FAIRFIELD >> After a 57-34 dismantling of rival Fairfield Ludlowe Tuesday evening, the message from the Warde girls’ basketball team was simple: they still have a lot more in them.
“We can’t just stop at a good point, we have to keep going,” Warde sophomore post Shania Osborne said. “I honestly think if we try harder, we can be better.”
Behind a balanced inside, outside effort that saw four Warde players reach double digits, the Mustangs improved to 8-0 on the season and are currently ranked No. 5 in the state poll.
“Everything is blending, everything is good, everybody can score, we’re getting good guard and excellent inside play,” Warde head coach Dave Danko said.
After a somewhat slow start for the Mustangs, they pulled ahead using a 6-0 run to close out the first quarter. From there, Daja Polk scored and then Sarah Cotto drilled a 3-pointer to build an imposing 17-6 lead.
“What worked really well for us was on offense we were passing the ball really, really well,” Cotto said, who scored 12 points. “We all were looking for each; we all shared.”
Iliana Krasniqi added 12, Osborne finished with 11 and Polk chipped in 10 of her own.
The second half was more of the same as Warde continued to connect offensively, and defensively held Ludlowe.
The Falcons (4-4) came within 35-23 after Trish Auray hit a 3, and Charlotte Blatt made a free throw, but Warde easily shifted the momentum back as Cotto hit Osborne on a beautiful pass for a layup and pushed the lead further.
“They’re great,” Ludlowe head coach Sarah Huntingon said of Warde. “They definitely are the complete package.”
Ludlowe was paced by Alex McKinnon’s eight points.
The Falcons who are still without star guard Caroline Pangallo, who is out for a few more weeks with an injury, struggled to find a consistent offensive rhythm. Huntington said it’s more of a mental thing playing without Pangallo for her team. She said her squad has a lot to work on, but they hope to see Warde again in the FCIAC Tournament.
For Warde, the next challenge will come Friday when they travel to Staples.
“We could stub our toe, but right now, we’re doing pretty good,” Danko said. “And we can definitely get better.”