The Trumbull High girls basketball team heads down the stretch of its season knowing that every game going forward will be key to its hopes of getting the best seed for the FCIAC and state tournament.

The journey began with a home game with Fairfield Ludlowe on Thursday night.

“My number one message to my team was that we wouldn’t play a team with more effort or energy than Ludlowe,” Trumbull head coach Steve Tobitsch said after his Eagles broke open a tight game in the middle two periods to win going away, 55-38.

“I thought our defensive intensity picked up in the second quarter and the leadership from our four senior captains took over in the third quarter.”

Trumbull improved to 9-3 overall and 8-2 in the FCIAC. Ludlowe is 5-6.

Senior captain Amanda Pfohl scored six of her eight points on a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter that helped Trumbull to a 14-13 lead.

“Give them credit, we came in looking to slow Amanda Pfohl, but they are the whole package, a solid program,” Ludlowe head coach Sarah Huntington said.

The game was locked in a battle at 22-20 when the Eagles sprung their trapping defense on the Falcons.

Three straight steals off a defensive trap gave Trumbull six points and a 28-20 lead with two minutes remaining in the half.

Senior captain Katie O’Leary started the stretch with a halfcourt steal that led to an inside bucket by junior Nina Vetter.

After a Ludlowe timeout, junior Alyssa Breunig stole the ball near the sideline, and on the subsequent possession made a strong drive from the wing that resulted in a three-point play.

Senior captain Kalisse Eldridge was next to strike, stealing a pass and feeding Vetter inside, where she was fouled and made a free throw.

That completed an 8-0 run and allowed the Eagles to take a 30-22 lead into the break. Trumbull shot 8-for-10 from the foul line in the period.

Ludlowe went to a man defense to try and get a transition game going to open the third quarter, but Trumbull was patient and scored on three straight possessions to take a double-digit lead it never surrendered.

Eldridge had consecutive three-point plays and scored eight straight points for the Eagles to open the second half.

O’Leary followed with consecutive buckets, one off a pass from sophomore Claudia Tucci. Pfohl assisted on a Tucci basket on the block and Breunig tallied on a put back, as  Trumbull took a 47-26 lead into the fourth quarter.

Eldridge finished with 16 points, O’Leary 10, Tucci nine and Breunig seven.

Breunig and Eldridge each had eight rebounds. O’Leary had six assists.

Ludlowe’s Charlotte Blatt finished with 17 points and was 6-for-6 from the foul line. Alex McKinnon scored 12 points.