New Canaan erases 10-point deficit to top Staples
The New Canaan Rams picked up a 49-33 home win over the Staples Wreckers Tuesday night at New Canaan High School. The Rams rebounded from a lopsided 80-46 loss at the hands of Ridgefield the night before.
"We had a tough loss last night. Defensively, we struggled," New Canaan coach Kim Palmer said. "These kids are very passionate about the team and the program, and they were embarrassed last night because they know they're a better team than what they showed. So tonight they came in with a chip on their shoulder and wanting to prove something."
After the first quarter, the Rams adjusted by switching from zone to man defense, and Staples dropped just three 3-pointers the rest of the game.
"We started to wear down, unfortunately. I thought New Canaan made a couple of good defensive adjustments," Staples coach Ed Huydic said. "We got within six at 36-30, and then they went on another run. I'm disappointed at our point production tonight, and I certainly don't think that we're 16 points inferior to New Canaan."
The momentum undoubtedly shifted into New Canaan's corner after the Rams used a 15-0 run to close out the first half, turning a 21-11 deficit into a 26-21 advantage. The sudden turnaround keyed the New Canaan comeback, and was sparked by 11 first half points by Sarah Mannelly, who went on to score a game-high 15 points, including three 3-pointers.
"If someone's getting hot, we just work on getting them open, and tonight I was shooting well," said Mannelly, who also added six rebounds and seven assists. "We had a meeting to get fired up for this game, and we wanted to show what we should have done last night."
New Canaan continued its strong defensive performance in the second half, yielding just 12 points.
The Rams received big contributions from Courtney Rogers and Christina Loop, who scored 14 and 13 points, respectively. Rogers also added 11 rebounds a pair of steals, and Loop came up with five rebounds. Melissa Tweed pulled down a game-high eight rebounds and dished out four assists.
For Staples, Stein scored a team-high 12 points, Van Sant scored nine points on a trio of 3-pointers, and Nolan chipped in with six points.
Just 24 hours earlier, Staples won a grueling 50-47 home game against Norwalk, and the Wreckers may have been running out of steam by the end of their game against the Rams.
"We were hot [in the first quarter] and then all of a sudden we just couldn't make any shots," Van Sant said. "We put it all out in the game against Norwalk, and we didn't have any spark left in us after that game."
The Rams (10-4) are now 4-0 in games following a loss. Staples (7-7) remains one win away from clinching a state tournament playoff appearance.