Raider girls basketball falls to Indians on Senior Night by a 51-47 final.
TORRINGTON: Sometimes the match up just doesn’t work.
In their two meetings this year, the Torrington and Watertown girls’ basketball teams have played games decided in each case by four points.
Both times, the Indians have found a way to control the boards on both ends of the court which has led to consecutive victories, including Tuesday night’s final of 51-47.
It’s real simple. If a team struggles to find their offensive rhythm and doesn’t get many second chance opportunities while they are giving up many, the final total on the scoreboard usually goes against you.
Watertown dominated the boards to the tune of 37-13 and used a 7-0 spurt in the third quarter to create enough distance between the two teams that the home team, even on Senior Night, could not come all the way back from.
Alexis Tyrrell led the Raiders with 16 points while Alyssa Maraia added 14 but the Indians did what so many teams are looking to do as the focused their defensive efforts on senior Brie Pergola and held her to just four points.
Some of it goes back to the match ups.
“No matter what we are running,” head coach Mike Fritch said. “We don’t seem to match up. The thing is, we need that second really consistent shooter and we don’t really have that.”
Tyrrell scored eight of her 16 points in the first quarter as her shot was on target but Watertown used a strong inside game and that dominant rebounding effort to knot things at a dozen apiece after one.
“They are very big,” Pergola said. “They pass really well and I think they were able to break down our defense at times.
After a back and forth second quarter that saw the Raiders fight back from a 16-12 deficit, the Indians used the long ball to flip the script as the half ran down.
Ashley Gugliotti (team high 13 points) drained a pair of long three-pointers late in the second quarter to give the Indians a 27-24 lead at the break.
Coming out of the break strong was critical for Torrington but that 7-0 run by Watertown stretched the lead to double digits at 34-24 and while the home team got back to within four at 40-36 entering the fourth, the home team could just not manage to come all the way back.
The loss brings the Torrington record to 14-4 with one out of conference game against Avon left to play on Thursday on the road while the Indians improve to 14-6, having played their last regular season game.
By winning the Indians will move ahead of the Raiders in the Naugatuck Valley League standings with the league tournament set to begin on Saturday.
The top eight teams play in the NVL tournament.
To make some noise, the Raiders will need to get more consistent in the shooting department and figure out a way to crash the boards.
NOTES: Five seniors were honored before the game on Tuesday as they played their final regular season home game.
Alexiss Tyrrell, Colleen Kilgore, Sidnee Koval, Sara Bardwell and Brie Pergola each represented their team and school with pride throughout their careers as Raiders.
The seniors led an effort to sing the National Anthem before the game when the sound system failed to play and led a vocal crowd in getting the job done.