Two Suzie Navin free throws give Torrington a 34-32 win over Derby on Senior Night.
TORRNGTON: Turns out things you do in practice can help you come through in the clutch, if you put yourself in position to allow something good to happen.
Sophomore Suzie Navin sank both ends of a one and one opportunity with :15 seconds left to play as the hometown Raiders beat the visiting Derby Raiders by a 34-32 final for their second win of the year on Senior Night.
There have not been many close games for Torrington this year, their closest contest in a loss was by three (39-36 to Woodland) so this was new territory for Navin and her teammates who held on through the last Derby possession and were able to celebrate a hard-fought win.
“I told the younger kids to remember this feeling,” head coach Mike Fritch said. “Take this experience into next year.”
Seniors Alicia Caskey, Alessandra Chiravolo and Alyssa Maraia went out on a high note, with Maraia tying her season high with 21-points, a total that included four 3-pointers.
In fact, Maraia and sophomore Kate Mooney (10 points), scored 31 of the home teams 34 points but none were more important than the pair of free throws Navin hit for her only two points of the night.
It was Mooney who blew by her defender with 1:55 left to tie things at 32 after a see-saw fourth quarter that began with Torrington trailing 26-22.
Maraia though, drilled a pair of long balls to put her team up 28-26 with 6:30 left.
The Torrington defense held Derby to just two baskets in the final frame and did not allow a point over the last two plus minutes of action.
Navin was fouled after grabbing a defensive rebound and made the long walk to the free throw line after a Torrington time out.
On the bench, Maraia reminded her of those practice freebies that come with a cost if you miss them.
“Every day before practice,” Maraia said. “We all get on the line and have to make two free throws, or we have to run so I just told her to pretend we were at practice.”
Navin found nothing but net on the first one for the 33-32 lead and then calmly drained the next.
This has been a trying year for the Torrington girls, but a level of fight was always present, even if the won loss record (2-18) might not reflect it.
Truth is, the Torrington program, like so many in the state, needs more girls to come out and play.
The eighth-grade class at the Torrington Middle School is said to be talented so help may be just a season away.
After being up 15-13 at the half, Torrington fell behind after a strong 13-7 third quarter by the visitors. Maraia and Mooney had all their teams points in that frame before Derby ended the quarter on a 4-0 run.
A stiff defense and some key plays down the stretch in the fourth helped Torrington go into next season on a winning note.
Torrington 34, Derby 32
Derby 7 6 13 6 32
Torrington 6 9 7 12 34
Derby (32): Lucy Lane 2-2-6, Isabella Chevarella 1-2-4, Kiara Swilling 1-0-2, Cristina Carloni 3-3-9, Taylor Seno 1-4-6, Madison Koval 2-1-5: Totals: 10-12-32
Torrington (34): Marissa Burger 0-0-0, Suzie Navin 0-2-2, Leah Darby 0-0-0, Kate Mooney 5-0-10. Alyssa Maraia 7-3-21, Alicia Caskey 0-1-1, Allie Chiravolo 0-0-0, Maddie McLaughlin 0-0-0: Totals: 12-6-34
3-pointers (T) Maraia 4
Records: Derby 5-15, Torrington 2-18