TRUMBULL >> What appeared to be headed to a blowout, as the Fairfield Ludlow girls’ basketball team raced out to a dominant 19-4 lead in the first quarter, turned into a 3-point shooting clinic by St. Joes Wednesday evening down the stretch. The Cadets rallied and put on quite the second half comeback with a gusty offensive performance but fell short as Ludlowe collected the 52-48 season-opening victory.
“We did a great job in the first quarter pressuring the ball, going out,” Ludlowe head coach Sarah Huntington said. “And we got a little bit comfortable with that first quarter surge and then (they) tied us 13-13 in the second quarter. And for whatever reason in the second half we had a major meltdown defensively. You got to give St. Joes credit; they did a great job shooting the ball in the second half.”
Holding a 43-28 lead after three quarters, St. Joes made things interesting as they took advantage of a few Ludlowe defensive lapses and we able to drive and kick out for the open shot. The Cadets made five 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, as Shannon O’Meara hit three in the fourth and three in third. She finished with a game-high 21 points, all coming from beyond the arc. The Falcons’ however, hit some timely shots and got some key rebounds in the final minutes to secure the lead. Sophomore Julia Pangallo scored six of her 13 points in the fourth quarter. Huntington said after she wasn’t too discouraged as the defensive lapses are things her team can fix.
“The good though, are those are things we can control,” she said. “Those are things that we can work to do better against New Canaan (on Friday),” Huntington said.
Caroline Pangallo led the Falcons with 13 points and Pauline Blatt added eight points, as eight players scored for Ludlowe in the win.
“We had great depth tonight,” Huntington said. “We saw some minutes from Trish Auray, Carey Yates … we are going to go deep.”
Ludlowe couldn’t have asked for a better start Wednesday. The Falcons created two opening turnovers and led 14-2 midway through the quarter, as they used their speed and aggressive play to separate themselves early on.
“It’s a great first game for us, it’s a good first start to build on,” Huntington said. “And the girls are excited for practice tomorrow.”