NCBA 7th/8th Grade Girls Black Opens Season Strong
—submitted by Nina Braccio
Beginning with the Brewster Turkey Shoot Out, the Girls Black team played through to the Championship Game – winning the first two games 33-10 and 33-29, only to fall in the final 16-29 to a strong New York team. The following weekend, the team went on to win against Milford (27-20) and Norwalk Teal (49-12).
This past Saturday, the Girls Black team had their first League win over Wilton (38-23). The offense was led by Natalie Plosker who scored a season-high 21 points, Meghan Driscoll who had numerous key rebounds and assists, and Katherine Wronski’s clutch 4th-quarter shooting. Abby Richardson with a season-high 12 rebounds, Nola Kammerer, Grace Crookenden and June Cochran dominated the boards to shut down a 3rd-quarter push by Wilton to tie up the game. Tenacious pressure, countless steals and powerful passing by Katharine Byrne, Jenna Braccio and Caroline Underwood helped fuel New Canaan’s win.
The Girls Black team headed into Sunday’s game to take on last year’s reigning champs and undefeated Ridgefield. Despite a slow start, New Canaan was able to keep the game in reach due to strong all around play by Wronski, Kammerer, Crookenden, Underwood, Braccio. Down by 15 points at the start of the fourth quarter, the Rams found their competitive instinct. Led by Richardson’s strong foul shooting, the fierce back court duo of Plosker and Byrne, and solid rebounding by Cochran and Driscoll, the team stepped up and tied the game (42-42) with 40 seconds remaining. Unfortunately, the ball bounced the other way this time with New Canaan losing 44-48. Even with the loss, it was a great step forward for this team. They demonstrated their resilience and ability to compete and score with the team averaging over 40 points per game this weekend.
The season looks bright for the 7th/8th Girls Black team under the leadership of Coach Ralph Rosiclair as they head into 2018 with an overall record of 6-3.
5th Grade Girls Defeat Ridgefield 26-15
—submitted by Tom Mulle
There was an invasion of the ball snatchers in Ridgefield on Saturday night as the NCBA 5th Grade girls Ram basketball team played league opponent St. Mary’s. Madison Hartnett, Lauren Livesay, and Sarah Marshall teamed up for an extraordinary number of steals. No one on the opposing team could feel safe with the ball. That set up the offense led by Sydney Patten and Julia McPhillips to light up the score board. Then, Grace Driscoll found her stride to score a few well timed baskets, along with Jacqueline Mulle who got her first points of the season to help seal the win, 26 to 15. In addition to strong defense, some bold passing by Samantha Plosker and Jane Shumway led to plenty of fast breaks that look promising for the Ram’s future. The girls closed out the weekend with another win against a much larger, non-league 5th and 6th grade team from East Hartford Sunday night, 18-13.
New Canaan 7 Red Girls Beat Westport 21-20
—submitted by Mike Mottolese
The Westport 7th grade girls came out strong, draining a 3-pointer on the first shot of the game. But rather than let it get them down, the Rams answered as Page Davis scored on a strong move to the hoop for 2 points. The New Canaan Red team’s defense held strong allowing Kara Braccio to start her scoring streak with a nice jumper for 2. Ella Patterson joined the scoring with a high arcing shot to make it 6-4 at the end of the first quarter. Caroline Lanford and Molly Reed directed ably the offense as Emily Tedford handled the duties in the paint against a much larger opponent.
The second period opened with Braccio draining another long 2, as the NC defense was aided by steals by KK Mottolese and Patterson. Braccio added her 3rd basket of the game to end the half with New Canaan up 11-6.
Davis opened up the second half, by securing the tip and driving strong on the left for a layup to make it 13-6. Scoring again, but this time with a jumper, Davis extended NC’s lead 15-6.
Westport climbed back into it on a fast break layup and foul shot, and followed with another basket to narrow the lead, making it 15-11 at the end of the 3rd.
The 4th quarter saw Reed showing great anticipatory defense, stealing two, but unable to convert the layups on the other end of the fast break.
Braccio continued her scoring with a rim-roaster that dropped for 2, making it 17-11.
Just when New Canaan looked like they had created a cushion, Westport went on a run, including a 3-pointer, narrowing New Canaan’s lead to 17-16 However Davis responded and scored again draining a shot of the inbounds pass to make it 19-16.
Hard working center Katie Polacek handled the pass inside from Mottolese and turned to put it in for 2 stretching the lead to 21-16. However, Westport wasn’t finished yet. With only a few minutes left in the last quarter, Westport cut the lead to 21-18 and called timeout. Westport put on the full court press, which was broken by Caroline Langford and Julia Dunn, and although Westport closed the score to 21-20, New Canaan’s defense held on for the win.