Still unbeaten: Wilton girls hoop team edges Cadets (updated)

The Wilton High girls basketball team stayed undefeated Tuesday night with a harder-than-expected, 47-42 win over St. Joseph at the Zeoli Field House.

The Warriors, who are now a perfect 10-0 on the season, stretched their regular-season winning streak to 26 games.

“It wasn't pretty, but bottom line we came away with the win,” said Wilton head coach Jaclyn Porco. “They played us hard and gave a great effort. We didn't play well tonight, but good teams find a way to win and that's just what we did tonight.

“We played through being behind and I’m proud that the team stayed calm to come away with the victory,” added Porco. “When your team is unbeaten it's going to bring the best out of your opponent, who's trying to knock you off. Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call that we have to bring our best game to the court, because every opponent will be looking to take us down.”

The flow of the game was directly tied to turnovers, primarily who made them and who didn't. The Cadets came out firing and got out to a big 20-8 first-quarter lead on the strength of four three-pointers. Eight of the first 10 Cadet shots were from three-point range.

St. Joseph did not turn the ball over in the first quarter, while the Warriors committed several turnovers. Wilton was also a little slow to react getting back on defense, allowing St. Joseph several uncontested easy baskets. St. Joseph finished the first quarter with a 7-0 run.

The second quarter saw the game take a 180-degree turn in turnovers and on the scoreboard, as the home team out-scored St. Joseph, 16 -2, to take a 24-22 lead into halftime. A Karen Brosko steal and basket started the home team on a 14-0 run to close out the period, which ended with a put-back basket by Erin Cunningham with 27 seconds remaining. Wilton forced eight Cadet turnovers and tightened its defense to get back in the game.

St. Joseph regained the lead in the third quarter at 30-27, but the Warriors again battled back to tie the game at 34-34 at the end of the third period.

Cunningham went left hand off the glass for a basket to open the final quarter and give the Warriors the lead for good at 36-34. Wilton started the quarter on an 8-2 run for its biggest lead of the night at 42-36 with 5:19 to play. But the Cadets didn’t quit, pulling to within two points, 44-42, before Wilton went three-for-four from the foul line to end the game.

With less than a minute to play the Cadets committed their only turnover of the fourth quarter and mis-fired on two close-range shots, failing to tie the score. St. Joseph also had an open three-point attempt with less than 10 seconds left, but the shot was off the mark.

Wilton had numerous chances to put some distance between itself and St. Joseph, but turnovers on errant passes and quick shots with no one under the boards kept the contest anybody's game.

Erica Meyer led the scoring for Wilton with 15 points, followed by Cunningham and Brosko with 11 points each, and Haley English with eight points. Meyer also had five blocked shots. Meyer's final block came with just under four minutes to play with Wilton ahead 42-40.

Shannon O'Meara had 15 points for the Cadets, 13 in the first half.

Notes: The Warriors had little trouble in defeating host Staples, 52-23, last Friday night in Westport, holding the Wreckers to only seven points in the second half.

Wilton was led by Cunningham with 14 points. Cori Cannavino had 13 points and Meyer added 11 points. Meyer also contributed 11 rebounds.

Abigail Lustig had 14 points for Staples.