Greenwich High

Greenwich High girls basketball team defeated by East Hartford in opening round of CIAC Class LL Tournament

Photo courtesy of Dan Utzinger: Greenwich senior guard Sophia Sergio, left, dribbles down the court while being pursued by Nia Edens of East Hartford during the first round of the CIAC Class LL Tournament on March 1, 2023, at East Hartford.

Playing against a formidable East Hartford team on the road, Greenwich High School’s girls basketball team stayed within striking distance for three quarters of its CIAC Class LL opening-round game against the Hornets on Wednesday night.

However, 15th-seeded East Hartford gained separation in the fourth quarter and proceeded to end 18th-seeded Greenwich’s season, registering a 54-39 victory.

East Hartford (12-9) advanced to the Class LL Tournament’s Round of 16, where they are facing second-seeded Fairfield Ludlowe tonight. Ludlowe has a record of 23-0 on the season and recently won its first FCIAC Championship.

Photo by Dan Utzinger: Greenwich senior guard Carolyn Frankle dribbles the ball up the court and signals a play during the Cardinals’ state tournament game against host East Hartford on March 1, 2023.

The Cardinals finished their season with a record of 10-12. They went 10-10 during the regular season, before losing to Fairfield Ludlowe in the FCIAC Tournament quarterfinals and playing East Hartford in the state tournament Wednesday night.

“I am so proud of the girls for how hard they fought from start to finish,” said Greenwich coach Megan Wax, who concluded her first season at the helm. “East Hartford is a really solid and complete team, with talented guards and posts.”

Photo courtesy of Dan Utzinger: Greenwich junior forward Julia Monteiro looks to take a shot during a game vs. East Hartford at the CIAC Class LL Girls Basketball Tournament at East Hartford High School.

Senior guard/tri-captain Sophia Sergio scored a game-high 15 points to pace Greenwich. Sergio made four 3-pointers in her final game for the Cardinals. Carolyn Frankle, a senior guard/tri-captain, added nine points, including a 3-pointer, while junior forward/tri-captain Julia Monteiro had six points for Greenwich.

East Hartford led 17-12 after the first quarter and entered halftime with a 32-22 advantage. Greenwich trailed 39-30 after three quarters of action, but the Hornets outscored the Cardinals, 15-9 in the fourth quarter for the double-digit win.

“Unfortunately, every time we went on a run, they had an answer and were able to stay ahead,” Wax said of East Hartford.

Photo by Dan Utzinger: Greenwich junior forward Riana Xhekaj dribbles to the basket against East Hartford.

Junior forward Riana Xhekaj scored five points on 5 of 6 shooting from the foul line, while freshman guard Madi Utzinger totaled four points for GHS.

“Carolyn Madi and Sophia handled their pressure well and had good defensive pressure as well,” Wax noted. “Riana and Sophia both attacked the rim hard and drew many fouls, while Julia ripped down rebounds and really matched their post players’ big inside game.”

Photo courtesy of Dan Utzinger: Greenwich freshman guard Madi Utzinger looks for an opening against East Hartford.

Junior guard Nia Edens scored a team-high 13 points for East Hartford, which received double-digit scoring from four players. Sophomore guard Zoe Mercado, junior forward Comfort Boateng and junior forward Savannah Morgan posted 10 points apiece for the host Hornets.

The state tournament matchup marked the final game for Greenwich’s seniors – Sergio, Frankle, guard Laura Smego and forward Ife Akinnubi.

Photo by Dan Utzinger: Greenwich High School senior guard Laura Smego looks to pass the ball during a CIAC Class LL State Tournament game against East Hartford. The Cardinals lost to East Hartford, 54-39.

“It’s always heartbreaking when a season ends, but I am so proud of the heart and hustle they played with yesterday (Wednesday) and every game,” Wax said. “I’m grateful for these rockstar seniors as well and honored to have had them be leaders of this team in my first year.”

Photo courtesy of Dan Utzinger: Greenwich’s Ayanna Davenport drives to the basket against East Hartford.
Photo by Dan Utzinger: Greenwich girls basketball coach Megan Wax and senior guard Sophia Sergio embrace following the Cardinals’ loss to East Hartford in the CIAC Class LL Tournament.
Photo by Dan Utzinger: Greenwich’s Carolyn Frankle shoots while being guarded by Victoria Silva-Soto of East Hartford.

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