Girls basketball: Trumbull edges Stamford, 39-36

Trumbull's Aisling Maguire's basket gave the Eagles the lead with 30 seconds left.
Trumbull's Aisling Maguire's basket gave the Eagles the lead with 30 seconds left.

Trumbull High and Stamford High showed why they are two of the top FCIAC girls basketball programs on Friday night.

Host Trumbull, held scoreless for just over seven minutes during one stretch in the second half, scored the game’s final nine points to post a 39-36 victory.

“This was a tough game,” Trumbull coach Steve Tobitsch said after his team improved to 8-0 overall, 5-0 in the FCIAC. “Stamford (5-2, 3-2 FCIAC) is a phenomenal team and I’m sure we’re going to see them again. It was grind it out all the way, and I’m proud of the way the girls finished the game.”

Trumbull scored the game’s first seven points and took a 10-1 lead after one period.

“We have to learn out of the gate faster,” Stamford coach Diane Burns said. “We can’t do that (start slow) against a good team like Trumbull.”

It was 21-13 at the half and 26-16 with 3:21 remaining in the third quarter when a transformation began.

The Stamford defense picked up its pressure and the Black Knights began to attack the basket.

The end result was that Stamford went on a 15-0 run, held Trumbull without a point on 12 straight possessions, and took a 31-27 lead on a pair of Andrea O’Connor free throws at the 4:15 mark of the final period.

With the lead shrinking, Trumbull’s defense was pushed.

“Our coach says keep our heads in the game and stay together,” the Eagles’ Julie Keckler said.

“We had to do a better job boxing out. We do one-on-ones in practice, helping on defense and talking all the time. We stuck together as a team.”

Claudia Tucci, saddled with foul trouble, ended Trumbull’s scoring drought with a three-point play, but a Megan Landsiedel free throw gave Stamford a 36-30 lead with 1:20 remaining.

Trumbull’s Taylor Brown buried a 3-pointer to halve the margin, and after a Keckler steal got the ball back, Tucci made a jumper from the elbow with 44.5 left to make it a one-point game.

Tucci grabbed a rebound after a missed free throw by Stamford and Aisling Maguire scored on a runner from the right wing to give the Eagles a 37-36 lead with 30 seconds on the clock.

Keckler rebounded a missed jumper and made two free throws with 9.1 remaining.

Keckler tipped a three-point trey by Alexa Kellner and Tucci grabbed the loose ball as the horn sounded.

Brown finished with 12 points, Tucci 11, Keckler 10 and Maguire six for Trumbull.

Stamford was led by Kelly Jagodzinski (11 points), Kellner (10 points) and O’Connor (9 points).

“We tried to play like a team (during the comeback), pushing the ball, getting the best shot as a team,” Burns said. “Tonight was a step in the right direction, even though we lost.”