to Shania Osborne, but Brady-Ayn Lynch blocked the shot, Brown grabbed the loose ball and fed Maguire as the clock ran out.

Brown scored 11 points to lead Trumbull.

Keckler had seven points, Maguire six and Victoria Ray and Claudia Tucci divided 10 markers.

For Warde, Iliana Krasniqi scored nine points, Osborne eight, Parisi seven and Dana Polk six.