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New Canaan advances to La Vista tournament finale with easy win over Greenwich

Updated 10:23 pm, Wednesday, December 28, 2011

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  • New Canaan's Courtney Rogers (11) shoots a three-pointer as Greenwich's head coach Chrys Hernandez shouts direction to her team from the sidelines during the 17th annual Tony LaVista basketball tournament at New Canaan High School on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011. Photo: Amy Mortensen / Connecticut Post Freelance
    New Canaan's Courtney Rogers (11) shoots a three-pointer as Greenwich's head coach Chrys Hernandez shouts direction to her team from the sidelines during the 17th annual Tony LaVista basketball tournament at New Canaan High School on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011. Photo: Amy Mortensen

 

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The New Canaan girls basketball team won its third straight game in Tuesday's opening round of the La Vista Tournament, besting Greenwich 46-28 at New Canaan High School.

New Canaan's Courtney Rogers caught fire early in the contest before going on to score a game-high 16 points. Rogers was particularly deadly in the opening quarter in which she scored 11 points, including three buckets from beyond the arc.

"Some days I'm on, it doesn't really matter where I'm shooting from," Rogers said. "We're starting to work better as a team and we're definitely pulling together to get some good wins."

The sharp shooting from Rogers combined with a stiff New Canaan defense enabled the Rams to open up a 16-4 lead at the end of the first quarter, and the game's outcome was never in doubt.

By halftime, New Canaan (5-2) had built a 32-9 lead, and New Canaan coach Kim Palmer was happy to see her team clamp down on defense, as Greenwich was unable to notch consecutive baskets until the fourth quarter.

"When we play tough defense, our offense flows for us. We're boxing out and trying to give the other team only one shot and get the rebound," Palmer said. "When we do the little things that we work on every day, it starts to pay off. They were focused and ready to play today."

In addition to Rogers' big night, the Rams also received 10 points from Kelly Armstrong, six points from Sarah Mannelly and five points from Brianna McEwan. Palmer emphasized the importance of having multiple players who can put up big point totals on any given night.

"One of our strong points is that we have more than one person who can score," Palmer said. "Anybody can score, even our kids off the bench, so that's what we look for. When someone's shooting well, we try and work with that."

Despite facing a 37-16 deficit after three quarters, the Cardinals managed to outscore the Rams 12-9 in the final frame to make the final score a bit less lopsided.

For Greenwich (1-5), Caroline Barrett led the way with nine points and Sabrina Rodriguez chipped in with six points.

With the win, New Canaan advanced to the finals of the four-team La Vista tournament, which was played on Thursday at New Canaan High School against Darien, which defeated Foran in the other semifinal game. The result of the championship game was not available at press time.

"I think the fact that we lost those two close games [against Wilton and St. Joseph] really gave us an extra push. We want to win a lot of games," Rogers said. "We came into the season being looked at as an underdog and we definitely can go very far this year. We're a strong team and we work well together."