Girls basketball: Wilton routs New Milford in opener

Junior co-captain Caroline Sweeny won the opening tip and the Wilton High girls basketball team was on its way to handily beating the New Milford Green Wave 62-35 in the team’s season opener Tuesday night at the Zeoli Fieldhouse.

Fellow junior co-captain Emily Tuin’s layup started the Warriors on a 16-0 run to begin the game and the home team never looked back. Wilton’s first three baskets came off layups, as the Warriors took advantage of the Green Wave’s lack of size and worked the ball inside.

Wilton continued to score via layups throughout the game, as the Warriors took what the defense gave them. Wilton worked the ball around the perimeter, but kept finding teammates open in the paint for the baskets, limiting their outside shooting.

The Warriors capitalized on several New Milford turnovers to build their early lead. The Green Wave finally got on the board with a 3-pointer by Nicole Vivian with 1:12 remaining in the first quarter. Wilton led 18- 4 at the end of one. Six different Warriors scored in the first quarter.

New Milford got on track in the second quarter, but could only keep pace with the Warriors and couldn’t cut into their lead, as Wilton held a 35-18 lead at the half. Senior Erica Smith led the Warriors in the first half with 10 points.

Wilton came out of the halftime break and outscored the Green Wave 16-6 in the third quarter to give the home team a 51-24 lead entering the final quarter. Junior Claire Gulbin got things going in the second half with a 3-pointer, the team’s first of the game.

Gulbin, who led the Warriors with 12 points, was pleased they got the win but knows it’s a long season.

“It was great to start the season with a win, but we have things we still need to work on,” said Gulbin. “I think we played good on defense, but we have to work on our offensive game. We want to make sure we hit our “threes” and our layups. If they are leaving us open for layups we need to make sure we convert them.”

All 12 girls on the roster saw playing time and all 12 recorded points in the game.

“Rotating players in and out of the game doesn’t create a problem for us, as we have all pretty much have played together since the fifth grade,” added Gulbin.

Both teams scored 11 points in the fourth quarter for the 62- 35 Warriors victory.

“I’m very pleased with the team’s effort and focus tonight and to get the season off with a win,” said Wilton head coach Rob Coloney. “We’re a young team, but I’m not going to use that as an excuse. We are going to make mistakes and as long as we can learn from them and make sure they don’t turn into habits, we should do fine. We put in new offense and defensive sets so there are going to be some growing pains, but I’m confident they can go out and execute them with success”.

In addition to Gulbin’s 12 points, Smith finished with 10 points, Sweeny chipped in with nine points, and Emily Tuin and Elizabeth Breslin added six points each to pace the Warriors.

Vivian led the Green Wave with nine points and Aunalise Anderson added eight points.