Even with the game well in hand in the second half, Fairfield Ludlowe coach Sarah Huntington -- with her team on its way to a 72-44 triumph over the host Harding Presidents -- showed her displeasure with mistakes her team made, as few of them as there were.
"The score doesn't matter. It's about us playing the best basketball we can play on every possession," Huntington said Wednesday night after the FCIAC game in Bridgeport.
A great bit of hustle by Regan Steed led to a save to keep the ball in play, but a Falcon proceeded to throw an errant pass that sailed out of bounds.
"In a game against Warde, which is our cross-town rival, that's going to make the difference between a `W' and an `L,' " Huntington said. "We want to win every possession -- on offense and defense."
The Falcons certainly won enough of the possessions to improve to 3-0, and the Presidents remained winless at 0-3. Ludlowe led 20-3 after one quarter, and had seven players on the score sheet by that time. It was 40-20 Ludlowe at halftime, and with mostly reserves playing the third quarter, Harding made a bit of a run. The Presidents hit four of their eight 3-pointers in the third quarter and were outscored only by 20-15 in the period. That's a trend that has hampered the Falcons in all three games, Huntington said, adding that it could cost her team in tighter battles.
"When our reserves come in, we just can't have mental lapses," Huntington said. "We want to be the best team we can possibly be."
The coach had plenty with which to be pleased. The Falcons moved the ball well, and generated plenty of offense off their fast break.
Steed led the way with 16 points, Alex McKinnon scored 14, Pauline Blatt and Caroline Pangallo each added 12, Charlotte Blatt had six, Trish Auray, Julia vonEhr and Julia Pangallo all scored four points, and Caroline Yates chipped in with two.
"Overall, I think we did play well. We just need to work on closing out," Caroline Pangallo said.
All 15 players dressed for the varsity roster got into the game, something Huntington says she hopes to be able to do regularly. The coach noted that she's got a deep roster and is optimistic that depth can help her team throughout the season.
"Everybody got some minutes which is always good," Pauline Blatt said.
Pauline Blatt added that the Falcons worked on mixing up defenses -- applying man-to-man and zone on the opposition -- to keep the Presidents off balance. The defense was strong, for the most part, but Huntington wants to see her team lock down on the opposition consistently.
"Our defensive intensity was not consistent throughout the game," vonEhr said.
The offense was solid almost from start to finish. The Falcons made the extra pass at the right time to convert two-on-one breaks, and movement without the ball led to open looks from all over the court.
"I think offensively, we were working pretty well. We were pushing the ball up the court well," vonEhr said.
Trish Auray said the way the Falcons played together led to easy layups and open looks. "I think the unselfishness we displayed was really important," she said.
Andy Hutchison is a freelance reporter