Girls hoop: NFA tops Wilton, 41-34, in state tourney

For the second time this season, the Wilton High girls basketball team gave highly regarded Norwich Free Academy a tussle before eventually losing.

This time, however, the stakes were higher.

NFA's 41-34 victory over visiting Wilton in the second round of the Class LL state tournament Thursday evening sent the fifth-seeded Wildcats to the quarterfinals and the 21st-seeded Warriors to the sidelines. Wilton was the reigning champion in Class LL, having won the program's first-ever state title last March.

NFA (23-3) will now face another FCIAC team, fourth-seed Stamford, on Monday at 7 p.m. at Stamford High. Wilton, which graduated four starters from the 2014-15 team, ends the season with a respectable 12-11 record under first-year head coach Rob Coloney.

When the two teams met during the regular season, in Wilton, NFA won a low-scoring game, 35-34. Thursday's state contest was another point-challenged affair, with the score tied, 7-7, at the end of the first quarter, and NFA ahead, 14-11, at halftime.

The Wildcats then extended their lead to 28-22 through three quarters and denied a Wilton comeback attempt in the final eight minutes.

Sarah Fitzgerald led Wilton with eight points. Caroline Sweeny and Claire Gulbin each added five points, while Christina Holmgren, Hana Previte and Karen Brosko had four points apiece.

Emily Tuin and Taylor Ingerman rounded out Wilton's scoring with two points apiece.

Guard Hailey Conley had a game-high 22 points for NFA, including two three-pointers in the third quarter, and Cebria Outlow added 14 points (12 in the second half). Outlaw had scored the winning basket in NFA's regular-season win over Wilton.

Notes: Brosko ended the season as Wilton's leading scorer, averaging 11.2 points per game. Gulbin aveaged 5.9 points per game and Fitzgerald 5.3. Brosko was also the team's leading rebounder with 5.6 boards per game. Ingerman was next with 4.3 rebounds per game and Previte averaged 4.0.

Thursday's game was the final one for Wilton's five seniors: Brosko, Fitzgerald, Ingerman, Holmgren, and Previte.