Just days after upsetting an FCIAC rival, Fairfield Ludlowe girls basketball coach Sarah Huntington must turn her attention to another familiar foe.
Ludlowe, Class LL's 19th-seed, claimed a 37-31 victory over No. 14 Ridgefield in Tuesday's first round-- Huntington's first state tournament victory.
"It's a really nice feeling," Huntington said. "We didn't hit a lot of shots, but we hit big shots."
Led by freshman Julia Pangallo's 11 points, the Falcons advanced beyond the state-tournament's first round for the first time since 2008. Pauline Blatt added eight, and Alex McKinnon scored six as Ludlowe improved to 12-9.
To reach the quarterfinals the Falcons must slay the FCIAC runner-up, Trumbull. Ludlowe will meet the Eagles Friday at 7 p.m. at Trumbull High.
"Trumbull is a great team and a great program," Huntington said.
Led by the Pfohl sisters-- Alexa and Amanda -- Trumbull claimed the teams' first meeting, 55-46, on Dec. 12 in Trumbull. Five different Trumbull players scored at least eight points.
"They brought some nice balanced scoring," Huntington said. "Every single one of their players can contribute."
Ludlowe lost its first meeting with Ridgefield as well but rebounded to claim the six-point win Tuesday. Huntington hopes that trend-- and her team's confidence-- snowballs Friday.
"Sometimes they don't think they can compete," Huntington said. "I do believe they have more confidence."