Ridgefield girls hoop romps into FCIAC semis

Despite losing starting center Elizabeth Middlebrook to an injury in the first quarter, the Ridgefield High girls basketball team had no trouble booking a spot in the conference semifinals.

The second-seeded Tigers opened a big lead early and romped to a 74-61 triumph over seventh-seed Greenwich in the second game of an FCIAC quarterfinal doubleheader Saturday evening at Ridgefield High School.

Ridgefield (17-4) will now face third-seed Stamford — which routed sixth-seed Danbury, 66-42, in the first game of the doubleheader — in the semifinals on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Fairfield Ludlowe. Top-seed Trumbull and fifth-seed Fairfield Warde will play in the second semifinal Tuesday at 7:45 at Ludlowe.

Middlebrook, a 5'10" senior, was injured while falling to the floor with two minutes left in the opening quarter and did not return. But the Tigers more than compensated, building leads of 28-17 at the end of the first period and 45-25 at halftime. Ridgefield was ahead 59-39 through three quarters and maintained its 20-point spread until Greenwich went on a late run in the game's final minutes.

"I think we did great offensively," said Ridgefield head coach Tom DiMarzo. "However, I don't like to see them put up 61 points."

Junior forward Caroline Curnal had another monster effort for the Tigers, scoring 23 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Curnal also had a team-high five steals.

Grace Goodwin added 19 points for Ridgefield, while Meaghan O'Hara contributed 17 points. Claire Middlebrook finished with eight points and freshman Kate Wagner had five points.

Now the Tigers turn their attention to Stamford (17-4), which beat Ridgefield in the semifinals last season and went on to win the FCIAC title and the Class LL state championship.

"They're a tough team and know how to play great defense and win," said DiMarzo about the Black Knights, who lost to Ridgefield, 43-39, earlier this season. "It's going to be interesting."

Press Sports Reporter Jimmy Green contributed to this story.