Staples girls basketball team upends Greenwich
GREENWICH — Since losing to FCIAC foe Trumbull recently, the Staples High School girls basketball team emphasized two significant aspects during practice the past couple of days.
“Our goals since our loss to Trumbull, the top team in the FCIAC, are to improve our goals and improve our rebounding,” Staples coach Paco Fabian said following Friday’s road game against Greenwich. “Our team saw that they had a chance to beat Trumbull and I think that made them come out and play so hard tonight.”
Did they ever.
Displaying a tenacious defensive effort, while exhibiting impressive ball movement, Staples rolled to a resounding 67-17 victory over Greenwich in an FCIAC matchup.
The win upped the Wreckers’ record to 10-2 overall and 7-1 in FCIAC play.
Guard Elle Fair and forward Arianna Gerig scored 12 points apiece for Staples, which led 15-5 after the first quarter and 36-12 at halftime.
“We just went out there and were hungry to get every rebound and every ball the whole game,” Gerig said. “Our offense starts with our defense and we played great defense the entire game tonight.”
Forward Kate Rutter added 10 points, while forward Kathleen Cuzzi had six points for the victors.
“On offense, we knew it was important to get everyone involved and to have good ball movement,” Fair said. “We practiced different plays in practice with people in different positions to prepare for this game.”
Guard Kim Kockenmeister scored eight points for Greenwich, which was held to five second-half points.
Fair scored seven points in the first quarter to help the visitors open a 15-5 lead.
Gerig’s layup and consecutive baskets from Rutter capped a 10-0 Wreckers run, making it 21-5 with 5:25 to go in the second quarter.
A pair of free throws by Kockenmeister stopped the run, but Staples, which played a 2-1-2 zone and also used a full-court press, continued to extend its first half lead.
Forward Isa Didio added five first quarter points for Staples, which flourished on transition in the second half.
“Tonight was the best that we moved the ball ever,” Fabian said. “I’ve never seen us share the basketball so well. It was great to see.”
Said Fair: “We are determined to show the FCIAC who we are after our tough loss to Trumbull.”
Leading 36-16 at halftime after Kockenmeister swished a 3-pointer at the buzzer at the end of the second quarter, the Wreckers outscored the Cardinals, 16-4, during the third quarter.
Fair converted a 3-pointer from the top of the key, then made a short jumper, putting Staples on top, 43-12. Rutter scored on a putback and after Greenwich’s Beth Williamson made one free throw, Marley Lopez-Paul and Rutter scored from close in, stretching Staples’ advantage to 49-14 late in the third quarter.
“They didn’t surprise us with anything they did,” GHS coach Chrys Hernandez said. “The pushed the ball up the court, shot the ball well from outside and played strong defense. Our issue is to figure out how to work together better. We have to figure out what it takes to be a cohesive unit on the court.
For our young players who are out there now, this is an awakening for them. A lot of them were on strong middle school teams, but they are learning what it takes to play at a high level like this against great teams.”
Said Kockenmeister: “They did what we wish we could have done tonight. They out-rebounded us and out-hustled us for some rebounds. We are just about at the halfway point of the season, so all of us need to pick it up in order to make states. We all have to do a better job of filling our roles.”
Sophomore guard Abby Carter, sophomore guard Marisa Shorrock and Didio contributed five points apiece for the Wreckers, who shot a perfect 7-for-7 from the foul line.
“When you are winning it is really fun to get in the gym and fun to come to practice every day,” Fabian said. “They are sharing the ball and being unselfish.”
STAPLES 67, GREENWICH 17
STAPLES 15 21 16 15 — 67
GREENWICH 5 7 4 1 — 17
Abby Carter 2 0-0 5; Kathleen Cozzi 2 2-2 6; Elle Fair 5 0-0 12; Sophie Smith 1 0-0 2; Arianna Gerig 6 0-0 12; Nicole Dienst 1 2-2 4; Marisa Shorrock 2 0-0 5; Kate Rutter 5 0-0 10; Marley Lopez-Paul 3 0-0 6; Isa Didio 1 3-3 5. Totals: 28 7-7 67
Jordan Moses 0 0-0 0; Kim Kockenmeister 1 5-6 8; Michelle Morganti 0 0-2 0; Jordan Stefanowicz 1 1-2 3; Beth Williamson 0 3-4 3; Taylor Stamos 0 0-2 0; Ciara Munnelly 0 1-2 1; Marielle Povinelli 0 0-0 0; Owens 1 0-0 2; Tess Lamhaouar 0 0-0 0. Totals: 3 10-18 17.
3-pointers: S — Fair 2, Carter, Shorrock; G — Kockenmester
Records: Staples 10-2; Greenwich 3-7