Brie Pergola shines again, Torrington girls improve to 6-1 with easy 66-39 win over Avon.
TORRINGTON: When the Torrington girls’ basketball team launched the 2014/15 campaign with a new, guard based offense, even their head coach wasn’t quite sure how it was going to work out.
Without much size inside, Mike Fritch and his staff had to figure out a different way to put points on the board.
Seven games into the campaign and after three wins over the holiday break, the now 6-1 Raiders have made the cutting, movement based system work just fine and on Saturday, came away with an impressive 66-39 win over the Avon Falcons.
“We’re just getting better by the game,” Fritch said. “I think we have a nice rotation and the girls know what we have to do. The defense has been great.”
Over their past three games, a standout performer has started to show what her coaching staff though was there all along, it just took sophomore Brie Pergola a few games to understand her crucial role.
Against Weaver on Monday night, Pergola has a team high 28 points and a dozen rebounds in her coming of age game.
On Saturday against an Avon team that always gives the Raiders a run for their money, Pergola scored 18 points by halftime (as many as the Falcons had at the break) and finished with 23.
Torrington jumped out to an 11-2 lead out of the opening tip with four different players scoring, another good sign for Fritch.
“In this kind of offense we are working with mostly guards so everybody gets to touch the ball,” Fritch said. “You keep moving because you just might get the ball back.”
Pergola registered her first points off a fast break when she stopped halfway in the lane, pulling up for a short jumper.
The sophomore then drained a smooth three pointer and the Falcons and head coach Frank Waters had to take a time out to stop the bleeding.
Waters and the Falcons came in down two key players, one who has not stepped on the court yet, and the other not back in time after a week of playing travel soccer.
6’3” center Abby Laszewski is due back off an ankle injury within the next three weeks or so and without her presence in the middle, Avon struggled.
It may not have mattered much with how the Raider offense was moving the ball around and playing tenacious defense.
One player who has played that kind of defense her entire career with the Raiders is senior Paige Middleton who scored 15 points, three from 3-point land.
Middleton is the perfect complement to Pergola who gets a majority of the opposing team’s attention, allowing the senior forward to get herself in position to become a threat from beyond the arch.
By halftime, the home team had a 38-18 lead on 65 percent shooting in the first half.
Save a 69-66 double overtime loss to Holy Cross, Torrington has improved each and every time out and have become a tough out for anybody they face.
The challenges will remain and on Tuesday, an up and coming Crosby team who have posted a 4-1 record to date will bring one of the tallest teams the Raiders will face to the Connie Donahue Gymnasium at 7 p.m.