Girls basketball: Trumbull defeats Warde in state tourney
The No. 1 seeded Trumbull High girls basketball team withstood late-game pressure from No. 17 Fairfield Warde on Friday night to post a 44-34 CIAC Class LL second-round victory.
The Eagles (24-1) advance to the quarterfinals, where they will host No. 8 seed Norwich Free Academy (18-4) next Thursday night.
Twice in the game's closing minutes, the Mustangs were able to pull within four points after trailing by as many as 12 points in the game.
A basket in the lane by Shania Osborne tightened the gap to 38-34 with under a minute to play. The Mustangs were forced to foul down the stretch and the Eagles converted all six attempts. Julie Keckler made four from the line and Claudia Tucci converted on a pair.
"This turned out to be a great competitive game between two, very good teams," said Trumbull coach Steve Tobitsch. "It felt much more like a semifinal contest than one being played in the second round. Our kids toughed it out when they had to. We're happy to move on."
Trumbull split two games this year with Warde, beating the Mustangs 36-34 in triple overtime in the FCIAC semifinals, after losing to them in the regular season.
Tucci led the Eagles with 14 points and made a pair of 3-pointers, both at the start of the second quarter. She had 11 rebounds.
Keckler finished with 12 points and Taylor Brown had eight.
Warde, 15-8, was led by Osborne with 14. Iliana Krasniqi had 13.
"We just couldn't find a way to get over that mountain tonight," said Warde coach Dave Danko, who completed his 24th season that included his 400th career. "We kept chipping and got it down to four and I liked the way we were playing at the time. But Trumbull showed why they're the number one team in the state. They never lost their composure.
Jessica Lipinski 0 0-0 0; Meghan Lesko 0 0-0 0; Kristen Pagliaro 0 0-0 0; Claudia Tucci 5 2-2 14; Kelly O'Leary 0 0-0 0; Aisling Maguire 2 0-0 4; Julie Keckler 1 9-10 12; Victoria Ray 2 0-0 4; Brady Lynch 1 0-0 2; Taylor Brown 3 0-0 8
Trumbull Team Totals: 14 11-12 44
Deja Polk 0 3-4 3; Krystina Krasniqu 0 0-0 0; Libby McKenna 0 0-0 0; Shania Osborne 7 0-2 14; Jenna Ceta 0 0-0 0; Caroline Aufiero 0 0-0 0; Ilianna Krasniqu 5 1-2 13; Olivia Parisi 2 0-2 4
Fairfield Warde Team Totals 14 4-10 34
Scoring by Quarters:
Trumbull: 7 15 5 17 - 44
Fairfield Warde: 6 4 11 13 -34
Trumbull: Claudia Tucci -2; Julie Keckler-1; Taylor Brown-2
Fairfield Warde: Iliana Krasniqu-2