Girls hoops: Wilton gets defensive in win over Ludlowe

Although pleased with his team’s season-opening win over Cheshire last week, Wilton girls basketball head coach Rob Coloney wasn’t happy that the Warriors gave up 63 points.

So the team came out Tuesday night against Fairfield Ludlowe looking to reverse their defensive performance and, after only allowing the Falcons two points in the first quarter, the Warriors were well on their way to achieving that goal.

Wilton (2-0) came away with a 54-36 win over Ludlowe at the Zeoli Field House.

Wilton came out and played tight man-to-man defense, causing the visitors into long offensive possessions resulting in no points. But the Warrior had an off night on the offensive side of the floor. The Warriors had early chances to capitalize on the Falcon turnovers, but poor shot selection or turnovers of their own kept the game close in the first half.

“We obviously played poor on offense tonight, but great on defense,” said Coloney. “We’re not going to be able beat teams the way we shot tonight, but if you play how well we did on defense we will always have a chance to get a win. We came out of the break and had a better second half, but the coaching staff knows there’s a lot of things we need to work on.”

He continued, “One of the positive things so far this season is the team is responding to our message and I see fire in their play. We as coaches can give them a lot of tools and encouragement, but it’s up to them to improve their effort.”

Wilton opened the scoring with putback baskets by Lauren Robertson and Caroline Sweeny, but both teams struggled to score, as the Warriors led 7-2 at the end of the first eight minutes of play.

Ludlowe started the second quarter on a 10-0 run and when Bridget Paulmann drained a 3-pointer to end the run, had a 12-7 lead.

Emily Tuin answered the bell for the Warriors, knocking down a three of her own to tie the game at 12-12. Wilton closed out the period by outscoring the Falcons 9-4 to take a 21-16 lead at halftime.

Wilton came out of the break and knocked down another 3-pointer to start the third quarter, and took control of the game. All of the Wilton starters contributed as the team built a 10-point lead, 36-26, after three quarters. The Warriors used their height advantage and positioning to pull down offensive rebounds and get several more putback baskets.

Senior co-captain Sweeny, who had a game-high 13 points, used her height for six close-range buckets.

“I was able to use my height and get position for easy hoops under the basket,” said Sweeny. “Playing good on defense helped us push the ball up the court looking for quick scores. We didn’t play well in the first half, but we picked it up in the second half. We need to work on being more organized on offense and do a better job rebounding at both ends of the court.”

The Warriors opened the final eight minutes with a 10-2 run to open an 18-point lead and never looked back as they finished off the Falcons for the 54-36 win.

In addition to Sweeny’s 13 points, Claire Gulbin hit for 11 points and Robertson and Elizabeth Breslin had 10 points each.

Senior Erin O’Leary led the Falcons with 12 points.