Darien heats up at right time, tops rival New Canaan
DARIEN — With just a five-point lead late in the game Darien’s sharp shooters got hot at the right time.
Karczewski struck first on a straight-away attempt for her second 3 of the game and Coyle followed with two identical jumpers form the left elbow. Coyle lead all scorers with 18 points in the contest including three 3-pointers, all in the final period.
“We were finally able to get Emily Coyle freed up,” Wave coach Steve Dunn said of the late run. “She’s a tremendous shooter and she found her spot and luckily for us she got hot at the right time.”
Up until that point it had been the Darien (2-3, 1-2) defense that had kept it afloat, holding New Canaan (0-5, 0-3) to just three first-quarter points while preventing the Rams from getting into their half-court offense.
“We changed up our presses a bit throughout the game and that is a strength of ours,” Dunn said. “We do cause turnovers, the problem right now is that we’re giving it back too much, we have to cut down on our turnovers to take more advantage of that.”
When it was able to get over the timeline, the New Canaan offense was led by its backcourt of Olivia Hunsinger and Kylie Murphy, who created opportunities for themselves along with Campbell Armstrong, who connected on three 3’s and led the Rams with 12 points.
“Kylie and Olivia are both seniors and when they step on the floor they’re ready to play.” New Canaan coach Kim Palmer said. “They leave everything they have out on the floor, so with them it’s that type of energy and attitude that translates into other players and I see that with whoever’s on the court is going hard.”
The problem for New Canaan, as it has been all year, was its youth and inability to get the ball into the half-court offense where its big three could make plays.
“We’ve gotten a lot better from the start of the year but the press is still giving us a little bit of trouble,” Palmer said. “We just have to be a little more patient and value the ball a little bit more on offense; when we do have it in the full-court setting we get rattled a little bit and that comes with inexperience and each game we’re gaining more experience and I’m seeing good things happening. I can’t knock my players; they play as hard as anyone would ask them to.”
For Darien, which is creeping back toward .500 after a tough stretch, getting the victory feels as good mentally as it did physically.
“We had three tough games in a row where we faced some really tough teams,” Dunn said. “And even though we played well, we came up a little short so it was important for us to get back on the winning side.”
DARIEN 46, NEW CANAAN 31
NEW CANAAN (0-5, 0-3)
Olivia Hunsinger 2 1-2 6 Kylie Murphy 2 1-1 5 Campbell Armstrong 4 1-2 12 Reilly Krug 1 2-3 4 Lauren Achille 0 2-2 2 Elena Aliapoulios 1 0-0 2. Totals: 10 7-10 31.
DARIEN (2-3, 1-2)
Kaeleigh Morrill 1 0-1 2 Erin Karczewski 2 0-0 6 Emily Coyle 6 3-4 18 Kate Fiore 2 0-0 4 Chrissy Fiore 7 0-0 14 Megan Hobbs 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 3-5 46.
NEW CANAAN 3 12 9 7—31
DARIEN 10 10 10 16—46
3-pointers: NC—Armstrong 3; D—Coyle 3, Karczewski 2.