Darien girls basketball avenges early loss, romps over Senators, 46-24
The Darien girls basketball had a chip on its shoulder or its second meeting of the season with the Brien McMahon Senators.
The Senators had won an early-season contest between the two teams, and that was a game the Wave felt it certainly should’ve won.
With the loss as added motivation, Darien scored the first 18 points of the game, led 20-2 after one quarter and rolled to a 46-24 victory over McMahon Friday night in the DHS gymnasium.
“This was personal for us,” senior co-captain Christine Fiore said. “We lost the last one and we knew we should’ve won it, so to come out at the start really hard was big for us. That was the main goal for us: Come out on fire and keep that through the game.”
The Blue Wave’s performance wasn’t perfect, to be sure. There were a few many turnovers in the middle of the game which allowed the Senators to hang around a bit. But overall it was a solid showing and the first quarter in particular gave Darien (4-5 overall, 4-3 FCIAC) plenty to be happy about.
“That was one of the best quarters we’ve played this season so far,” head coach Melba Chambers said. “They were just active offensively and defensively; they were getting to the rim and weren’t settling for jump shots; and when you get to the rim, your percentages go up. So we did a good job of finishing around the basket in the first quarter.”
Fiore and fellow senior co-captain Katie Ramsay accounted the vast majority of the scoring, as each netted 20 points. Lindsay Dimonekas, Caroline Krueger and Hassanah Arbubakrr had two apiece to round out the point total.
Defense has been a strength for the Wave all season and Friday was one of its best efforts, as they held McMahon (2-5, 1-5) to single digits in three of the four quarters.
The Senators didn’t get on the board until Shaniya Mesilien hit a layup with 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter, and by that point, Darien had built an 18-0 lead.
Fiore had the hottest hand in the first frame, scoring 10 of the Wave’s 20 points, while Ramsay added six.
“It was all-around,” Fiore said of the first quarter. “There’s always a couple of turning point games in the season and I think this is one of them. Just coming back from losing to them and proving that we can beat them by that much was big for us.”
McMahon managed to stay in the game by outscoring the Wave 8-5 in the second quarter and closed the gap to 32-19 late in the third frame. The Senators’ center Aija Andrews had a big part in their game, scoring all six of her points in the third.
“We got a little sloppy on offense, so it was just take care of the ball,” Fiore said. “Their pressure wasn’t anything, so we needed to stop the turnovers and just rebound.”
“We had to settle,” Chambers said. “When we played them before, we were up big in the first quarter and we let them back in; we didn’t keep our foot on the gas. I told them, we’ve been here before, we can’t let them creep back into the game. We’ve got to keep going.
“We weren’t turning the ball over in the first quarter and then in the second, we turned it over six straight times. Don;t change the game plan and just continue to work hard.”
Fiore converted a three-point play and Ramsay hit a free throw to end the third with the Wave up by 17.
Ramsay opened the fourth quarter with a layup off a nice bounce pass from Gwen Dolce, and Fiore scored on a breakaway layup to make it 40-19 and put the Senators’ hopes of a comeback to rest.
The Wave is entering a key part of the schedule, as the next five games are against teams which are possible FCIAC playoff teams.
“We need to work on our offense a little bit more, but our defense is looking great,” Fiore said “On offense, we have too many turnovers but I think if we get more team chemistry, we’ll be good. Everyone on the bench can contribute, everyone comes into the game and everyone plays well. No matter who’s in, we’re good.”
Darien 46, Brien McMahon 24
McMahon 2-6-11-5 24
Darien 20-5-11-10 46
McMahon: Michael Perea 0 0-0 0, Tiffany Scott 0 0-0 0, Shaniya Mesilien 1 0-1 2, Meagan Bombace 2 1-2 6, Jocelyn Lister 0 0-0 0, Jescie Holmes 0 0-0 0, Tatiana Arias 2 0-0 5, Shaniya Francis 0 0-0 0, Kassandra Scott 2 0-0 5, Stephanie Skidmore 0 0-0 0, Angelica De Los Santos 0 0-0 0, Aija Andrews 3 0-0 6. Totals 10 1-3
Darien: Kelly Richter 0 0-0 0, Gwen Dulce 0 0-0 0, Lindsay Dimonekas 1 0-0 2, Caroline Krueger 0 2-2 2, Katie Ramsay 8 4-8 20, Christine Fiore 7 6-11 20, Rachel Stobbie 0 0-0 0, Hailey King 0 0-0 0, Hassanah Arbubakrr 1 0-0 2, Emma Blenke 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 12-21 46
3-pointers: BM - Arias, K. Scott, Bombace