TORRINGTON >> Wolcott Tech’s girls basketball team (8-9), which left the Berkshire League four years ago, invited former league-mate Wamogo back to Wolcott Tech High School Monday night, suffering a disturbing flashback in the process.
Wamogo, struggling in the BL through a 4-13 growing season, pulled away from the Wildcats early and late for a 47-29 win that wasn’t as emphatic as the final score.
Still, it was deflating for a Wildcat team still celebrating its second state tournament qualification in history a few days ago.
“This is what’s going to happen in the state tournament unless you commit yourselves,” Wildcat coach Brian Hurlock exhorted his team late in the first half, down 21-9 with 55 seconds left in the period.
In-your-face defenses on both sides took away much of the game’s artistry. A twin sister playing center for each side — Alizabeth Stack for Wamogo, Kimmie Stack for Wolcott Tech — pushed the stakes up higher.
“We played better defense than we have all year,” said Wamogo coach Kevin Crowley. “I think part of it was because Kimmie was there (playing against Alizabeth). Alizabeth was determined to play well. Everyone wanted to do it for them.”
Both girls know what they’re doing, on and off the court.
Alizabeth is at Wamogo in a pre-nursing course; Kimmie takes graphics and design at Wolcott Tech.
Both were up to the challenge Monday night.
“She was a really tough player,” said Alizabeth.
Alizabeth Stack was hampered by foul trouble for much of the game, but still showed up for six points, six rebound and four steals.
“We said we were prepared for a fight,” said Alizabeth.
“It was challenging,” said Kimmie. “Just because it’s family or friends doesn’t mean you can’t play harder.”
Kimmie (4 points, 12 rebounds) helped Wolcott Tech dominate the boards for much of the game, with major assists from Mikey Albreada (8 rebounds) and Ashley Desrosiers (7 rebounds).
Wamogo found the basket first for an early lead; Wolcott Tech fought back; then the Warriors rode sophomore Brooke Neller’s quickness for a final surge at the end.
In a low-percentage shooting game, a pair of Wamogo threes in the first minute-and-a-half by Kristen Kandefer and Amber Hine were huge, staking the Warriors to a 6-0 lead while rattling the Wildcats.
“We had some good looks in the first half,” said Hurlock.
In the midst of turnovers and steals by both teams, the rims turned to ice for the Wildcats through many, many put-back attempts.
Eight more early Wamogo points — drive by Neller (game-high 14 points), foul line jumper by Stack, layup by Meg McElhone and a baseline five-footer by Kandefer — raised the Warrior edge to 14-0, freezing over the Tech basket completely, 3:07 left in the first.
Finally, with 1:41 left in the period, the Wildcats came to life. Sophomore Taylor Wheeler made a layup; senior Desrosiers fought for her own put-back.
Just seconds into the second quarter, Alizabeth Stack delivered even better news for the Wildcats. She committed her third foul and went to the bench.
Kimmie Stack responded with a drive to the hoop seconds after Casey Farrington sank a free throw.
Still, by the half, the Warriors led 21-11 — a commanding lead when every basket represents major effort.
Tech junior Mikey Albreada (team-high 10 points) started the second half with a three.
Another drive by Kimmie Stack had the gap to 24-18, Wamogo, 2:39 left in the third period.
A corner three by Wildcat Casey Farrington kept the Wamogo lead 25-21.
Then the Wamogo engines turned over one more time.
A three-pointer by Hailey Squatriblia and a fast break finish by Kandefer stretched the lead back to 30-21 at the end of the third quarter.
Neller, a speedy sophomore, took over for eight points on three steals to race the Warriors home for the win.
Nevertheless, Kimmie Stack was more of a defensive force than ever in the final period, with three steals while helping her sister foul out, three minutes left in the game.
“If (Kimmie) can play with that fire for the rest of the year, we’ll be right there,” said Coach Hurlock.
Coach Crowley saw nothing but roses after a crunching defensive contest.
“When it’s your fourth win, it’s beautiful,” he grinned.
Wamogo 47, Wolcott Tech 29
At Wolcott Tech High School
Wamogo 14 7 9 17—47
Wolcott Tech 4 7 10 8—29
Wamogo (47): Brooke Neller 6-2-14; Jane Fischer 1-0-2; Emma Caldwell 1-0-3; Hailey Squatriglia 1-0-3; Christine Jasonis 0-0-0; Amber Hine 0-0-0; Kristen Kandefer 3-0-7; Meg McElhone 1-0-2; Emily Kuipcho 2-3-7; Alizabeth Stack 3-0-6; Danielle Tillmann 0-0-0; Totals: 19-5-47.
Wolcott Tech (29): Ashley Desrosiers 2-1-5; Taylor Wheeler 3-0-6; Mikey Albreada 4-0-10; Casey Farrington 1-1-4; Briana Genest 0-0-0; Tanesha Peterson 0-0-0; Kimmie Stack 2-0-4; Briana Boucher 0-0-0; Totals: 12-2-29.
3-point goals: W—Caldwell; Squatriglia; Hine; Kandefer. WT—Albreada 2; Farrington.
Records: Wamogo 4-13; Wolcott Tech 8-9.