STAMFORD — The early-season matchup between the Trinity Catholic and Stamford girls basketball teams was everything you would expect from a city rivalry.
Physical play, tough defense and a little trash talking but mostly just competitive basketball.
In the first leg of the city championship, it was Trinity coming out on top 46-43 Friday night at Kuczo Gymnasium.
“I wouldn’t expect anything besides this. That’s what the fans came to see and it was nice to see a large crowd here tonight. It was fun for the girls and I think both teams fed off of it,” Trinity coach Mike Martino said.
“Good win early in the season. Hats off to Stamford, they played their hearts out. Losing a standout player like Megan (Landsiedel) is tough but Stamford hung in there and fought. We just ended up getting the W tonight and we played well.”
Landsiedel, a junior guard, was injured late in the second quarter and did not return to the game.
The loss of Landsiedel was compounded by starting point guard Jessica Nelson picking up her fourth foul within a minute of the injury.
Stamford led 20-16 at the time but with Landsiedel and Nelson off the floor in the third quarter, Trinity took the lead, going up 32-28 after three quarters.
The Black Knights had three freshmen on the court the majority of the second half but still hung in the game.
“I couldn’t be any prouder of how hard we played tonight. Trinity is a very good team and a more experienced team and when our two junior guards go out, we had freshmen on the floor,” Stamford coach Diane Burns said. “They worked so hard and battled and never gave up. We have a lot to work on and a lot to learn but I couldn’t be more excited about this group.”
Trinity focused on getting the ball inside to its all-state player Iyanna Lops in the second half and she was able to score 11 of her game-high 15 points in the second half.
Kyah Nowlin added 11 for Trinity.
Nelson had 14 for Stamford with Dina Merone adding 10.
The game was tied 35-35 with 3:58 to play but a personal foul followed by a technical foul on Stamford created a five-point swing in the score and Stamford was never able to close that gap.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Iyanna Lops, Trinity: Lops not only took over in the paint in the second half but also disrupted or blocked several Stamford shots on the other end.
“We didn’t give up. We knew this was a big game and we had to play together through the whole game, no matter what. We were down going into the second half and we knew we had to go get the win,” Lops said. “In the second half, we spaced the floor a little more, so I could have one-on-one down low in the post, so I could attack.”
TRINITY CATHOLIC 46, STAMFORD 43
TRINITY CATHOLIC 6 11 15 13—46
STAMFORD 13 9 6 16—43
TRINITY (2-0) Emma Garner 2 0-0 4; Kyah Nowlin 3 5-5 11; Caitlyn Scott 3 3-10 9; Iyanna Lops 5 5-6 15; Kiera Fenske 1 2-2 4; Bella Edwards 0 0-2 0; Theresa Lupinacci 0 0-0 0; Sarah Jablonsky 0 2-2 2. Totals 14 17-27 46
STAMFORD (1-1) Charlie Karukas 2 0-0 4; Emily Graham 1 0-0 2; Dina Merone 4 2-5 10; Jessica Nelson 4 4-5 14; Megan Landsiedel 2 2-2 7; Claudia Moses 2 2-3 7; Widline Thomas 0 0-0 0; Chanille Assevero 0 0-0 0; Bryanna Montalvo 0 0-0 0; Leonora Lipson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 10-15 43
3-point field goals: S—Landsiedel, Nelson 2, Moses
Fouled out: S—Nelson