The only regular-season game that the Trumbull girls basketball team lost last season came in in a one-point setback to Ridgefield on Jan. 20.
Nearly one year later, Trumbull avenged that setback and stayed unbeaten this season.
Recovering from a sluggish first quarter, the Eagles opened a seven-point halftime lead and went on to beat host Ridgefield, 58-44, on Thursday night.
Trumbull improved to 7-0 while the Tigers dropped to 3-4 with their third straight loss.
Ridgefield was within nine points, 50-41, with just under two minutes left in the fourth quarter. But with the Tigers forced to foul, Trumbull secured the victory by hitting its foul shots. Trumbull converted 11-of-15 free throws in the final period.
“We didn’t quite meet Ridgefield’s intensity at the get-go, but we came to match them for the remainder of the game,” Trumbull head coach Steve Tobitsch said. “We executed well down the stretch and were able to pull away and find that redemption from last year.”
With its full-court pressure bothering Trumbull, Ridgefield opened a quick 5-0 lead and was ahead 9-7 at the end of the first quarter. But the Eagles adjusted in the second quarter and outscored Ridgefield, 16-7. Kelly O’Leary’s three-pointer gave Trumbull a 23-16 halftime lead.
The Eagles were ahead 34-29 entering the final quarter before Ridgefield closed within three points with 5:25 to play. But Trumbull then hit nine free throws to pull away.
“We expected a lot of fight from Trumbull and we got one,” Ridgefield head coach Tom DiMarzo stated. “Our lack of scoring left too small a margin of error, and we ended up not being able to compensate.”
Sophomores Cassie Barbato and Ali Palmieri each scored 14 points and senior Krystina Schueler added 12 points for Trumbull. All three of those players were pivotal in the fourth quarter, with Palmieri and Schueler each contributing seven points and Barbato adding six points.
“This was our game this year; it was tough losing by one [last season] and we knew we could win this game tonight,” Barbato said. “Our strong defense inspired our offense and helped us keep our perfect record.”
O’Leary finished with seven points for Trumbull and Meghan Lesko had five points.
Junior Megan Klosowski led Ridgefield with 10 points, followed by classmate Kate Wagner and sophomore Katie Flynn with eight points each. Norah McNeece added five points and Kate Garson had four.