Brittany Anderson records double-double in Torrington's 74-34 win over Naugatuck. Raiders finish 19-1.
TORRINGTON: As the Naugatuck Valley League regular season came to a close on Wednesday night for the Torrington girls’ basketball team in a 74-34 win over Naugatuck, a new offensive threat emerged for the second consecutive night.
Senior Brittany Anderson earned a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Yes, you heard me right, Brittany Anderson, the All-NVL softball player who head coach Mike Fritch wanted on this team for two reasons.
Her leadership and the fact that she is simply a winner, not necessarily for her offense on the hardwood but as the post season door is about to open, the Raiders and Fritch will take it.
“Go figure,” the head coach said, “I think she has had it in her all along and I think she understands the part of the season we are in. She is just a pure athlete.”
Where has this been all year and what made the volcano of points come to the top?
“I don’t know,” the senior who sang a terrific National Anthem before the game as well said, “I just have this drive to play hard and do the best for my team especially with this big tournament coming up.”
Whatever it is, Torrington will take it. With Anderson contributing in such a big fashion with 16 points Tuesday night in a win over Watertown and following it up with tonight’s big time performance, it gives the Raiders a third scoring option.
Brie Pergola (11) and Paige Middleton (10) have carried the load most of the campaign to date but with the contributions of Anderson and fellow senior Mia Barbieri (14) it gives Torrington the ability to put four scorers in double figures, something not many teams can lay claim to.
It was Senior Night on Wednesday as the Raiders hosted a struggling Greyhounds team that completes a very tough 2-18 season and while players love these kind on nights that celebrate their last regular season game, it can be a challenging one for coaches.
Emotions run high and sometimes the game becomes secondary but not when a team has a chance to secure both a terrific season mark of 19-1 but to make sure they end up as high up in the state rankings as possible.
The Raiders upperclassmen did a good job early, running out to a 16-3 led after one behind six points from Anderson and three from Barbieri.
A flat second quarter on the defensive end allowed the visitors a 19-point frame that left them down just 11 at 33-22 at the intermission and they would score the initial bucket of the third to make it just a nine point lead for the home team.
Anderson took over from there, scoring 12-points in the third as the Raiders outscored the Greyhounds by a 24-5 margin in the frame to restore order.
It has been a terrific ride for Fritch and his staff. To lose but one game (a 3-point overtime loss to Holy Cross) all season as a relentless winter messes up practice schedules and postpones games on what seems like a regular basis.
To not suffer a hiccup while finding both your rhythm and game is never an easy thing to do in any high school sport but thanks to the leadership of players like Middleton and Anderson, this has become one very good basketball team.
How far can they go?
Let’s leave that for another day. Right now, it’s on to the NVL Tournament, which begins on Saturday at Holy Cross before continuing on Monday (semi-finals) and Wednesday (the finals) at Kennedy.
The Crusaders and Raiders is the match up everybody wants to see. Each team needs to take care of business before we get the rematch and Torrington goes for their second NVL title in three years.