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Raider girls slush by Oxford, improve to 9-1. Pergola leads with 18.

POSTED January 17, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Sometimes, a win is a win is a win.

Might not be pretty, might have more bruises than flowers, might have less to do with execution and more to do with a higher level of talent.

That would kind of describe how the Torrington girls’ basketball teams 47-29 win over Oxford on Friday night at the Connie Donahue Gymnasium looked and felt.

A win but…..

The ‘but’ comes into play when you consider the Raiders jumped out to a 16-2 lead after one quarter (the Wolverines didn’t get on the scoreboard until there was just 2:26 left in the frame) but managed just 31 points over the final three.

“When we got up big,” head coach Mike Fritch said. “We just didn’t put them away.”

The visitors (5-5) put on a half-court ball trap that should not have worked as well as it did but the turnover bug was out in full force to the tune of 11 in the first half alone.

Brie Pergola, who grows with skill every time out on the court and led all scorers with 18, scored 11 of those in the first quarter but strangely enough, did not score again after the 1:42 mark of the first quarter until there were just five seconds left in the third.

In between, Fritch tried a myriad of combinations with mixed results trying to get the offense back in sync.

“If we play like this against a team like Watertown (next Tuesday),” Fritch said. “We will get blown out of the gym.

It’s one of those things, a long 20-game winter sports season. Having an off night is inevitable. Having it against a team that you can beat on skill alone a necessity, as it was Friday night.

The Indians await the Raiders, in a game that will be taped by CPTV with former Raider Frankie Graziano in the building in Watertown.

Watertown holds a 7-3 record at the start of action on Friday and have one of the top scorers in the Naugatuck Valley League in Abby Collier, who is averaging 18.9 points per game, just ahead of Pergola’s 18.7.

Both games for Torrington will be on the road next week with a trip to Wolcott on tap after Watertown.

Both are Iron Division games, both could be hiccups if the Raiders are not careful.

Naugatuck is on tap back in Torrington on Monday, January 26 before the much anticipated match-up between the Raiders and St Paul Falcons on Wednesday, January 28 in Bristol.

Remember, the Falcons made a run all the way to the Class S finals a year ago before falling to Thomaston in an epic overtime battle and bring back several key pieces from that team.

Kelly McMahon and Elisabeth Cretella are a formidable combination.

It’s a long season and bumps are to be expected. Let’s hope the Raiders smooth out the path before their next battle on the hardwood.

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