Stamford gets past Ridgefield girls hoop team

Despite an impressive first half and a late fourth-quarter surge, the Ridgefield High girls basketball team fell to visiting Stamford, 56-48, on Wednesday night.

Ridgefield led 12-10 at the end of one quarter and 29-24 at halftime. But Stamford outscored the Tigers, 25-8, in the third quarter to take a 49-38 lead into the final eight minutes.

“We didn’t show poise in the third quarter,” said Ridgefield head coach Tom DiMarzo. “We won three out of the four quarters, but we simply couldn’t match their fire [in the third period]."

Ridgefield got within 51-47 when sophomore guard Kate Wagner hit her fourth three-pointer of the game with just over three minutes to play. But Stamford held the Tigers at bay from there to close out the victory.

Wagner finished with 17 points to lead Ridgefield, which is now 2-3 this season. Stamford, which entered the season as the conference favorite, improved to 5-2.

“As a young team we are looking to prove we can play with anybody, and now that seems possible,” said Wagner. “Tonight we played with a chip on our shoulder, and we were looking to ‘shock the world,’ which also motivated my teammates and me.”

The leadership of senior forward Caroline Curnal continued to shine as the captain collected 16 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers.

“We’re very proud of the way we played tonight,” Curnal said. “They were expecting to blow us out of the water, but we held our ground and proved how high our energy can be in the next couple of weeks.”

Cameron McClellan added four points for Ridgefield and fellow sophomore Megan Klosowski had three points. Sophomore Sabrina Grizzaffi and freshmen Faith Arnold, Katie Flynn, and Norah McNeece contributed two points apiece.

After losing leading scorer Alexa Kellner to an injury in the first quarter, Stamford got a big boost from senior point guard Brooke Kelly, who hit seven three-pointers and finished with 24 points. Kelly Jagodzinski and Megan Landsiedel also reached double digits as they collected 10 points each. Andrea O’Connor had eight points and Jessica Nelson finished with four.

“Now, I need the girls to simply trust the process,” said DiMarzo after the game. “I think they realized tonight that they can really play, and that us being a young team won’t stand in the way of that.”

“We know how to play the game; we just need to stay poised when times get tough,” added Curnal. “It becomes a mental game, but it’s one that I definitely think we’re capable of winning."