Girls basketball: WHS bounces back from first loss

Coming off his team’s first loss of the season on Wednesday at Norwalk, Wilton High girls basketball head coach Rob Coloney was obviously looking for a win on Saturday in New Canaan.

But most of all, he was looking for the intensity that was lacking in Wednesday’s defeat.

He got both, as the Warriors turned in an aggressive defensive effort to knock off the Rams, 53-37.

“I can deal with losing but I can’t deal with losing for lack of effort. I feel that’s why we lost on Wednesday,” said Coloney after Saturday’s game. “I was really pleased with the overall effort, the intensity and the win.”

Wilton raised its record to 5-1, while the Rams fell to 2-5.

The Warriors took control of the game with an 11-1 run midway through the first quarter, taking a 17-9 lead. Caroline Sweeny's steal and layup to open the second quarter make it 19-9 and the Rams never got closer that eight points the rest of the way.

Wilton’s defense held New Canaan to seven field goals and forced 19 turnovers in the first half, which ended with the Warriors up 29-16 after a late inside basket by Taylor Floyd off a feed from Sophia Strazza.

Wilton put things away with a 9-0 run to open the third quarter, upping the lead to 38-16 on Lauren Robertson’s third consecutive inside basket.

The Warriors got a lot of help off the bench with Strazza, Floyd, Kaitlin Reif, Maddie Burke, Iso Casiraghi and Alexa Hirn (who actually got the spot start) combining for 24 points and 23 rebounds.

“It’s a real credit to the whole team coming off the bench and hitting the big shots. Alexa Hirn had the spot start today and hit three big threes. That was huge. Sophia Strazza came in and did a great job,” Coloney said. “We’re getting contributions from girls who aren’t Claire, Emily, Sweeney, Brez and Lauren.”

Sweeny and Hirn each had 10 points to lead the Wilton scoring, with Hirn going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. Robertson finished with nine points and five rebounds, and Strazza had six points and four rebounds.

Emily Tuin had four points, three assists and two steals, Claire Gulbin four points, five assists and two steals, and Floyd four points and four rebounds.

Reif had three points on a 3-pointer and Liz Breslin (two points, three steals) and Burke (one point, seven rebounds) also scored. Casiraghi had four rebounds.

Defensively, Wilton never allowed the Rams to get into a rhythm offensively, as the Rams finished the night shooting 25% (15 for 58) from the floor with 28 turnovers.

“The goal is to make sure that teams play into the way we want to play and fall into our game plan, rather than us falling into their game plan, so we can control the tempo and we can control the pace,” said Coloney.

The Rams were led by Leigh Charlton with 10 points and Quinn McKiernan with eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Jane Charlton turned in a good all-around game with five points, eight rebounds and five steals.

Notes: In Wednesday's 52-39 loss at Norwalk, the Warriors were outscored 21-9 in the fourth quarter. The Bears were up by one points, 31-30, after three quarters.

Tuin led Wilton with 11 points and Gulbin had nine points, while Breslin finished with seven points, five rebounds and three steals.

Sweeny had two points, 10 rebounds and three assists and Robertson finished with six points, six rebounds and two steals. Reif added four points.