STAMFORD—Winning state and FCIAC championships are singular accomplishments in girls basketball.
The Stamford High School girls basketball program also puts a high premium on collecting Stamford City Girls Basketball titles.
The seniors on the Stamford High School squad made it a perfect 4-for-4 in their Black Knights’ careers Monday night as they conquered Westhill High, 49-38 before an appreciate home crowd at Paul Kuczo Gym.
“Winning four straight city girls basketball titles is a special accomplishment for our seniors,” said Stamford High coach Diane Burns. “There’s a lot of history on that trophy.”
Indeed. The J. Walter Kennedy Memorial Trophy, created back in 1985 by the Stamford Exchange Club, will remain safely in the Stamford High School trophy case for another season.
Stamford defeated Trinity Catholic early this season to sweep its way to the city title.
STAMFORD PUTS IN THE WORK
Stamford High kept grinding away to vanquish a youthful Westhill squad Monday night.
The Black Knights led 18-6 after one period, 29-10 at halftime and 45-14 after three quarters.
Rugged defense kept Westhill at bay.
Stamford had balance on offense paced by senior center Andrea O’Connor.
She finished with 11 points and 15 rebounds while sitting out the entire fourth quarter.
“Andrea has come into her own this season,” Stamford’s Burns said. “She’s such a competitor. The bigger the moment, the more she shows up. She’s been averaging a double-double down the stretch.”
O’Connor’s scoring in the paint — mainly off entry passes from sophomore Megan Landsiedel — has opened up the 3-point arc for Stamford. The Black Knights finished with five 3-pointers paced by Kelly Jagodzinski (eight points) and Brooke Kelly (nine points).
It was a critical victory for Stamford, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Stamford (13-6 overall) is now 11-4 in the FCIAC and faces winless Central Wednesday to close out the regular season.
Stamford should be locked into the No. 5 slot in the FCIAC eight-team playoff bracket. If the Black Knights win Wednesday, they should face No. 4 seed Warde in Saturday’s league playoff quarterfinals. Warde edged Stamford, 46-45 last Tuesday.
With Trumbull beating Norwalk Monday night, the playoff seeding race has 1, Trumbull; 2, Norwalk; 3, Wilton; 4, Warde; 5, Stamford; 6, Ridgefield; 7, Staples with the No. 8 spot still in doubt.
Tiebreakers favor the higher seeds. For example, Wilton and Warde have tiebreakers on Stamford. Stamford has tiebreakers on Ridgefield and Staples.
“I’d like our group to be a little more ready for the postseason,” Burns said. “The last piece to our puzzle is for every player to understand their role and be fully committed to doing it.”
WESTHILL SHINED IN 4TH QUARTER
The Westhill High starters — facing the Stamford High reserves — outscored Stamford 24-4 over the final eight minutes.
Guard Maddy Bautista scored 13 of her game-high 15 points in the final period. Senior forward Samantha Johns-Folkes finished the contest with 14 points for the Vikings.
“We challenged our girls to show us they were a tough team even though they started the fourth quarter down by 29 points,” said Westhill acting head coach Joe Devellis, who was deputizing Monday night for Vikings head coach Kat Begetis. “They decided not to quit. It proved the point that if you play hard good things can happen. It was the first city championship experience for most of our roster.”
The Westhill rally was a good lesson for the Stamford Youngtimers girls basketball teams in attendance. Two Youngtimers squads played a spirited eight-minute game at halftime.
STAMFORD 49, WESTHILL 38
Maddy Bautista 6 2-6 15 Vana Servos 0 0-0 0 Peyton Hackett 2 0-0 4 Meaghan Lavelle 0 0-0 0 Samantha Johns-Folkes 4 6-7 14 Tamar Belette 0 0-2 0 Grace Hansen 2 0-0 4 Grace Tufano 0 1-2 1 Davina Brown 0 0-0 0 Caroline Kollar 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 9-17 38.
STAMFORD (13-6, 11-4 FCIAC)
Andrea O’Connor 4 3-4 11 Megan Landsiedel 1 0-0 3 Widline Thomas 0 0-0 0 Jessica Nelson 2 2-4 6 Bryanna Montalvo 0 0-0 0 Aviluz Vargas 0 0-0 0 Kelly Jagodzinski 3 0-0 8 Claudia Moses 2 0-0 4 Emily Graham 2 0-0 4 Dina Merone 2 0-0 4 Brooke Kelly 3 1-1 9. Totals: 19 6-9 49.
WESTHILL 6 4 4 24—38
STAMFORD 18 11 16 4—49
3-Pointers: W—Bautista. S—Landsiedel, Jagodzinski 2, Kelly 2.