Fifth-seeded Hall closed out the game with a 6-0 run to score a come-from-behind 52-47 win over the Wilton High girls basketball team on Thursday night, in the second round of the Class LL playoffs in West Hartford.
The Warriors ended one of the better seasons in program history at 19-6.
It was a highly anticipated game between two elite teams that unfortunately had to cross paths in the second round. And the game lived up to expectations.
Hall (21-4) entered the game ranked seventh in the latest state poll, while the 12th-seeded Warriors were just outside the top 10.
Wilton took its last lead of the night, 47-46, with under two minutes to play when Zoe Rappaport drained a 3-pointer from the corner.
Alexa Gellerman hit both ends of a one-and-one to put Hall up 48-47. After a Wilton turnover, Madison Mandyck hit two more fouls shot to make it 50-47 with about 26 seconds left.
Wilton then missed a pair of free throws and Amber Raisner iced the game with two free throws for Hall with 11 seconds left.
“We were a little stagnant at times but I thought the girls for the most part executed exactly what we wanted to do. I think we had multiple opportunities to win,” said a subdued Wilton head coach Rob Coloney after the game. “They showed great heart tonight and they played for each other. It just wasn’t enough.”
Wilton played without starting point guard, and senior captain, Emily Tuin, who was sick. There were times in the game, especially in the third quarter when Wilton had only seven field-goal attempts, where the Warriors were unable to find any rhythm offensively.
Claire Gulbin had scored 11 points in the first half to help Wilton take a 24-22 lead at halftime. Hall came out of the break and took a 29-26 lead, as Wilton managed only two points over the first four-plus minutes of the third quarter.
Gulbin got Wilton back on track when she put an inbounds pass under the Wilton basket off the back of an unsuspecting Hall defender and then grabbed the ball and scored a lay-up — the second time in the game she had burned Hall on that ruse.
After an Elizabeth Breslin steal, Wilton was back on top 33-32 with 1:55 left in the third quarter when Alexa Hirn drained a 3-pointer from the corner. Wilton took that 33-32 lead into the final period.
Up to that point, Hall’s best player, Raisner, had been held to five points, but she scored her team’s first nine points of the fourth quarter, hitting four straight shots, to put Hall up 41-37.
Gulbin came right back with a long 3-pointer from the top of the key, and two free throws by Lauren Robertson had Wilton back in front, 42-41.
Rappaport was fouled after pulling down an offensive rebound, and hit one of two free throws. Caroline Sweeny later hit one of two from the line, putting Wilton up 44-41.
Raisner answered with a long 3-pointer for Hall to tie the game up, 44-44. Mandyck’s putback gave Hall a 46-44 lead with just under two minutes left, but Gulbin drove the ball to the baseline and under the basket, before finding Rappaport in the corner for the 3-pointer than gave Wilton its final lead, 47-36.
Gulbin scored 20 points for Wilton, and also had two assists.
Robertson had seven points, six rebounds and two assists, and Rappaport had seven points, three rebounds and an assist.
Breslin had five points, three steals, two rebounds and one assist, and Hirn had five points. Sweeney added three points and three rebounds.
For Hall, Raisner had 19 points — 14 of them coming in the fourth quarter — and hit three 3-pointers.
Gellerman finished with 15 points, including three 3-pointers, while Mandyck had 12 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.
Hall 52, Wilton 47
Claire Gulbin 8 3-3 20, Zoe Rappaport 2 1-4 7, Elizabeth Breslin 2 1-2 5, Caroline Sweeny 1 1-2 3, Lauren Robertson 1 5-6 7, Alexa Hirn 2 0-0 5, Kaitlin Reif 0 0-0 0, Maddie Burke 0 0-0 0, Sophia Strazza 0 0-0 0, TOTAL – 16 11-17 47
Amber Raisner 6 4-4 19, Madison Mandyck 4 4-4 12, Alexa Gellerman 5 2-2 15, Olivia Bonee 2 1-2 6, Jenna Zydanowicz 0 0-0 0, Siobhan Boyle 0 0-0 0, Olivia Deslauriers 0 0-0 0, Jordan Farrell 0 0-0 0, TOTAL – 17 11-12 52
Wilton 14 10 9 14 47
Hall 11 11 10 20 52
3-pointers: Wilton – Rappaport (2), Gulbin, Hirn; Hall – Raisner (3), Gellerman (3), Bonee