By John Torsiello
It’s only six games into the season and the Simsbury girls basketball team is only one win short of its entire 2012-13 total.
The Lady Trojans moved to 5-1 by winning the Sheehan Holiday Tournament recently.
Allie Davis was named the tourney’s Most Valuable Player, averaging 19 points and 12 rebounds. Katie Martensen was named All-Tournament team as she averaged 14 points and 14 rebounds.
Said first-year head coach Sam Zullo, “Players, along with coaches, have gone to scout every opponent and each player has bought into knowing their specific role for what we need to do to win the next game. That role may change from game to game but it hasn’t mattered to this group of kids. They really believe that they are one unit and everything that they do on the court is the best thing for each other and the best thing for the team. A new sense of energy and enthusiasm exists around the Simsbury girls basketball program and I couldn’t be more proud of the group of kids that have started it.
Davis, a senior, is averaging 15.3 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.8 steals per game; Martensen, a junior, 11.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, and 2.2 blocks per game; Zhizhou Miller, a freshman, 6.5 points, and 3.7 assists per game; Emily Alonzo, a sophomore, 6.8 points, (13 made three pointers), and Caroline Murphy, a senior, 3.3 steals per game.
The team is giving u[ on 27.8 points a fame is averaging 14.3 assists per fame, more than double last season’s average.
Said Zullo, “I couldn’t be more pleased with the start to our season. We won our first three games by more than 20 points a game and ran into our first test against Newington (4-1 on the season). Despite having a poor shooting night and making too many turnovers we were able to hang in and only lose by two points.”
The coach said the Lady Trojans focused on remaining patient and taking care of the ball heading into the holiday tournament at Sheehan “and the girls responded.”
He said, “We were able to limit our turnovers in both games and come out with the tournament championship. Allie Davis was able to hold Rajeen Mayo of Middletown to six points (she had been averaging 21 a game) and we were able to come away with a 51-31 win.”
Simsbury had a poor shooting night against Sheehan, as the Lady Trojans were going up against a disciplined zone defense.
“We only had seven turnovers on the night and were eventually able to pull away,” said Zullo. A key moment in the game was when Davis picked up her fourth foul early in the third quarter. Sophomore Jenna Gregoire came into the game and shut down Sheehan’s best player for the remainder of the quarter and Alonzo knocked down two big three-pointers to help Simsbury pull away.
“The girls have truly bought into our man to man defense and have proven to be one of the best defensive teams in the Central Connecticut Conference to this point in the season,” said Zullo. “On top of leading the team in assists and running the show, freshman Zhizhou Miller has been a great on-ball defender and has really caused problems for opposing point guards. Caroline Murphy has been our top all-around defensive player, averaging 3.3 steals per game and defending the other teams’ top perimeter player. Sophomore Emily Alonzo has given us the outside threat we need against zones so far, and Allie Davis and Katie Martensen have both played like all-league players, both averaging a double double.”