Trinity Catholic girls basketball team uses big fourth quarter to overcome Greenwich
Updated 11:46 pm, Friday, December 14, 2012
Last season, the Trinity Catholic girls basketball team overcame a nine-point halftime deficit against Greenwich with a dominant third quarter. Friday, the Crusaders made their move against the Cardinals in the fourth quarter.
Trailing by six points early in the final period, visiting Trinity Catholic got hot from the perimeter, turned up its defensive intensity and turned away upset-minded Greenwich.
Displaying their experience in tight games, the Crusaders scored 14 of the final 15 points in Friday's FCIAC matchup against the Cardinals, posting a hard-fought 44-37 comeback win.
Senior forward Ali Palma scored 15 points, while sophomore sharp shooter Amy Hurd added 14 for Trinity Catholic, which held off Greenwich last season, 43-35 in a similar game.
"We kept our composure, we have been in that situation before," said Palma, who had eight points in the second half. "Our team works really well together. We talk a lot and have a lot of confidence in everyone."
Senior guard Caroline Barrett scored 13 points, junior guard Rebecca DeCarlo had 10 points and freshman center Abby Wolf contributed eight for the Cardinals (1-3), who were edged by Fairfield Warde, 53-50, their last game.
"This isn't our year for moral victories," Barrett said. "This is our time to start getting some real wins against good teams. We need to win these games to accomplish our goal of getting to states."
Shortly after sophomore Jamie Kockenmeister made a 3-pointer, Barrett converted one of two free throws with 6:43 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Cards a 36-30 lead. It was all Trinity Catholic from there. Hurd made a 3-pointer from the left side, while senior forward Kellie Hurd (eight points) swished back-to-back jumpers, putting the Crusaders ahead for good at 38-36 with 2:26 left. Ahead 38-37 with 53 seconds left, Palma scored on a well-executed inbounds pass, giving the visitors a three-point edge.
"We just really need to finish the game," Wolf said. "We were up by six and we let it go away. There were a lot of missed shots and our defense broke down a little bit."
While Greenwich went cold from the field, Trinity (3-1) sealed the victory by making clutch free throws the final minute. For the Crusaders, it was about getting defensive down the stretch.
"It was definitely our defense," Palma said. "We work hard in practice on our defense and we always say, `defense wins.' "
Said Trinity Catholic coach Tom Kriz: "We stretched out our 2-3 zone and gave a little pressure, so we didn't make it too easy for them to get the ball up court. At the end we showed character and poise. I have five seniors, so we have a lot of leadership."
The Cardinals, who trailed by just one at halftime, 20-19, took a 27-23 lead on Barrett's runner in the lane with just over two minutes left in the third quarter. DeCarlo rattled in a 3-pointer from the top of the key just as the buzzer sounded ending the third quarter, giving GHS a 31-28 advantage. Amy Hurd helped keep the Crusaders close during the third, converting a pair of 3-pointers.
"Even when I miss coach tells me to keep shooting," said Hurd, the team's sixth man. "I knew I was off in the first half, but I kept my confidence and kept shooting."
Wolf, a center, scored seven of her eight points during the first half for Greenwich, showcasing a strong low post game. But the Cardinals didn't get the ball inside to Wolf as much in the second half, as the Crusaders clamped down defensively.
"One of our keys was to close down shooters and we did it for the most part," said GHS coach Chrys Hernandez, whose team played a 2-3 zone mixed in with a little man-to-man. "But we fell asleep at the end of the third quarter. We have to take this feeling of unfinished business, bring it into the next game and keep moving forward."
Trinity Catholic 44, Greenwich 37
TRINITY CATHOLIC 9 11 8 16 -- 44
GREENWICH 6 13 12 6 -- 37
TRINITY CATHOLIC (3-1)
Ali Palma 5 4-4 15; Amy Hurd 5 1-3 14; Kellie Hurd 3 1-2 8; Anne Margaret Eilertsen 1 0-0 2; Siobhan Kirby 1 0-0 2; Katelyn Spielman 1 1-5 3; Nat Senoble 0 0-0 0; Laura Green 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 7-14 44.
Abby Wolf 3 2-5 8; Caroline Barrett 5 2-4 13; Jenny Cespedes 0 3-4 3; Rebeccca DeCarlo 2 5-8 10; Jamie Kockenmeister 1 0-0 3; Rebecca Kural 0 0-0 0; Brittany Rodriguez 0 0-1 0. Totals: 11 12-22 37.
3-pointers: T -- Amy Hurd 3, Kellie Hurd, Palma; G -- Barrett, DeCarlo.