#1 Trumbull v. #8 Staples FCIAC Quarterfinal

The #1 Trumbull Eagles defeated the #8 Staples Wreckers 54-37 on Saturday, Feb. 18, at Norwalk High School in the FCIAC quarterfinals.

The mindset entering the game for Staples was very upbeat, as they had already accomplished their preseason goals of making the FCIAC and state tournaments. “We had nothing to lose,” captain guard Olivia Troy ’17 said. “We wanted to show everyone we belonged there.”

"We had nothing to lose. We wanted to show everyone we belonged there."
Staples returns to the bench during a first half time out

Two minutes into the game, the Wreckers did just that as they led 4-0 after a layup and free throws from point guard Elle Fair ’19.

#11 Elle Fair '19 shoots a free throw in the first quarter.

“From the very beginning we played with a lot of heart and hustle. We came out pretty strong and physical, showing Trumbull that we were there to compete,” Fair said.

It seemed as though Trumbull’s almost-perfect season might come to an end in FCIAC play. However, a switch quickly flipped for the Eagles as Claudia Tucci ’17, Julie Keckler ’18 and Brady Lynch ’19 led a 12-1 scoring run, giving Trumbull the lead, something they would not surrender for the remainder of the game.

#13 Claudia Tucci (C) '17 prepares to shoot a free throw

Tucci’s 6’0 frame and soft shooting touch was a defensive nightmare, as she threatened Wrecker defenders in the post and on the wing. She forced the Wrecker’s defense to constantly adapt from a 1-3-1, to man, and eventually into a triangle and two, opening the middle of the paint and top of the key for her teammates. “We had to keep pressure on her constantly, no matter where she was,” Sophie Smith ’18 said.

"We had to keep the pressure on her constantly, no matter where she was."

The Eagles’ defense was a major factor in the game, holding Staples to just 10 first half points. Staples had many turnovers and were also forced into many tie-ups and loose balls on the offensive end. The Wreckers also had nine first half fouls, allowing Trumbull to pick up easy points at the foul line.

#21 Olivia Troy (C) '17 breaks the Trumbull pressure in the third quarter

“We missed some easy baskets that would have helped us and we could have taken care of the ball better,” Fair said about offensive possessions.

Any hope for a Wrecker upset was eliminated in the second half, as Tucci finished with 21 points and Taylor Brown ’17 added 12. Every offensive possession was methodical and spacing was the key in creating open shots in the corners and driving lanes in the middle.

End of First Quarter

Halftime Score

End of Third Quarter

Final Score

“Trumbull is one of the best offensive teams in the state,” Smith said. “We came out strong and put pressure on [them].”

"Trumbull is one of the best offensive teams in the state."

Staples’ offensive game was very congested at times and they could not put the necessary run together to close the gap. Fair and Troy combined for three threes in the final two quarters, but were responded by three threes of Trumbull’s own.

#44 Julia Brower (C) '17 inbounds against the Trumbull's full-court press

On the bright side for Staples, many of the mistakes that were made due to a lack of discipline can also be blamed on their lack of experience. The Wrecker’s roster has only three seniors and also starts two underclassmen. “Our team is very young and the seniors have stepped up and taken the role of leaders,” Fair said.

"The seniors have stepped up and taken the role of leaders."
#34 Arianna Gerig '20 and #33 Ginny Gerig '17 bring youth and experience to the Staples lineup.

After a 6-0 start to the season, the Staples girls’ basketball team finished with a 12-7 overall record and a 9-7 record in the FCIAC.

“We are really happy with our season. I don’t think we expected to be as successful as we were,” Troy said.

"I don't think we expected to be as successful as we were."

The Wrecker’s finish was good enough to qualify for their first FCIAC playoff game in seven years. Trumbull ended their season at 19-1, including only four single digit games.

“Once we made it [into the tournaments], whatever we achieved after that was above and beyond what we wanted,” Troy concluded.

Staples shakes hands with Trumbull after falling 54-37

On Feb. 21, Trumbull plays Fairfield Warde at 7:45 at Ludlowe High School for the semifinals of the FCIAC tournament. The Wreckers have to wait for Connecticut State LL tournament to begin on Feb. 28 to continue their season.

Official Box Score

Written and Photographed by Ben Pearl

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.