Raider girls fall to Seymour, 50-19 in season opener.
TORRINGTON: If I've heard it once, I've heard it 1000 times.
Each pre-season, Torrington girls' basketball coach Mike Fritch talks about how tough a season it's going to be.
How the Raiders may not have a .500 record and he may get run out of town right before the Raiders go out and win 15 games, each and every time I hear it.
This year though, I may need to take the 25-year head coach at his word.
For the first time in recent memory, the Raiders don't truly have a go-to player with the last name of Pergola, Royals (two players), Otis, Williams, Cerruto, Begey or even Fritch (his daughter Erika, who starred in her days as a Raider). Pardons to those I missed, but you get the point. Â
This season, the one that started with a 50-19 loss to Seymour, may be one of the most challenging for Fritch in many, many a year.
The most recent four-year standout, Brie Pergola is gone, now doing terrific things at Division II New Haven for the Chargers and when she left, that scorer who could get you 20 in a pinch left as well.
Don't get me wrong, the Raiders still have terrific kids trying their best to get the job done bout it's going to be a work in progress with the youth movement, those players who usually get a year or two under their belts before being asked to contribute in a major way having to do so right away.
On Monday, we saw signs.
First off of the bench at the 4:05 mark of the first quarter was freshman Kate Mooney who showed good court awareness and wasn't afraid to attack the basket.
Mooney had four first half points and saw time in each frame.
Sophomore Maggie Thompson was next off the bench a minute later and was joined in the second quarter by Julia McCarthy with each of them contributing along the way.
McCarthy got her first varsity points with a three-pointer late in the game from the top of the key and is a player who turned heads this fall with an All-Star year for the Torrington swim team.
A good number of the young players have been together for a few years, first at the Torrington Middle School when they still had athletics and then again in the PAL basketball leagues.
They will need to grow up quickly this year and blend with the upperclassmen if the Raiders want this to be a season they will want to remember and one that Fritch won't want to forget.