Lancers knock Darien from Class LL girls basketball tournament

A successful girls basketball season for the Darien Blue Wave came to an abrupt end on Monday, as they fell to a talented Notre Dame-Fairfield squad, 57-39, in the first round of the CIAC Class LL playoffs.

Senior co-captain Katie Ramsay scored 23 points to lead Darien, which trailed 31-11 at halftime and 46-19 after three quarters before closing the gap in the fourth frame.

Notre Dame-Fairfield was led by freshman point guard Yamani McCollough, who scored 24 points, including six on a pair of long three-pointers, and was 6-for-6 from the free throw line.

Darien, which qualified for both the FCIAC and state tournaments, finished the season at the .500 mark, going 11-11 overall. The state tournament game was the final one for Darien’s three senior co-captains: Ramsay, Christine Fiore and Hailey King.

The Wave lined up against a couple of top teams in the playoffs, losing to conference champion Trumbull in the FCIACs, before falling to the Lancers on Monday. The Lancers were the SWC runner-up this season.

No. 24 Darien struggled to find its shooting touch against Notre Dame, as they netted just five points in the first quarter, six in the second, and eight in the third.

Ramsay did much of her damage in the fourth quarter, when she scored 14 of her 23 points. She also had several steals and a couple of blocks to lead the Wave’s defensive effort.

Fiore netted eight points, sophomore Lindsay Dimonekas scored six, and sophomore Kelly Richter scored two.

The No. 9 Lancers (19-5) received 12 points from senior co-captain Gabby Joseph, 10 points from freshman Ciara Brown, and five points apiece from senior Zuquila Mbachiantim and sophomore Erin Harris.

Neither team was on the mark to start the game. Dimonekas and Richter opened the scoring with a 4-0 lead for Darien, and the Lancers for the first three minutes before Joseph hit a lay-up.

Notre Dame finished the first quarter up 10-5, and the outscored the Wave 21-6 in the second for a 20-point halftime advantage. That outburst included a run of 15 points which turned a 5-4 deficit into a 19-5 lead, and after Ramsay scored off a steal, the Lancers went on to score then next 12 points to make it 31-7.

Fiore scored the last four points of the half, but Darien was unable to cut into the deficit during the third quarter. In the fourth, the Wave held a 20-11 advantage, but Notre Dame nailed down the win.

Class LL Girls Basketball, First Round – Notre Dame-Fairfield 57, Darien 39

Monday, Feb. 26, at NDFF

Darien 5-6-8-20 39

NDFF 10-21-15-11 57

Darien: Kelly Richter 1 0-1 2, Gwen Dolce 0 0-0 0, Lindsay Diomenkas 1 4-4 6, Katie Ramsay 10 3-7 23, Christine Fiore 2 4-6 8, Rachel Stobbie 0 0-0 0, Hailey King 0 0-0 0, Hassana Arbubakrr 0 0-2 0. Totals 14 11-20 39

NDFF: Yamani McCollough 8 6-6 24, Janay Lamothe 0 0-0 0, Erin Harris 2 0-0 5, Aliyah Louis 0 1-2 1, Krystalee Fernandez 0 0-1 0, Ciara Brown 3 3-4 10, Gabby Joseph 6 0-0 12, Brittany Fulton 0 0-0 0, Mia Dunn 0 0-0 0, Zuquila Mbachiantim 2 1-2 5. Totals 21 11-15 57

3-pointers: NDFF – McCollough 2, Harris, Brown

Darien senior co-captain Katie Ramsay (20) goes in for a layup during a Wave victory this season. — Dave Stewart photo

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