The Wilton High girls basketball team jumped out to a 15-1 first-quarter lead and rode the quick start to a 46-39 victory over host Ridgefield in the season opener for both teams Wednesday night.

Erin Cunningham led the first-quarter burst with 13 points, including three three-pointer in a span of one minute. Cunningham led all scorers with 18 points for the game.

"Erin was clearly mentally prepared for the game," said Wilton coach Jaclyn Porco. "She knows her role and we've made it very clear she needs to shoot. She definitely played her role tonight and we loved watching it. The team supports her shooting, and if she’s on the girls feed off it."

“I was a little nervous going into the game ... I’ve been told to shoot more and I am comfortable in that role” said Cunningham.  "I know the team needs me and others to step up and shoulder the offensive load. Missing Erica (Meyer) is a big loss and we would love to have her out there, but just means more of us need to contribute."

Wilton held the Tigers without a basket until 2:56 left in the opening quarter, forcing the home to into eight first-quarter turnovers. Ridgefield closed the first quarter on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 19-10, but Wilton carried a double-digit lead into the half at 31-20.

Haley English chipped in with 10 points in the first half to go along with Cunningham’s 16 points.

With Wilton up 42-36, Cory Cannavino came up with two big defensive plays 0n a steal and a jump-ball tie-up, helping Wilton  keep the lead at six points.

The Tigers got within four points at 42-38, late in the fourth quarter when Sandy Carpenter put in a pretty reverse lay-up for two, but Wilton went 4-for-6 from the foul line to ice the game.

Wilton's shooting from the field went cold and the visitors got their last basket of the game with 5:30 to play. Add in the Ridgefield defense shutting down Cunningham, and the Warriors committing six turnovers, and the Tigers almost pulled off a major comeback.

"We’ve gotten out to big lead numerous times in the past. It’s time we play the whole game and not give our opponent the chance to get back in it." said Porco. "We need to not get over confident and know how to work with a big lead. We need to dictate and control the play and take care of the ball."

English, who played most of the final quarter with four fouls, finished with 17 points, going 7-for-9 from the foul line.  English, who is the team’s new floor general, will have to stay out of foul trouble, as the team currently has only eight players on the varsity squad.

Notes: Wilton was without the services of 6'3" starting center Erica Meyer, who is out with a fractured hand. The time table for her return is still undetermined.

Andrea Ferrero led the Tigers with 14 points.

Ridgefield closed the first quarter on a 7-2 run to cut the lead to 19-10, but Wilton carried a double-digit advantage into the half at 31-20. Haley English chipped in with 10 points in the first half to go along with Cunningham’s 16 points.

The Tigers got within four points at 42-38, late in the fourth quarter, but Wilton went 4 for 6 from the foul line to ice the game.

English, who played most of the final quarter with four fouls, finished with 17 points, going 7 for 9 from the foul line.

Andrea Ferrero led the Tigers with 14 points.