Although the Greenwich High School girls’ basketball team gave Staples High School everything they had during Tuesday night’s Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference semifinal game, it was the top-seeded Wreckers that held on down the stretch, beating the Cardinals 62-59 inside the Trumbull High School gym.
“We needed to do a much better job containing penetration, controlling the boards, and taking care of the ball,” said Greenwich High School head coach Chrys Hernandez. “But despite that, I think that the team came out hard and played with heart the entire 32 minutes. We would have loved to be playing for a championship [Thursday night] but we must now take the loss as a learning experience and focus on the state tournament.”
Big Red was led by Ava Sollenne, as she netted a team-high 20 points and was a stellar 6-for-7 from behind the three-point line. In addition to Sollenne, Mackenzie Nelson took home 19 points and pitched in with a team-high seven steals and two blocks.
Not to be outdone was Ciara Munnelly, as she ended the night with six points and five rebounds. Jordan Moses also had a strong game, taking home seven points.
“Mackenzie paced us most of the game as she has all year, and we had a breakout game from Ava Sollenne that we have been waiting for all season,” Hernandez said. “Jordan Moses hit a few clutch shots at key moments, and Ciara’s hustle plays and rebounds fueled our comeback. But it takes a lot of energy to close a deficit as large as 13 points multiple times.”
Despite the outcome, Hernandez was proud of her team’s performance against the Wreckers.
“Obviously, we would have liked to come out on the other side of the decision, but it was not due to the lack of effort,” Hernandez said. “We did a lot of great things, and there were a lot of things that could have been improved. We were not able to go as deep into our bench as we have been all season, and ultimately Staples was able to capitalize on our mistakes.”
With the CIAC class LL tournament kicking off Monday night, Hernandez is excited about her team’s chances at making a run at a title and credits the tough conference play that helped her flock of Cardinals improve throughout the year.
“The FCIAC has historically been a powerhouse conference, and this year is no different with 13 of its 18 teams making the state tournament,” said Hernandez. “This year was unique because of the diverse talent pool that existed throughout the league. As you can see from the last two weeks of the regular season, it was a neck-in-neck race as to who would be seeded where.”