The New Canaan 7th Grade Girls team won its opening round playoff game on Saturday 33-17 against St. Mary’s of Ridgefield.
The girls got off to a quick start at a packed Chelsea Piers in Stamford, with center Elizabeth DeMarino showing impressive footwork on a beautiful turnaround jumper for the first points of the game.
The New Canaan girls then put on a defensive clinic, contesting every St. Mary’s pass leading to easy steals and quick buckets by Jane Charlton. A long three from Katherine Lisecky followed by a Sarah Crawford outside jumper pushed the New Canaan lead to 11-2.
Both teams appeared to have trouble with the smaller dimensions of the court as the game bogged down in the second period. Riana Afshar’s jumper resulted in the only points in the quarter as defensive stalwarts Natalie Lopez and Kearney McKiernan turned up the heat.
Katie Dunn opened the 3rd with a long jumper, and when Katherine Lisecky nailed her second three-pointer of the game, New Canaan was up 20-5.
Out of nowhere St. Mary’s dug deep and stormed back with 10 straight points to the loud cheers of a suddenly boisterous Ridgefield contingent. With the lead cut to five, Lopez made the play of the game grabbing an offensive rebound in traffic and her put back helped stop the onslaught.
Michele Labadie and Christine Poteroba then used their length to make life miserable on the St. Mary’s shooters, and when Ellie Anderson did her best Odell Beckham Jr. impression scoring off a pair of long bombs, the rout was officially on.
New Canaan now moves on to face Redding in the semi-finals Tuesday, March 3rd at 7 p.m. at Saxe.