It’s usually a great sign for a basketball team when every player on its roster produces points.
That’s exactly the type of production the Greenwich High School girls basketball team got in its road game on Saturday night against Brien McMahon.
Excelling on defense and flourishing in transition, the Cardinals quickly turned turnovers into points, resulting in their second straight win to start the new year.
Senior guard Kristin Riggs scored a game-best 15 points, while junior backcourt mate Carolyn Frankle added 13 points to pace Greenwich to an impressive 69-33 triumph over Brien McMahon in Norwalk.
The victory upped Greenwich’s record to 2-2, heading into Tuesday’s home game against formidable Fairfield Ludlowe. The Cardinals wasted little time in taking control of Saturday night’s matchup. Pushing the tempo and creating turnovers, they jumped out to a 13-0 lead, held a 17-5 advantage after the first quarter and went into halftime ahead, 39-10.
“We said we wanted to come out and play aggressive man-to-man defense and have everyone helping out, that was our key to start the game,” Greenwich first-year coach Rashamel Jones said. “We wanted to come out and see if we could win the backboards, defensively, offensively and I think we did that.”
Riggs scored 11 first-half points for Greenwich, which converted most of their layup attempts during the matchup and exhibited solid passing.
“It was awesome, everyone got to score, everyone had a lot of fun,” said Riggs, one of the Cards’ captains, who has scored in double figures in each game so far this season. “This was all about teamwork and working together and it was a great game.”
Junior guard Sophia Sergio and sophomore guard Ayanna Davenport totaled six points apiece in the winning effort. Sergio helped the Cardinals get off to a fast start, scoring all six of her points during the first quarter. Her layup and pair of foul shots put GHS ahead, 17-1 with 2:50 remaining in the opening quarter.
“I think a big key to getting off to a good start was making the extra pass,” Sergio said. “The steals definitely helped us a lot as well as executing on defense.”
The Senators were led by senior Aleiyah Stanley’s 11 points, eight of which she scored in the second half. Junior Jade Marin contributed eight points for McMahon, which scored 15 points in the final quarter.
Frankle’s 3-pointer gave Greenwich a 20-5 lead early in the second quarter. Baskets from Kayla Anderson, a senior forward and senior forward Kelly Martyanov stretched the Cards’ advantage to 24-5. Frankle added five more points in the second quarter, while Riggs scored in transition, giving the visitors a 29-point halftime lead.
In total, all 12 players scored for the Cardinals.
“With everyone scoring on our team it balances out how our team plays and it makes it a lot easier for us to come together as a team and put up a lot of points,” said Frankle, who is in her first season on the squad. “Us having 69 points was a complete team effort.”
Sophomore guard Lauren Resnick scored six points, Anderson and Martyanov scored four points apiece, as did senior forward Ashley Brown and junior forward Zaniya Huggins. Senior guard Gillian Frey swished a 3-pointer, senior forward Cami Jablonski scored in the low post in the second half for two points and sophomore forward Julia Monteiro made a foul shot for Greenwich (2-2), which impressed their coach with their execution on offense.
“Today, we cut down on the number of turnovers we’ve been averaging, so we came out and did exactly what we needed to do to get this victory,” Jones said. “Every player played their roles, it was a team effort across the board, and our defensive play started it and is what carried us to the end. We wanted to get out on the break and get some easy buckets, which is what we did.”
McMahon visits Stamford on Tuesday, while Greenwich begins what should be a very competitive week Tuesday with a home game against Fairfield Ludlowe. The Falcons are off to a 4-1 start. The Cardinals will then host FCIAC rivals St. Joseph on Thursday and Staples on Friday, both of whom are strong opponents.
“It’s a challenge, but I’m excited to just have a season and hopefully, we can keep this streak going,” Riggs said. “The defense is good, hopefully we can transition to that in upcoming games. The chemistry on this team is really good and I’m really excited.”
“I’m very excited about our upcoming games,” Sergio said. “I think a big key throughout the whole year is going to be defense.”