Stamford hits 13 threes to edge Darien girls basketball, 58-52
There were plenty of reasons to point to a Darien victory during the Blue Wave’s Friday night girls basketball game against the Stamford Black Knights.
In the end, however, it was a boatload of three-point buckets — 13 to be exact — which helped propel the Knights to a 58-52 victory in the Stamford High gymnasium.
Making it most frustrating for Darien, which led by as many as nine points during the third quarter, was the fact that the Wave knew what was coming but couldn’t stop it.
“It was really frustrating that they were getting all those three-pointers because we knew that they were going to shoot there and we just weren’t getting to them," senior co-captain Katie Ramsay said.
The loss dropped the Blue Wave to 5-6 overall and 5-4 in the FCIAC, while Stamford, last year’s FCIAC runner-up, is now 8-4 overall and 6-2 in the conference.
Darien trailed 16-8 after one quarter, but rallied to take the lead in the second frame and expanded the advantage to 39-30 late in the third. Each time the Wave seemed poised to pull away, however, the Knights answered with a three from the corner, a play Darien was unable to stop.
“We knew what they were running and we didn’t adjust well,” Darien head coach Melba Chambers said. “Every time the ball got to the middle of the floor, they were kicking it to the shooter in the corner. We didn’t communicate well on that play, and every time the person who was supposed to be guarding that person in the corner left to guard the person in the middle.”
The Wave again had big games from two senior co-captains, as Ramsay and Christine Fiore each scored 16 points. They did most of their damage in the paint and at the free-throw line, where they combined to go 12-for-13.
Sophomore Lindsay Dimonekas hit for nine points, and sophomore Gwen Dolce scored six points on a pair of three-point baskets.
For Stamford, three players combined for all 13 three-pointers. Megan Landsiedel drained five, and Kelly Jagodzinski and Brooke Kelly hit four apiece.
The Knights came out flying and built a 16-8 lead after one quarter, but Darien responded by outscoring Stamford 15-6 in the second frame. That included an 11-2 closing run which out the Wave ahead 23-22 at halftime.
Landsiedel opened the second half with a three-pointer to put Stamford ahead by two, but Gwen Dolce answered with her own three to regain the lead at 25-23.
Dolce’s three-point bucket started a 16-5 run for Darien, which built its biggest lead at 39-30.
“At the beginning, we were down, but it really showed our team’s heart that we came back from that and were winning by the half,” Ramsay said. “We were getting a lot of steals off our new press that our coach put in. They figured out how to get around it and get those threes and that’s what really killed us.”
After a Stamford timeout, Jagodzinski and Kelly nailed back-to-back threes to close the gap, and the Wave’s lead was down to three, 41-38, heading to the fourth quarter.
Two more three-pointers put Stamford in front to open the final frame, but Fiore scored the next four points for a 45-44 Darien advantage.
A basket by Jagodzinski gave the Knights the lead for good. Darien was within one point late in the game, but couldn’t hit its shots in crunch time as Stamford got the wins.
“The biggest thing was that we just didn’t communicate well enough to get the job done down the stretch,” Chambers said. “We did a good job until we started to panic. When we got down, they started forcing things, not running the offense, and trying to get the home run play. That forced some turnovers and some bad shots. That hurt us down the stretch.”
The game is the Wave’s second in a stretch of key games against FCIAC playoff contenders. Darien defeated Danbury on Tuesday before falling to Stamford, with Wilton, Ridgefield and Warde to follow.
“These games are really competitive, so they’re really fun to play in,” Ramsay said. “But it’s important for us to win if we want to make it to FCIACs.”
“We’ve got to go into every game believing that we’re going to win,” Chambers said. “We’ve got to start well; we don’t play well from behind. We’re better when we get the lead early and we play with more energy. They know the competition is going steady for the rest of the season, so we can’t sleep on any opponent. We’ve got to come out with the same energy for every opponent. Nobody’s going to let us just come in and win. It’s on us.”
Stamford 58, Darien 52
Friday, Jan. 19, at Stamford HS
Darien 8-15-18-11 52
Stamford 16-6-16-20 58
Darien: Kelly Richter 1 0-0 3, Gwen Dolce 2 0-0 6, Lindsay Dimonekas 4 1-1 9, Katie Ramsay 5 6-7 16, Christine Fiore 5 6-6 16, Rachel Stobbie 0 2-4 1, Hassana Arbubakrr 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 14-18 52
Stamford: Andrea O’Connor 5 0-0 10, Megan Landsiedel 5 2-2 17, Jessica Nelson 1 0-1 2, Kelly Jagodzinski 5 0-0 14, Claudia Moses 0 0-0 0, Brooke Kelly 5 0-1 14, Jasmine Malcolm 0 1-2 1. Totals 21 3-5 58
3-pointers: D - Dolce 2, Richter ; S - Landsiedel 5, Jagodzinski 4, Kelly 4