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Raiders beat Gilbert in home opener, 40-32. Forfeit to WCA explained.

POSTED December 22, 2019
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: The Torrington girls basketball team opened the home portion of their 2019/2020 campaign by taking on Berkshire League foe Gilbert on a rare Saturday night in the Connie Donahue Gymnasium.

Behind 11-point efforts from junior Kate Mooney and freshman Leah Pergola, the Raiders got their first win of the year after holding off the Yellowjackets by a 40-32 final.

I say first win of the year after a transfer issue that came to light after the team had beaten Waterbury Career Academy on Thursday night by a 59-57 final behind 27-points from Mooney and a pair of clutch free throws from Marissa Burger.

THS athletic director Mike McKenna explained.

“A student transferred to THS from another CIAC school.” McKenna said in a statement. “The student had been a Torrington resident while attending the other school. Since CIAC rules state that a student that transfers to a school without being a new resident in the district, must sit out 1/2 of the scheduled games. I missed the transfer and did not send the notification form to the CIAC and the sending school which resulted in us using an ineligible player. It was no one’s fault but mine.”

So, on Saturday night the Raiders looked to put the disappointment of the forfeit behind them while taking the momentum from the great comeback with them.

In Waterbury on Thursday they had come back from down 14 at the start of the fourth quarter thanks to 16-points in the frame from Mooney and a 27-point quarter overall.

Torrington led 7-0 after one against a young ‘Jackets team who came back to make a game of it with a strong second and third quarter, led by sophomore Ajla Gutic who scored a game high 15.

The home team took that first quarter lead and extended it to 15-2 at one point, thanks to an 8-2 run led buckets from Burger (8), Pergola off a steal by Maddie McLaughlin, Mooney and Rachel Brewer-Karimi.

This season will feature a lot of youth on the hardwood and Saturday night was no exception for the home team who had four freshman (Brewer-Karimi, Julianna Latina, Brianna Murelli and Pergola) and one sophomore (Burger) on the court for long stretches of time.

The visitors came all the way back to within four at 28-24 at the start of the fourth quarter but a big three-pointer by Mooney was backed up by another trey by Burger to get the lead up to a comfortable double digits once again.  

Fans saw some good things from both teams on Saturday night and came out in good numbers for the NVL/BL matchup.

Gilbert falls to 0-3 while the Raiders even their record at 1-1.

Torrington 40, Gilbert 32

At Torrington

Gilbert         0 11 13 8 32

Torrington  7 14  7 12 40

Gilbert (32): Abbey Beecher 3-1-7, Kimmy McCarthy 1-2-4, Sam Lukowski 2-0-4, Sydney Eisenlohr 1-0-2, Ajla Gutic 5-5-15: Totals: 12-8-32

Torrington (40): Marissa Burger 3-1-8, Suzie Navin 1-0-2, Rachel Brewer-Karimi 2-0-4, Kate Mooney 3-4-11, Maddie McLaughlin 2-0-4, Leah Pergola 5-1-11: Totals: 16-5-40

Records: Gilbert 0-3, Torrington 1-1.      

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