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Brie Pergola and Taylor Howe combine for 46 points in the Raiders 55-44 win over pesky Crosby.

POSTED January 07, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

Brie Pergola (13) scored a game high 31 points as the Torrington girls beat Crosby, 55-44 to improve to 7-1. The Raiders have now won five straight.

TORRINGTON: Torrington girls basketball head coach Mike Fritch thinks he sees something unique in this year’s Raider team, something he may have been hard pressed to say when the early practices took place in late November.

“I think this group has a chance to be something pretty special,” Fritch said. “Offensively we are playing very well.”

Having one of the best players in the Naugatuck Valley League scoring at will at the moment doesn’t hurt and behind a 31-point effort form sophomore Brie Pergola, the Raiders improved to 7-1 with a workman like 55-44 score over the Crosby Bulldogs.

Pergola won the first (10-8) and third quarters (12-9) over the visiting Bulldogs by connecting on seven three pointers in the contest while shooting 10 for 19 from the floor for the game.

Facing Crosby presented a different challenge for Torrington and based on what he saw a year ago when the Bulldogs shot tracker showed nothing but inside shots from a big interior led by 5’10” center Za’Nayia Love who came in averaging 18-points per game, Fritch knew what his team couldn’t do.

“We can’t beat them inside,” Fritch said. “We are going to have to be patient and make our outside shots.”

Junior Destin Trammell came in at 6’0”, making it tough for Torrington to utilize their offense that is predicated on moving the ball inside and out.

The inside game was not there but early on, those newly formed good habits died hard and the Raiders tried in vain to get their inside game going.

While the turnovers mounted when the home team tried to go inside, everything was dialed up from long range from the start as Taylor Howe (15 points, 3, three pointers) and Pergola (those 10 first quarter points) pushed the Raiders out to a 15-8 lead after one.

Both teams struggled in the first half from the field, the Bulldogs connected on 34 percent of their attempts while Torrington managed just 29 percent.

14 first half turnovers by the visitors certainly contributed to them being down 31-21 at the break after Howe banked home a three-pointer at the buzzer off her own miss.

Pergola came out hot to open the second half with her team’s first six points but Crosby was not going away easy as they would cut the lead to seven at 37-30.

Howe and Pergola would take over from there and went on their own 10-0 run on a pair of layups by Howe and two straight three bombs from Pergola.

Makes you wonder why the Raiders would look to do anything but look to the sophomore star until somebody proved they could stop her.

Her ability to hit the long ball, make a steal and go the distance or stop and pop from anywhere inside the foul line is what makes he a very special talent.

Torrington did not get a whole bunch of offensive help from players not named Pergola or Taylor Howe (46 of 55) on Tuesday night, something the Raiders will need to work on.

Senior Paige Middleton had a tough shooting night and finished with just five points but as the old saying goes, ‘shooters shoot’ and Middleton will have to shake this one off.

The Raiders have the rest of the week off and won’t return to action until they travel to Ansonia next Tuesday. Their next home game a week from Friday when they face off against Oxford.

While an off day is inevitable during a long season, if the Raiders can limit the effects of that off day, this could just turn out to be the kind of season Fritch is hoping for.

Who knew?      

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