Trumbull holds on to beat Ridgefield
With under three minutes left Friday night, the Trumbull girls basketball team had a seven-point lead over Ridgefield. But the Tigers then scored the next six points to close within 35-34.
Trumbull’s answer came at the foul line. The Eagles made six consecutive free throws to emerge with a 42-34 victory at home.
Emi Roberto (10 points) hit a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left for a 37-34 Trumbull lead. After Grace Lesko rebounded a Ridgefield miss, Cassi Barbato converted four straight foul shots to close out the triumph as Trumbull improved to 7-2.
“It was a good team win,” said Barbato, who finished with 11 points. “I think we are doing very well this season. We are starting out strong, hustling every game and playing hard. That is all the coaches and players can ask for from each other.”
“I told the girls after the holiday tournament that everyone on the schedule you can beat and every one on the schedule can beat you,” Trumbull coach Steve Tobitsch said. “You saw it tonight; it was a one-point game with a minute to go. Give Ridgefield credit; we always have good battles with them. I’m real proud of my group.”
“What I love is the heart and the energy and the commitment to each other,” Ridgefield first-year coach Rob Coloney said about his players. “They don’t back down. Some teams get behind, and 12 [points] can turn into 20, especially against Trumbull, which is so well coached. I’m proud of that (not backing down) and that keeps me going and keeps us going.”
Trumbull led 10-7 after one quarter, as Sarah Stolze scored five of her 11 points and assisted on a basket. Katie Flynn and Cara Sheafe each had four points for the Tigers.
The Eagles increased their advantage to 22-11 behind Roberto’s three hoops and Emma Gentry’s 3-pointer off a Lesko assist.
Ridgefield mounted a comeback, with Flynn getting two baskets and Sheafe working hard inside to score on put-backs in the closing seconds and cut Trumbull’s lead to 24-19 at the half.
Defense dominated the low-scoring third quarter, which ended with Trumbull ahead 32-25.
Flynn, a second-team All-FCIAC selection as a sophomore last season, scored a game-high 12 points for Ridgefield. Kate Wagner added nine points and Sheafe had seven points.
“I think for me, coming into a completely new team and environment, I love their thirst to get better,” said Coloney, whose team is now 3-4. “We come here, we are down by a bunch and cut it to one. That’s because they believe in themselves. They are going to fight through ... scoring will come in time, getting a system in place. We’ll continue to put them in the best position to be successful. I commend them and Trumbull for the way they played tonight.”