Whether it was converting pull-up 3-pointers in transition, or making layups, while being tightly guarded, Carolyn Frankle’s shots were falling for the Greenwich High School girls basketball team throughout tonight’s game against Norwalk, which tried, but couldn’t keep pace with the Cardinals’ dynamic guard.
Frankle, a senior tri-captain, scored 12 first-quarter points, had 14 in the opening half and swished five 3-pointers on her way to a career-high 27 points, giving Greenwich its second straight win against a conference opponent.
Behind Frankle’s standout shooting, Greenwich posted a 59-44 victory against a tough Norwalk team at Greenwich High. The win raised the Cardinals’ record to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the FCIAC, heading toward the midway point of the season.
Senior guard/tri-captain Sophia Sergio scored 10 points, eight of which came during the second half, while senior forward/tri-captain Julia Monteiro totaled 12 points for the Cardinals, who were coming off decisive 48-17 road triumph over Staples.
The home team held a 15-14 edge on the Bears after the first quarter and went into halftime with a 29-22 lead. Frankle paced the Cards’ 14-point first quarter with 12 points.
“The first quarter was probably the best quarter I ever played,” Frankle said. “I started off hot and I just let it keep going throughout the game. I heard my dad talking to me on the sidelines and telling me to keep going and that fueled me to keep going throughout the game. There was a tragedy in our family so my mom wasn’t there, but everyone else was.”
Norwalk (4-7, 2-4 FCIAC) received a team-best 17 points from junior forward Tiffany Martinez and 15 points from senior guard/captain Samantha Phillip. Greenwich made five 3-pointers on the night, while Norwalk stayed in the game on the strength of five 3-pointers, three of which were converted by Martinez.
“Norwalk is a really tough team and we knew that going into this game,” Greenwich coach Megan Wax said. “We needed to expect to play fast and physical and be careful of their shooters. They are super aggressive, so that was a point of emphasis before the game – making sure we’re locked in on every single play.”
A sign of things to come occurred when Frankle made a 3-pointer from the right corner in the game’s opening minute. She made consecutive shots from beyond the arc, putting GHS ahead, 13-11, with 2:12 remaining in the first quarter. Phillip buried a 3-pointer from the left corner against Greenwich’s 2-3 zone defense, giving the Bears a 14-13 edge with 26 seconds to go in the opening quarter, but the Cardinals made the quarter’s final basket to go into the second quarter with a two-point lead. Indeed, Frankle fueled Greenwich’s offense in the opening quarter.
“Carolyn did an awesome job,” Wax said. “Her shot was falling tonight and she was feeling it. You love to see that and we’re super proud of her.”
“Along with that, I’m proud of the selfless ball movement that got wide open shots for us,” Wax continued. “The pick and rolls were there and the quicker we were able to move the ball away, we were able to get some really good looks.”
Greenwich began the second quarter with a 12-0 spurt to build a 27-14 lead. Monteiro nailed a short jump shot, junior guard Ayanna Davenport made a 3-pointer from the right wing and Sergio scored in transition, making it 23-14. Driving hard in the lane, Frankle converted a layup in traffic giving GHS a 27-14 lead later in the second stanza.
“Our team offensively in the first half, it was really good,” Frankle noted. “We were moving it around and getting the shots we needed.”
A 3-pointer by Martinez and a basket off an offensive rebound by sophomore Iyla Brown, brought the Bears to within 29-22 at halftime.
The Cardinals boosted their lead to 11 points following three quarters of action, as Frankle scored 13 of the squad’s 17 third-quarter points. Her pull-up 3-pointer on a fast break gave GHS a 41-20 lead at the 2:20 mark of the third period and her shot from beyond the arc made it 46-35.
Sergio, who has also powered Greenwich’s offense, was effective in driving to the basket against Norwalk’s man-to-man defense. She made impressive layups during the third quarter, helping the Cards build a double-digit lead.
“Last year I definitely missed a lot of open layups, so I’ve been working on that and I feel I’ve definitely improved,” Sergio said. “I think we played pretty well, there’s a lot of things we need to improve on. Overall, we did pretty well. We just have to go to practice tomorrow, bring our ‘A’ game and get ready for our next game.”
Monteiro scored six points, Sergio added four and Davenport nailed a 3-pointer for the Cardinals during their 13-point fourth quarter.
“It was a really good performance,” Monteiro noted. “In the second half, we started to get a little bit frantic, but we pulled it back in the fourth quarter. We need to work on slowing the pace down, especially when we’re up to kill some time.”
Up next for Greenwich, is a matchup against FCIAC foe Bridgeport Central at GHS on Friday. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Greenwich then hosts non-conference opponent Newtown Saturday at 12:45 p.m.
Sophomore forward Lara Young had four points for the victors, while Sara Rogers and Rachel Miller had four points apiece for Norwalk.
“I feel like our offense was pretty good, it definitely can be better,” Sergio said. “But we’re learning to play together and play offense as a team.”
In the Cardinals’ 42-17 road triumph against Staples this past Friday, Frankle scored nine points, Sergio tallied nine points, Davenport added seven and senior guard Laura Smego contributed six points in the winning effort.
Sergio led GHS defensively with eight steals, while Young grabbed a team-high 13 rebounds and also tallied four steals.
“We came out with extremely high intensity and therefore, we were able to cause a tremendous amount of turnovers, which we turned into transition offense,” Wax noted. “Everyone was active on both ends of the court, with quick hands and pressure on defense and being incredibly strong and going to the rim, offensively.”
Categories: Greenwich High, Winter sports
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