Wilton girls hoop team tops Trumbull in OT

The Wilton High girls basketball team came away with an exciting 62-50 overtime win Friday night against Trumbull at the Zeoli Field House.

“What you saw tonight was a team that played with a lot of heart and energy and had their will tested and they pulled through it for the win,” said Wilton head coach Jaclyn Porco. “Tonight was a great test for them. Last year if they were down by two points late in the game, like they were tonight, we wouldn’t have come away with the victory.

The Warriors had their mettle tested several times in the game, none more so than when they were down by two points with less than 30 seconds to play in regulation. Haley English drove the lane and was fouled with 13.7 ticks left on the clock. English stepped to the line and found nothing but the bottom of the net on both free throws, tying the score at 49-49.

“I really wasn’t thinking of anything. I just tried to clear my head of everything,” said English. “I didn’t even focus on form. I just looked at the rim and when the second one went in I was excited for the team."

Trumbull had a chance to win the game in regulation, but a three-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out.

Wilton went on to outscore the Golden Eagles, 13-1, in the four-minute overtime for its sixth consecutive win. The Warriors are now 7-1 on the season, while the loss drops Trumbull to 5-3.

The hosts got off to a good start in the game, going ahead 17-6 after Makenna Pearsall stole the ball and scored.

But Trumbull battled back and whittled the home team's lead to 19-13 at the end of the first quarter. The Warriors maintained their lead throughout the entire second quarter, which included cold shooting for both teams. Trumbull outscored Wilton, 9-8, as the Warriors took a 27-22 lead into halftime.

Once again, the Warriors were getting the ball down low to 6'3" Erica Meyer, who had a clear height advantage against the Eagles. Meyer hit for 10 points in the first half to lead her team.

"We had good results getting the ball into Erica early in the game, but they adjusted their defense and stayed home to stop her," said Porco. "I was confident when the game went into overtime, because we have had great success in overtime games in the past."

The Warriors had several chances to widen their lead in the third quarter but couldn’t supply the knockout punch. The third period ended with Wilton still holding a five-point lead at 38-33.

Erin Cunningham’s basket early in the final quarter gave Wilton a 45-36 advantage. But back-to-back three-pointers by Trumbull's Amanda Pfohl quickly cut the lead to 45-42. Another three-pointer by Pfohl, her fifth of the game, tied the score at 47-47 with 2:20 left in the fourth quarter. Pfohl finished the night with a game-high 26 points.

Wilton missed a golden opportunity to go ahead after Trumbull was called for a five-second violation while trying to inbound the ball with 1:37 to play. But Wilton turned the ball over after gaining possession.

Trumbull took a 49-47 lead with 28 seconds to play on an Alyssa Breunig basket. But English then was fouled and hit the two free throws to send the game to overtime.

Both teams turned the ball over on their first possession of overtime, but Cunningham drained a three-pointer the next time down the floor to start the Warriors on the road to a victory.

Cunningham, who was held scoreless in the first half, had seven points in overtime and finished the game with a team-high 15 points. Meyer added 14 points, while English and Pearsall had 12 points each.

Meyer pulled down 17 rebounds in the game, and Cunningham had 11 rebounds. Pearsall, who had an outstanding all-around game and drew the duty of guarding Pfohl, added five assists and six rebounds.

Notes: Several former Wilton players, home for their college break, were on hand to cheer for the Warriors.