Wilton girls hoop routs Staples for ninth straight win

The Wilton High girls basketball team proved to be too much for another conference opponent Friday night, easily defeating visiting Staples, 61-29, at the Zeoli Fieldhouse.

The Warriors are now 9-1 overall (7-1 in the FCIAC) and have run off nine straight wins.

Staples scored on its first shot of the game to tie the score at 2-2, but that would be the only points the Wreckers scored in the first quarter. Wilton held a 14-2 lead at the end of one and looked to be on its way to an easy win.

Staples picked up its scoring pace in the second quarter but could not get the Warrior lead into single digits, as Wilton was ahead 29-14 at halftime.

Wilton’s play in the second quarter was less than perfect, even as its lead increased. The Wreckers pressed in the back court, which seemed to confuse the home team. But Staples' attempt to get back into the game was stalled by its nine turnovers in the period.

Wilton opened the third quarter on a 10-2 run, thanks to Erica Meyer and Makenna Pearsall. Meyer hit for six points and Pearsall drove the lane for back-to-back baskets, putting the Warriors ahead, 39-16.

Pearsall, who finished the game with 12 points, and also contributes to Wilton's success on the defensive end of the floor as well. Pearsall, Wilton's best defender, routinely draws the opposing team's top player every game and is up for the challenge.

"I know it’s my job to shut down their best player and I go out there and give it my best,” said Pearsall.

With her team in front 46-21 after three quarters, Wilton head coach Jaclyn Porco was able to rest her starters for the final eight minutes. But Porco said the Warriors didn't perform up to their standards.

“There were times tonight that we didn’t play as well as we need to play," she said. "We need to show up for every game. Even with a big lead I need the girls to work on things to strengthen their overall play. We press late in the game not to run up the score but to work on pressing the ball."

In addition to Pearsall’s 12 points, Meyer led the Warriors with 15 points. Caraline Higgins added eight points and Christina Holmgren finished with six points.

Going into Friday night’s action, Wilton was one of four teams with one loss in the conference and trailing unbeaten Fairfield Warde in the overall standings. There were also two teams with two losses. However, many of these teams have not yet met each other this season.

"Its tough to figure out," said Porco. "We’ve given some of these teams their losses, but this is a very competitive league, and if both teams show up to play and bring their best game it will make for a close contest that is anybody’s to win."

“We have to just remain humble and work hard," said Pearsall. "Each day at practice is another chance for us to improve our game and work to get better.”