Teams react differently to being voted No. 1 in polls.
For the Notre Dame-Fairfield girls team, they embraced the challenge of its first week being top-ranked in the GameTimeCT.com girls basketball poll.
Now, the Lancers need to sustain a high level of intensity game-after-game and week-after-week.
“We had two tough road games this week. Bethel is a well-coached team and New Fairfield played us tough,” Notre Dame coach Maria Conlon said. “We have tough games coming up at Pomperaug and at Newtown. No. 1 in the state means we have a target on our back. Every team that plays us, is going to bring their A+ game. The best part about that is, it prepares you for the postseason.”
The team is still very young with just two seniors on the roster, but different players are stepping up every night.
Junior guard Yamani McCollough scored 30 points against Bethel and has been playing at an all-state level all season.
Junior Ciara Brown and sophomores Aizhanique Mayo and Taylor Gibbs have all been playing well, too, giving the Lancers a balanced and deep attack.
The young players are enjoying the No. 1 distinction, but will undoubtedly have to face some adversity before the season finishes.
“We are loving it, so far. We are responding really well,” said Conlon, who as a player competed for highly-ranked Seymour teams. “We know there are going to be ebbs and flows. We have three people injured right now. Three starters.”
FELDER EN FUEGO
Conard junior Azayiah Felder has been on fire starting the season.
She has scored more than 20 points in each of the Chieftains first seven games.
Thursday against Farmington she put up 29 for her seventh-straight game over 20.
It is the longest streak for any Conard player since the 1975-76 season, according to The Hartford Courant.
Felder has posted point totals of 25, 25, 32, 23, 28, 25 and 29.
“Her growth is absolutely amazing to watch, and tonight it was really fun to watch her play basketball, and I think a huge piece of that is her teammates,” Conard head coach Laurie Cersosimo told we-ha.com when speaking about Felder. “They have her back, they help her, and they work well together. Tonight was just awesome. It was such a good team win, and Azaiyah just played basketball.”
GLASTONBURY CRACKS TOP 10 WITH 7TH-STRAIGHT WIN
1,000 POINT CLUB
Caitlyn Scott, a four-years starter at Trinity Catholic, scored her 1,000th career point in a game against Cardinal Spelman from N.Y. She reached the mark from the free throw line.
Scott was honored before the Crusaders game at home against Staples on Friday. A banner with her name, photo and “1,000 Point Club” on it was presented to her by her teammates and coaches at midcourt.
Abby Charron of Canton got her 1,000th point as part of a career-high 30 points as Canton beat East Windsor, 56-39, last week.
Charron became the seventh girls player at Canton to join the 1,000-point club. She previously played with two of the other players on the list, Emily Briggs (2017) and Maggie Treacy (2016).
Erin Carucci of Northwest Catholic scored her 1,000th career point as part of a 29-point game in a 73-64 loss to Glastonbury Thursday night.
Carucci began her career at Suffield before transferring to Northwest Catholic before her junior season.
Bethel senior Maranda Nyborg scored her 1,000th career point Saturday, in a 58-38 win on the road at Watertown.