Greenwich High

Greenwich girls basketball team defeated by top-seeded Enfield in second round of CIAC Class LL Tournament, 54-41

Photo by Antonio Monteiro: Greenwich junior guard Sophia Sergio, left, drives to the basket during the first half of the Cardinals’ CIAC Class LL Tournament game against Enfield. The Cardinals were eliminated by Enfield.

Holding a one-point lead on top-seeded Enfield, then trailing by just a point heading into halftime, 16th-seeded Greenwich was indeed, in prime position to post an upset win on the road in the second round of the CIAC Class LL Girls Basketball Tournament.

Yet after being held to 17 points in the opening half, the Eagles soared offensively in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter. Behind a 22-point fourth quarter, No. 1-seeded Enfield pulled away for a 54-41 victory over Greenwich in the Round of 16 of the Class LL Tournament.

The Eagles (21-2), host Southington in Monday’s Class LL quarterfinals at 7 p.m. Greenwich ended its season with a record of 13-10. The visiting Cardinals held a 10-8 lead following the first quarter, faced just a 17-16 halftime deficit and entered the third quarter behind 32-27.

“We were down by only one to the No. 1 team in the first half and were in the game the whole time,” said Greenwich assistant coach Tony Hernandez, who for the second straight game, led the team along with assistants Megan Wax and Jayla Faison. Head coach Rashamel Jones, who took over the helm this season, could not attend the game and also did not coach in the Cardinals’ 43-40 win over visiting Conard in the tournament’s opening round on Monday, as he took a leave of absence from the team.

“Our girls played as hard as they could,” Hernandez continued. “We were a little bit undersized and they took advantage of their matchups.”

Senior forward/center Kelly Martyanov scored 12 points to pace the Cardinals. Junior guard Sophia Sergio totaled nine points, including two 3-pointers, while junior backcourt mate Carolyn Frankle had seven points for the Cards, who played solid defense throughout. Gillian Frey, a senior guard, made two 3-pointers off the bench for six points and senior guard Kristin Riggs added four points for the visitors.

Photo courtesy of Antonio Monterio: Greenwich’s Kristin Riggs looks to pass the ball during a Class LL playoff game vs. Enfield on March, 3, 2022, in Enfield. The Cardinals were defeated, 54-41.

“We have been researching this team for a solid week, so we were very well prepared for this game,” said Riggs, who served as a team captain last season and this season. “We were right in the game for the first three quarters, then it just got away from us in the fourth quarter.”

Junior forward Amyah Rosado scored 18 of her game 20 points in the second half, doing damage in the low post for the Eagles. Alyssa Rossignal, also a junior, poured in 20 points for the victors as well, scoring 11 in the first half.

“I feel like we got to our offensive game plan in the second half,” Enfield coach Jay Gaucher said. “We tried to take advantage of a mismatch we thought we had. We moved the ball and we had a little more patience on offense.”

Photo by Antonio Monteiro: Kelly Martyanov of Greenwich shoots a jump shot against Enfield in the Class LL tournament.

The home team jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Greenwich scored seven straight points, behind three points from Sergio, a basket in the post by senior forward Kayla Anderson and a layup off a steal from Frankle. Sergio swished a 3-pointer, giving GHS a 10-8 edge going into the second quarter.

“I think we boxed out very well in the first half and we were just there mentally and we wanted the game for sure,” Sergio said.

A floater by Frankle, followed by a 3-pointer at the top of the key put Greenwich ahead, 16-15 with 48 seconds to go in the second quarter. Rosado’s layup just before the buzzer sounded put the Eagles ahead 17-6 at halftime.

“Both teams played hard,” Gaucher said. “They made some shots, I thought we played a little bit fast too early and we got into foul trouble. They did a great job with their game plan, so we felt good just getting to the half up one.”

Greenwich’s Kayla Anderson, center, goes up for a rebound during the Cardinals’ state tournament game against Enfield.

Consecutive baskets in the post by Martyanov gave Greenwich a 20-17 advantage early in third quarter. However, Enfield went on the pivotal run of the game – a 13-0 spurt – to seize a 30-20 lead.

After Rosado converted a layup, freshman Alyssa Hosig swished a short jumper, giving Enfield the lead for good at 21-20 at the 4:52 mark of the third quarter. Rosado then scored the game’s next nine points, including a 3-pointer that stretched the Eagles’ edge to 30-20.

A 3-pointer by Sergio brought the Cards to within 32-27 after three quarters of action.

“We started off slow, but did well toward the middle of the first quarter and really pulled together in the first half,” Martyanov said. “They were a good team, they were strong in the middle and quick.”

Said Anderson: “We were down by six three times and of course they broke away with that the last time. Getting them fouls kept us in the game in the first half. We tried to continue it in the second half, but unfortunately, we couldn’t do it.”

Photo by Antonio Monterio: Greenwich guard Carolyn Frankle drives to the basket during CIAC Class LL playoff action.

Riggs began the fourth quarter by hitting a jump shot from the left corner, cutting Enfield’s advantage to 32-29, but that’s the closest the Cardinals game, as the hosts made key shots and foul shots down the stretch.

Enfield played a 2-3 zone most of the game and Greenwich displayed solid, quick ball movement, creating good shots throughout the game.

“From the first game of the season until now, it is like night and day for our team, we have improved so much,” Hernandez said.

Photo by Antonio Monteiro: Greenwich forward Cami Jablonski moves the ball to the basket against Enfield.

Senior power forward Cami Jablonski had three points, while Anderson and senior forward Ashley Brown each had two points for Greenwich. The matchup marked the final game for Anderson, Riggs, Martyanov, Jablonski, Frey and Brown.

“As a freshman coming up to the varsity it was scary being an underclassman and I learned so much from the seniors,” Riggs said. “Now I came into that role of being a leader as a senior. I’ve learned a lot during my four years on the team.”

“I said it on Senior Night, I love this program, I love this team,” said Anderson, who also served as a captain last season and this season. “I’m so thankful for the coaches, the players, the alumni. I’m so thankful to have been a part of this wonderful program.”

Greenwich senior guard Gillian Frey takes a 3-point shot during the fourth quarter against Enfield.

Sergio, Frankle and Zaniyah Huggins are the juniors from this year’s team that will return as seniors next season.

“My first year on the team, I made so many good friends,” Frankle said.

“This season was tough, there were a lot of complications, but everyone pushed through,” Sergio said. “It was hard, but we all came together as family and we made it far.”

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