Trumbull High's all-in approach key to success
The Trumbull girls basketball team is the only remaining undefeated FCIAC team after a 53-30 road win over Staples on Friday and a 49-32 victory over St. Joseph in the Officials vs. Cancer game at Fairfield University on Saturday.
Coach Steve Tobitsch’s Eagles boast that rare combination of talented seniors with leadership abilities, and a new wave of players that are buying into the system.
“We have four seniors — Aisling Maguire, Julie Keckler, Brady Lynch and Jess Lipinski — and each leads in their own way,” Tobitsch said after his Eagles moved to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the FCIAC with the win over St. Joe’s.
“Aisling, Julie and Brady are starters and Jess gives us a big lift off the bench. We consistently like to go with eight players in the rotation. And, more than that when possible because everyone on the team works so hard every day at practice.”
So practice does make perfect?
“We really do work well together,” said Maguire, most night’s the Eagles leading scorer. “We practice hard every day. Tonight against St. Joseph, we knew we had to come out fast because they are our rivals. The players we bring in do such a great job.”
Keckler is the point guard and relishes the role.
“All I know is they (teammates) somehow catch my crazy passes,” she said. “We (seniors) have a connection on the court, because we’ve played the game together for so long. I do love that feeling when we make a basket, or when I can put them in position to go to the foul line. Coach stresses communication and that is what we build off of as a team.”
Lynch, as the team’s tallest player has dual roles. Not only is she counted on to help against opposing team’s defenses, her ability to rebound is paramount.
When asked what the coache’s critique when they breakdown tape, Lynch had a quick response.
“I need to set screens, get rebounds, keep the ball alive so we can get extra possessions,” she said. “We have 8-to-10 players that will score the basketball — and it doesn’t matter to any of us who does it. This team is special. It’s important to all that we stay focused and stick to the plan.”
Cassie Barbato and Allie Palmieri are freshman wunderkinds — a tandem that will make you look at the roster breakdown to confirm their graduation class.
Juniors Krystina Schueler, Kelly O’Leary and Meghan Lesko are proven talents.
“Yes, it is in invaluable to have another point guard to go with like Kelly,” Tobitsch answered. “And yes, having Krystina and Meghan come on the court and contribute is crucial. Sometimes it is hard to remember that Allie and Cassi are first-year players. But, we all work hard to gel.”
Juniors Gianna Ghitsa, Bella McCain and Jenna DeSabella and sophomore Maeve Hampford round out the role players that Tobitch, and assistant coaches Jack Kelly, Victoria Pfohl, Nicole Trommelen, Kelly Coughlin and Christina Fulco, turn to when needed.
“To sustain our success, we have to keep improving,” Tobitsch said. “I believe for the first time (in the win over Staples) we played both a great half-court and full-court offense. We’re starting to get the shots we want and are communicating better on defense.
“The purpose of all our practices, and this regular season, is to hopefully be in position to make a postseason run.”