Raider girls stage 14-point comeback in season opener against WCA in 59-57 win.
TORRINGTON: Down 14 entering the fourth quarter, Raider head coach Mike Fritch knew his team was up against it in their season opener in Waterbury against Waterbury Career Academy.
“We had a tough third quarter where we seemed to get lost,” Fritch said. “But we really took it to them in the fourth.”
With a smothering defense and some lights out shooting by junior Kate Mooney (16 in the frame, game high 27) and a pair of clutch free-throws from sophomore Marissa Burger with :13 seconds to play, Torrington pulled out a 59-57 win.
After WCA had tied the game on a pair of free throws with time running down and possession of the ball, the Raiders came up with a steal which led to Burger being fouled. The sophomore guard stepped to the line and drained both for the margin of victory.
The visitors outscored the home standing Spartans by a 27-11 margin in the fourth to pull out an important win.
I say important because with a team that at some points this season may have a number of freshman on the court at any given time, getting that confidence boaster, especially the way they did with coming back from down big, can only serve as a boost.
“At one point last night,” Fritch said, “I had three freshmen, a sophomore and a junior on the floor.”
Freshman Leah Pergola started he high school career with an 11-point effort while Burger (a sophomore) added 10.
The 27 points by Mooney marked a career high and is a good sign for a team that needs to establish an identity with such a young unit.
If the Raiders can start to hit their free-throws (15-34) in the future, the results could be even better.
Starting a season with a thrilling comeback win is not a bad way to kick off what the Raiders hope will be a memorable 2019/2020 campaign.
Torrington plays their home opener on Saturday night when they host Berkshire League foe, Gilbert at 7 p.m.