Girls hoop: Wilton beats Ludlowe to snap three-game slide

The Wilton High girls basketball team ended its three-game losing streak with a 54-41 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe on Friday afternoon at the Zeoli Field House.

The Warriors, already without the services of senior captain Caraline Higgins (concussion), found out before the game that another senior captain, Taylor Ingerman, was a no-go due to an ankle injury.

But first-year head coach Wilton head coach Rob Coloney regrouped his team, sending them onto the court with a vote of confidence.

"Although we had lost the past three games, the team has kept a positive outlook and attitude towards today’s game” said Coloney.“We had good practices this week. We structure our practices towards what we expect to see from our next opponent. Today, all the girls contributed to this victory, which makes it a team win.”

Ludlowe got on the board first with a three-pointer from Julia Pangallo for a 3-0 lead. But the Falcons' lead was quickly erased by three baskets by Christina Holmgren. Ludlowe connected on another trey to tie the game at 6-6, but Wilton senior captain Karen Brosko drained two baskets to regain the lead for the Warriors, who were ahead, 15-13, at the end of the first quarter.

Play slowed at the beginning of the second quarter, with the Falcons holding a 19-18 lead with 3:33 to play in the half. That, however, would prove to be the last time the Falcons were in front, as the Warriors closed the second period by outscoring the Falcons, 9-2 — fueled by five points from Claire Gulbin — to lead 27-21 at halftime.

"At halftime we were up six [points] and I told them to keep their foot on the gas," said Coloney about his halftime message.

Wilton got early third-quarter baskets from Brosko and Caylin Cannavino to increase its lead to 11 points, at 32-21. Cannavino’s basket was assisted by Brosko, who dove on the floor for a loose ball before feeding Cannavino.

The Warriors had chances to add to their lead, but Ludlowe hung tough and started a comeback run, pulling to within 34-29 late in the period. But Cannavino, who scored eight points in the third quarter, went off the glass for two just as the buzzer sounded to give the Warriors a 40-31 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Wilton did keep its foot on the gas in the fourth quarter to close out Ludlowe and get the win. Holmgren, who started the contest with three baskets, ended it with three more buckets and finished with a team-high 14 points for the Warriors. She was followed by Brosko and Cannavino, who each added 13 points.

The Warriors played solid defense, as Ludlowe worked the ball around the perimeter, looking for open looks or passes into the post.

"The win today was key, and I felt we matched up better against this team than the one (Fairfield Warde) in our last game," said Cannavino. "We also played as a team today, seeing more of what was going on, on the floor, and our passing was much better. We all have to be mentally prepared each game, and if one player is a little off we need someone else to step up for us to win and support our teammates."