Print this story

Raiders roll, prepare for tough out-of conference match up verus Lauralton Hall on Wednesday.

POSTED January 25, 2011
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON - Mother Nature has tried to mess with the Torrington girls basketball teams schedule with what seems like storm after storm each week.

To date, the Raiders schedule is intact, they are caught up in games played while some schools may be playing catch up until mid-March.

On Wednesday, the Raiders could use a late night storm (if we have to have one at all) so they can get in a critical, out-of-conference game against a team ranked in the top 10 in some polls, Lauralton Hall.

On Monday night, the Raiders improved to 12-1 with an easy 55-22 score over the Wilby Wildcats.

There is no question, it has been a down year in the Naugatuck Valley League so far; only twice so far in 13 games has Torrington been really challenged.

They had a fight on their hands when they took on St Paul, early in the season but pulled away for a 20-point win.

Their only loss came against Holy Cross, who won in “The Pit” by a 50-44 score on December 30.

Since then, they have outscored their opposition by 29, 29, 41, 36 and 33 points.

It’s hard to stay sharp and at the top of your game with those kind of lopsided wins but the Raiders are looking forward to bringing their game up a little when they travel to Milford to take on the Crusaders (go figure).

The game is a scheduled 7 p.m. start but the schools may choose to try and move the time up to beat the next scheduled storm, which is though to be coming sometime on Wednesday night.

This game may be coming a just the right time for Torrington, as they get ready for a hard stretch of games that will be followed by the NVL Tournament and the States.

“We have been looking forward to this game for a while,” junior Aly Otis said. “In practice, we have been working real hard on what we might see from them.”

Otis had 12 points against the Wildcats while Sarah Royals led all scorers with 14.

Head coach Mike Fritch is in a bind when it comes to his leading scorer in some of these games.

Royals leads the NVL in scoring with a 21.7 average, but of late plays just parts of quarters with her team up big.

Leaving Royals in could be seen as running up the score but for Fritch, having Royals and the rest of the starting five on the bench as much as they have been of late, could be a blessing.

“We are not tired,” Fritch said. “It’s a long season, longer than on the boys side, but we have been able to keep the girls fresh because of some of the games.”

Facing the Crusaders from Milford will be a lot like going against their rival from Waterbury.

“They run the fast break very well and like to press on defense,” Royals said. “We just need to refocus over the next two days and come out ready to play on Wednesday.”

The lessons learned against Holy Cross in December will need to be applied this time against Lauralton Hall.

It may all come down to the free throw line where the Raiders shot an awful 15 of 30 in their only loss of the year to date,

The challenge is a good one at a good time for the Raiders, who are getting near the home stretch in the 2010-2011 season.

“This will help get us ready for the last part of our season,” Fritch said. “The rest of our schedule is challenging so this will set us up well.”

Lauralton Hall plays in the rugged South West Conference and is a LL school, a good test for a Raiders team that has only had a few so far this year.

For more from Timothy W. Gaffney click here