The Fairfield Warde girls basketball team faces one do-or-die game to reach the FCIAC playoffs.

After falling to Darien on Monday, the Mustangs will host a play-in game for the league's final playoff berth Wednesday against Stamford at 7 p.m.

"We've got to beat a team that is fighting for its playoff life," Warde coach Dave Danko said. "We're fighting for our playoff life."

Warde beat Ridgefield 56-50 on Friday night to win for the 11th time in 13 games, but fell to the Blue Wave on Monday. Darien will reach the FCIAC tournament with a win over winless Bassick Wednesday night in Bridgeport.

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If Warde defeats Stamford and Darien wins, the Mustangs will be the No. 8 seed. Should the Black Knights and Blue Wave both win, Stamford will be the No. 7 and Darien will be eighth.

The Black Knights pose a serious threat to Warde's tournament hopes, having beaten the Blue Wave by 20 on Friday. Stamford also poses two all-league players in seniors Kelsey Cognetta and Lauren Shapiro.

Danko, an ardent FCIAC scout, realizes how tough the duo is, and how a team like Stamford can give his club fits.

"They're like Darien," he said. "I've got to see how I want to game plan this."

The fact that the Mustangs are hosting Stamford gives Danko hope. Warde is 11-0 in games played in Fairfield and 9-0 in its home gym.

"The big thing is we're at home," Danko said.

Danko is also pleased his club is in a position to reach the league tournament for the first times since it won the crown in 2009. Warde started the year 1-4 and has since won 11 of 14.

"Our goal was to be an FCIAC playoff team," Danko said. "At times, this year, we've looked like we're a playoff team."

The Mustangs will also celebrate senior night on Wednesday. Five Warde players will be honored before their last home game.

"They've been through a lot of situations," Danko said of his seniors. "It's on them."; 203-522-8387;