After leading for first three quarters, Darien girls basketball team falls to Trumbull

The Trumbull girls basketball team's 12-point victory over Darien was hardly indicative of the competitive nature of Tuesday night's contest. In fact, the Eagles didn't claim a single lead in the game until the fourth quarter before pulling away for a 47-35 win.

With the game deadlocked at 29-29 entering the final frame, Trumbull's Amanda Pfohl notched a layup to give her team its first lead of the night. Darien quickly retook the lead on a three-pointer by Kate Bushell, but Amanda Pfohl put her team back on top for good by hitting a shot for a 33-32 lead on the Eagles' next possession.

Trumbull (5-0) received six fourth quarter points from Amanda Pfohl and another eight courtesy of Victoria Pfohl. The Eagles also went 8-for-11 from the free throw line to secure critical points in the game's waning minutes.

"I thought we clamped down defensively and that was the key to the game. Defensively, we came ready to play in the second half," Trumbull coach Steven Tobitsch said. "We're a very strong free throw team, and we just wanted to get ourselves into a position where we can be shooting free throws. Early in the first half, I wasn't sure that we were going to get to that point."

Trumbull, last season's unbeaten FCIAC Champions, closed the game with an 11-2 run.

"I kind of think we were just a little tired and had some sloppy passes and sloppy plays, and we just couldn't make a basket when they were scoring," Darien's Meg Marren said.

Thanks to seven first quarter points from Marren and a stifling defense, Darien (2-2) opened up a 13-9 lead by the end of the frame. The first quarter was highlighted by a thunderous rejection by Darien's Bushell, drawing one of the loudest crowd reactions of the night from the Darien faithful.

"I thought that Darien came out ready to play. I thought we got outworked and a little bit outhustled, so we challenged them at halftime," Tobitsch said. "You've got to work harder than the other team."

The second quarter was, for the most part, a stalemate as the Blue Wave maintained a slim 21-18 lead at halftime. In the third, Trumbull managed to pull even with four seconds remaining as Alexa Pfohl sunk both of her free throw attempts.

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"[Trumbull is] very beatable, but I give them credit. They stick with what they do well and they're well-coached," Darien coach Gary Peterson said. "We're a little disappointed, but we'll get back in the gym and we'll figure it out. We'll get better."

For Darien, Marren led the way with a game-high 19 points. The Blue Wave's other leading scorers included Bushell and Emily Stein with seven points apiece.

Trumbull's evenly-distributed offensive attack saw four players score eight or more points, as Victoria Pfohl, Erin Moore, Alexa Pfohl and Amanda Pfohl scored 14, 10, nine and eight points, respectively.

After starting the season 2-0, Darien has dropped its last two, but the competitive nature of Tuesday night's game against a quality opponent has the team thinking positive as the season continues.

"It's a big confidence booster. We tried really hard and we gave them a fight," Marren said. "I think we just have to keep our confidence up in the fourth quarter, keep playing and make our baskets."

Darien next takes the court on Tuesday at home against out-of-conference opponent Foran at 6 p.m.

Trumbull, which hasn't lost a non-State playoff game in over a year, is back on the road to face Ridgefield at Masuk High School in Monroe on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m.