Wagner sparks comeback as Ridgefield edges Warde

A young Ridgefield High girls basketball team passed its first test.

After squandering an early lead, the Tigers rallied for a 47-46 victory over Fairfield Warde on Friday night in Ridgefield.

Junior guard Kate Wagner scored a game-high 15 points for Ridgefield. Wagner's basket tied the game at 42-42 and her subsequent three-pointer put the Tigers ahead to stay.

Ridgefield led 16-11 at the end of the first quarter, but Warde scored 19 second-quarter points to go ahead 30-23 at halftime.

Down 40-34 entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers began their comeback. Ridgefield started the period on an 8-2 run that tied the score. Wagner's three-pointer gave the hosts a 45-42 lead, and Sabrina Grizzaffi added the next two points to make it 47-42.

Warde then scored four straight points to get within 47-46 with 13 seconds left, but Ridgefield was able to close out the victory.

“We were successful when we fell back on our defense, and as a result we only let up six points in the fourth quarter,” Wagner said. “If we keep playing our game, we’ll get a similar edge and will make up for any [scoring] deficits.”

“With a young team, the excitement level outweighs the setbacks of fouls or missed shots,” Ridgefield head coach Tom DiMarzo said. “We’re a defensive team first, and if we utilize those skills we can steal a win from a messier game.”

Sophomore Katie Flynn added eight points and 14 rebounds for the Tigers. Classmate Faith Arnold contributed another eight points, followed by Grizzaffi with five points. Kate Garson and Megan Klosowski each added four points and Kelly Chittenden had three.

Junior guard Toni Lamparski hit four three-pointers and led Warde with 12 points. Senior captain Caroline Aufiero finished with 11 points and Kirsten Rodriguez had eight points.

“We stayed together tonight and showed our grit,” DiMarzo said. “With our age, not every game is going to be clean, but every one will be possible [for us] to win.”