Freshman leads Greenwich to win over Ridgefield
Following victories the last five seasons, the Ridgefield girls basketball team was looking to extend its winning streak over Greenwich on Friday night at home.
But a new variable produced a different result.
Greenwich freshman Mackenzie Nelson showed why she is so highly regarded by scoring 21 points and leading the Cardinals to a 59-42 win over Ridgefield. Nelson added six rebounds, five assists and six steals as Greenwich improved its record to 5-1.
“Mackenzie’s been a great freshman presence for our league ...” Ridgefield coach Rob Coloney said. “This season is just the tip of the iceberg for Greenwich.”
“Getting to play with this group of passionate upperclassmen has been an amazing experience so far, and I’m confident in our continued success,” Nelson said.
The Tigers (3-2) stayed close early, getting six points from Katie Flynn to rally from an early 9-2 deficit and pull within 11-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Kate Wagner’s 3-pointer put Ridgefield ahead 16-14 with 4:47 left in the second period, but Nelson heated up and sparked a 16-3 run that gave Greenwich a 30-19 halftime lead. Nelson made five field goals (two 3-pointers) and added five free throws to end the first half with 17 points.
Although Nelson was limited to four second-half points, the Cardinals used tough defense to stay ahead, widening their lead to 44-27 through three quarters and then matching Ridgefield’s 15 fourth-quarter points. Another freshman, guard Ava Sollenne, added 13 points for Greenwich.
Flynn finished with a team-high 17 points for the Tigers, hitting five field goals and sinking seven-of-nine free throws. She also grabbed seven rebounds and made two steals.
Kelly Chittenden added 12 points, with 10 of those coming in the final quarter. Chittenden was a perfect six-for-six from the foul line.
Wagner contributed seven points, and Megan Klosowski, Cara Sheafe and Cali Stietzel added two points apiece for Ridgefield, which shot just 20.8% from the field.