TORRINGTON — Torrington’s Wolcott Tech girls basketball team has become a force in the statewide CTC, with Wednesday night’s 39-22 win over Cheney Tech as its latest example at Wolcott Tech High School.
The Wildcats rose to an 11-5 overall record with a 9-2 record in the CTC, though three of the wins don’t count toward league standings. Their two CTC losses come from league leaders Abbott Tech and Platt Tech — by a combined total of 10 points.
“They play as a team,” said Cheney coach Adam Starvish, whose 2-15 team is rebuilding after two straight trips to the Class S state tournament. “It’s an example I want our girls to try to follow. They give 100 percent effort; they rebound exceptionally; and we have no answer for (5-foot-11 sophomore center Abigail Williams).”
Williams led all scorers Wednesday with 17 points, but no Wildcat was left behind in the team effort, starting with a trapping, full-court press in the first half that led to a 20-4 advantage in the first period, 27-4 at the half.
“They’ve bought in,” said fourth-year coach Jen Garzone, who turned a 5-15 record two years ago into 12-8 last year.
“They’re very hungry; they want to be better,” Garzone said.
“Last year, we added some depth,” Garzone said, on a night when 14 Wildcats played and six of them scored.
“Our goal is to win a (Class S) tournament game against a non-tech school,” she said. “To do that, we have to keep dominating the boards and limit our turnovers.”
Wednesday, most of the turnovers came at the hands of quick players like senior captains Armani Gainey and Teja Petersen, three and four-year veterans who lived through bad times and now the good.
“At the beginning, we weren’t coordinated and we weren’t together,” Petersen said. “Other teams said, ‘Oh Wolcott Tech, no problem.’
“We had a meeting and said, ‘We have heart.’ ”
“We put our nerves aside,” Gainey said. “Everyone got out of their own heads. We’re all really fast and we want the ball.”
This year, most of the frayed nerves belong to opponents.
With the Wildcat press called off in the second half, Cheney Tech’s Grace Olden (team-high 10 points) stepped up for three treys.