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Raiders put three in double figure in 64-55 win over Wolcott.

POSTED February 02, 2017
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: The Torrington girls’ basketball team drives head coach Mike Fritch crazy at times. Okay, a lot of the times.

Sometimes, it seems as if his team can’t do anything wrong but on the next trip down the floor, can’t appear to do much right.

Consistency would go a long way towards this being a top-level squad if, and it’s a big if, they could find a way to recall what just went so right before resorting back to what just went so wrong.

Case in point on Wednesday night against Wolcott, a team they beat by four, 54-50 on the road earlier this season, where they raced out to a 10-2 run only to see the Eagles roar back (with the help of five turnovers) to knot things at a dozen after one.

“We can’t be happy with success,” Fritch could be heard saying as his team forgot what had worked so well getting them the lead in the first place.

The Raiders have one of the most talented players in the Naugatuck in senior Brie Pergola and a cast that may not be on the same level as their star but at times, bring themselves up closer to the level she is used to playing.

A few of those quality streaks, one in the third quarter in particular, helped the Raiders improve to 11-4 with a 64-55 win, led by 20 points from Pergola, 16 from sophomore Alyssa Maraia and 13 from senior Alexis Tyrrell.

It was the always fast moving Tyrrell who came out on fire in the third quarter when she scored all her points, including 10 straight as the home team broke open a tight game with a pair of three pointers and three fast break buckets.

That high-octane approach to their game is also what gets the Raiders in trouble when they should be backing off the gas pedal a bit but struggle to do so, leading to bunches of turnovers.

In the fourth quarter, the visitors used pressure to battle back to within seven at 48-41 and at that point, it was the team that makes their head coach spin on the sidelines.

“We don’t have very good clock awareness,” Fritch said. “When we should be slowing down, we seem to speed up when we don’t need to.”

Pergola, who continues her march towards 1000 career points, followed up her monster 33 -point effort against St Paul on Monday with a 20-point night.

Maraia has had a stellar sophomore year and is developing into a fine three-point shooter (she connected on four Wednesday night), as well as a player that the Raiders want at the free throw line late in games.

In their loss to the Falcons on Monday in Bristol, Torrington stayed close at 41-40 entering the fourth quarter but could not buy a basket in the opening four minutes of the frame and St Paul took advantage.

What will it take for the Raiders to play consistent basketball for 32 minutes?

“I think it comes down to focus,” Tyrrell said. “We have to learn to stay in our sets and run them all game.”

The Raiders are road Warriors over their next four with trips to Derby, Naugatuck, Woodland and Avon on the schedule before they return home on Valentine’s Day, February 14 to face Watertown in their regular season finale.









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