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Raider girls drop third straight. Kennedy comes away with a 61-36 win.

POSTED January 07, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Every year when the Torrington girls basketball team holds their first day of practice right after Thanksgiving, head coach Mike Fritch tells us that he is not sure if his team can win more than they lose that year.

We’ve heard it for a decade.

Then, the Raiders go out and with their customary 15-16 regular season games, it happens all the time.

Well, after their third straight blowout loss, this time at the hands of the Kennedy Eagles by a 61-36 final, we may have to take heed his warning.

“We are playing a lot of players,” Fritch said, “Who really should be playing on the JV team.”

It’s showing at the moment as only two starters, Brie Pergola and Caitlin Cornish, played substantial minutes a year ago.

Pergola has been the only consistent offensive threat but over her past three games, she has struggled. The junior standout spent a bulk of the first half of the team’s 75-33 loss to Holy Cross on the bench with three early fouls.

On Tuesday night, Pergola was out midway through the second quarter with what appeared to be a knee issue that kept her out the remainder of the game.

Torrington can ill afford to lose the All-State star for any amount of time.

In the meantime, Fritch and his staff are going to have to find some answers that might be real tough to find.

On Tuesday night, the Raiders hoped some home cooking might chase away the holiday blues they faced in the two road losses (the second was a 60-32 loss to Hillhouse) but after a somewhat close first quarter (10-7, Eagles) the road team took command with an 18-9 second quarter.

Pergola opened the scoring with a jumper off the tip but scored just one more basket in the second quarter before going out with her injury.

Kennedy put four scorers in double figures, led by 15 from Sarah Emmanuel-Norwood and Lynadia Whiting and improve to 3-3, the same mark the Raiders now hold.

Cornish led Torrington with eight points while Shannon Reardon added seven.

How rare is it for the Raiders to drop three in a row?

Try more than a decade.

Remember, they are the defending Naugatuck Valley League champions after posting a 19-1 record a year ago and beating Holy Cross in a classic NVL Tournament final.

Fritch teams have won at least 15 games each of the past ten years.

Their record over that span is a remarkable 157-23.

So it’s unchartered territory for Fritch and his staff as they work to get a team ready to compete a level up from where they should be and in a hurry.

A tough and talented Crosby team awaits on the road on Friday. If Pergola is not able to go it could be another long night.

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