TORRINGTON >> Wolcott Tech girls basketball emerged from a hard-fought game of fouls, turnovers and missed layups for its first win of the season Monday night in a 29-26 decision over Vinal Tech.
“We’ve gotta win the hard way by playing tough defense and scoring ugly points,” said Vinal Tech Coach Jason Coleman.
The strategy worked well at the outset, holding the Wildcats to a single first-quarter basket by sophomore center Katiusca Delacruz.
But Delacruz, the evening’s high scorer with 16 points, kept whittling away at Hawk center Desiree Deschaine, on great feeds from Tech guard Madison Rubino and her own hard work on put-backs under the basket.
Delacruz ended the night with her third straight double-double with 11 rebounds.
Meanwhile, thanks in part to defensive work by both centers, layups came at a premium.
“Layups kill me,” said first-year Wolcott Tech Coach Jenn Stango.
Vinal’s Hailey Fowler found the range outside for seven of her team-high 11 points in the second quarter, including the night’s only three.
Delacruz countered with seven. More significantly, Deschaine picked up her third foul with 3:34 left in the half.
The Hawks led 14-10 at the break, but their tough defense came at a price.
“They adjusted to our zone,” said Coleman, trying to stem the Hawks’ mounting toll of fouls (the Wildcats had 14 free throw attempts to 6 for Vinal).
“We handled the ball better in the second half,” said Stango.
Wildcats Abigail Hanlon and Victoria Smith-Silva scored the first two baskets in the third quarter for a 14-14 tie.
The Hawks surged back to a four-point lead, but Deschaine committed her fourth foul underneath while the Wildcat guards were working.
Wildcats Hanlon and Cameron Dziedzic sank the last two baskets of the quarter for an 18-18 tie.
With Vinal’s Deschaine in foul trouble, Hanlon carried the Wildcats to a 22-18 lead and Delacruz went back to work.
With 1:51 left, Wolcott Tech’s big sophomore dropped in a layup while drawing Deschaine’s fifth foul.
Without Deschaine behind her, Delacruz cemented the game with another three points for the Wildcats.
“A win is a win,” smiled Coach Stango.
Wolcott Tech 29, Vinal Tech 26
At Wolcott Tech High School
Vinal Tech 6 8 6 6 – 26
Wolcott Tech 2 8 8 11 – 29
Vinal Tech (26): Samantha Reyes 1-0-2; Hailey Fowler 5-0-11; India Weston 4-0-8; Shelby Winborne 0-0-0; Kiara Jacobs 0-0-0; Diamond Gaines 1-0-2; Desiree Deschaine 1-1-3; Totals: 13-1-26.
Wolcott Tech (29): Allysia Ruggiero 0-0-0; Cameron Dziedzic 1-0-2; Madison Rubino 0-1-1; Katie Benedict 0-0-0; Victoria Smith-Silva 3-0-6; Summer Moultrop 0-0-0; Katiusca Delacruz 7-4-16; Abigail Hanlon 2-0-4; Totals: 13-5-29.
Halftime score: 14-10 Vinal Tech.
3-point goal: VT – Fowler.
Records: Vinal Tech 1-2; Wolcott Tech 1-2.