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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
“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.”
Categories: Greenwich High, Winter sports
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