Staples girls basketball beats New Canaan, clinches FCIAC playoff spot
NEW CANAAN—The Staples girls basketball team is FCIAC-playoff bound.
For the first time since 2010, the Wreckers booked their place in the field of eight. They stormed past New Canaan 52-23 on Monday to wrap up the regular season at 12-7 and clinch the final playoff position.
Staples will likely play top-seed Trumbull on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
“It’s honestly kind of surreal,” senior Olivia Troy said. “In our school you always hear FCIACs, states, but it’s different actually making it this year. It’s always been a goal but it means a lot to me and Julia.”
Staples yielded 194 points in its previous three games — losses to Stamford, Darien and Ridgefield — but returned to its defensive identity against the Rams. Its pressure defense forced turnovers early to help shake off a slow start and eventually burst to a 30-11 halftime lead.
“We made it a goal to ourselves starting tonight that we’re going to get back to being known as a defensive team,” Staples coach Paco Fabian said. “We talked, rotated, rebounded; we had a goal of keeping them to a certain amount of points and we reached that goal. Tonight was the best team performance we had in at least three weeks.”
The Wreckers never let up with the postseason in sight, increasing its lead by as many as 35 in the fourth quarter. Troy led all scorers with 13 points while Elle Fair added 12.
The 45-44 overtime win over Wilton Jan. 10 proved to be the difference between getting in and being left out, as the Wreckers will finish above the Warriors in the standings by a slim margin. The Wreckers had failed to crack the 10-win plateau the past several seasons but got out to a 9-3 start and weathered several tough tests to reach the postseason.
Both teams were missing key weapons as Staples freshman Arianna Gerig was out through illness and Rams senior Campbell Armstrong suffered an ankle injury that caused her to miss the last several games.
The Rams (3-16) visit St. Joseph in their season finale Wednesday while the Wreckers will visit one of the state heavyweights Saturday.
“I think we’re still excited,” Troy said. “At this point we’ve reached our goals for the season; we just said anything past this is above and beyond. We want to go above and beyond, but we’re going in with nothing to lose. And I think that’s something other teams don’t have.”
STAPLES 52, NEW CANAAN 23
Elle Fair 5 0-0 12 Marissa Sharrock 3 0-0 7 Olivia Troy 4 3-4 13 Amanda Troelstra 2 2-4 6 Kate Reutor 2 0-2 4 Ginny Gerig 0 0-2 0 Nicole Dienst 1 0-0 2 Julia Brower 0 0-0 0 Sophie Smith 3 1-2 7 Isa Didio 0 1-2 1. Totals: 20 7-16 52.
NEW CANAAN (3-16)
Leigh Charlton 3 0-2 6 Karlie Bucci 2 3-4 7 Jane Charlton 1 2-4 4 Maeve Selvaggi 1 0-1 2 Lauren Achille 2 0-0 4. Totals: 9 5-10 22.
STAPLES 12 18 7 15—52
NEW CANAAN 7 4 4 8—23
3-pointers: S—Fair 2, Sharrock, Troy 2.