NEW CANAAN — Lacking in any discernable size, the Staples’ girls basketball team has a simple strategy — run.
Through two games, that plan has worked as the Wreckers defeated New Canaan 38-25 on the road Thursday night to move to 2-0 on the young season.
“We’re small. When you walk in the gym and you look at us, people have already been asking me, ‘where’s all your forwards?’ ” Staples coach Paco Fabian said. “So we’ve got to beat teams with speed. It’s going to be difficult for us to play a half-court game, so were going to try to play a full-court game the whole time and use our speed to our advantage.”
Staples, which only allowed five points in a win over Bassick, has used its pressure defense effectively both to stop teams (New Canaan never scored double-digits in any quarter), while also turning those stops into transition buckets.
“If you came to our practices, all it is for the first hour is transition,” Fabian said. “Fast-breaks, layups and no dribbling — and getting steals off of our press and trying to score right away. We talk about it constantly, because we’re smaller than other teams we need to get open in the fast break. We’re going to have trouble in the slower games.”
Leading New Canaan only 14-13 at halftime, Staples came out and turned three turnovers into six quick points to open a lead it would never relinquish.
“Tonight’s game was not our best,” Rams (0-2, 0-2) coach Kim Palmer said. “I’m not going to knock our girls for the amount of effort. We put everything we had out on the floor, but we didn’t value the basketball -- we had a ton of turnovers, silly passes, and when you do that another team is going to capitalize on it.”
As for her message to her team after the game, Palmer kept it simple.
“We’re better than this,” the coach said.
Despite two victories, Fabian knows his team has a long way to go before it can count itself as a contender, and that curve is something he saw during an overall sloppy first half.
“Sometimes you think you’re a little better than you are,” Fabian said of his team’s mentality after the Bassick win. “We struggled in that first half tonight. We’ve got a long way to go. There’s teams out there a lot better than we are. Even though we’re 2-0, there’s some teams in the FCIAC that we have a long way to go to be able to compete with those teams.”
STAPLES 38, NEW CANAAN 25
STAPLES (2-0, 2-0 FCIAC)
Talia Hendel 5 3-4 13 Alyssa Perry 1 1-2 3 Olivia Troy 4 2-3 10 Rachel Seideman 2 0-0 5 Christine Taylor 1 0-2 2 Amanda Troelstra 0 1-4 1 Ellen Fair 2 0-2 4. Totals: 15 7-17 38.
NEW CANAAN (0-2, 0-2)
Olivia Hunsinger 2 2-2 6 Leigh Charlton 1 0-0 2 Karlie Bucci 1 1-4 3 Samantha Stewart 1 0-0 2 Kylie Murphy 3 0-0 7 Campell Armstrong 1 0-0 3. Totals: 9 3-6 25.
STAPLES 8 6 13 11—38
NEW CANAAN 5 8 6 6—25
3-pointers: S—Seideman; NC—Murphy, Armstrong.