FCIAC girls basketball midseason report
Published 3:15 pm, Saturday, January 27, 2018
While the boys may grab more headlines, the FCIAC girls are, once again, in the midst of a terrific season.
A few teams are where they were predicted to be in preseason but a few surprises have emerged.
Most teams have six game left before the FCIAC tournament begins and while a few seem like locks for a spot, there is only one game separating the No. 1 and No. 6 teams.
Looking at the No. 7 and 8 seeds, there are five teams vying for those final two spots with Darien making things very interesting by knocking off Ridgefield Friday night.
The season is winding down but there are still big games to be played including a matchup of the two one-loss teams, Norwalk and Trumbull.
These games down the stretch are more important for the girls than the boys as a top-two seed means a home game in the quarterfinals.
TOP OF THE HEAP
NORWALK (9-1 FCIAC) People thought the Bears would be in contention for a playoff spot but few outside of the city believed they would be atop the FCIAC standings at this point in the season. The Bears are lighting it up, scoring more than 70 four times already this season.
TRUMBULL (9-1) The defending champions are following the same formula that made them so tough a season ago. The Eagles are very well coached, play fundamentally sound, get after teams on defense. If you are hoping for the Eagles to beat themselves, guess again.
STAPLES (10-2) The Wreckers are athletic and can really make teams uncomfortable with their pressure defense. After getting blown out by Trumbull and Norwalk, the team regrouped in knocking off Warde Thursday night. Staples also owns the tiebreaker over Wilton, having beaten them already.
WILTON (8-2) The Warriors were among the favorites coming in and they have proven why. Wilton has won five-in-a-row. Matchups with arch-rival Ridgefield Tuesday and Trumbull the week after are the only games standing between Wilton and top seed in the tournament.
STAMFORD (8-2) Losing All-State forward Alexa Kellner was a big blow but the Black Knights proved they are more than one player and have actually won five-straight FCIAC contests after falling to Trumbull. Now, the schedule gets really interesting with the next four games coming against Danbury, Staples, Warde and Norwalk.
WARDE (8-2) The Mustangs have been up and down but pulling out an overtime win over Danbury Friday night was a big boost to their playoff hopes. There is nothing easy about their schedule moving forward with four of the six games coming against contenders.
RIDGEFIELD (8-3) The Tigers were rolling after starting out 0-2 in the FCIAC, even handing Trumbull its first loss. Losing on the road at Darien Friday night brought the Tigers back down to earth with a game against rival Wilton looming Tuesday.
DARIEN (6-5) Darien is the team nobody wants to get matched up with in the quarterfinals should they qualify. The team is athletic and has proven capable of playing shut-down defense. The Blue Wave own the tiebreaker for the final spot by virtue of beating Danbury.
HOLDING OUT HOPE
DANBURY (5-5) The Hatters have yet to defeat a team ahead of them in the standings. The biggest game of their season will come Tuesday at Stamford in what is essentially a must-win for them if they hope to make the FCIAC playoffs.
TRINITY CATHOLIC (5-6) The playoffs are a long shot for the Crusaders with the team really looking towards next season with only one senior on the roster. However, if they can upset Warde or Danbury and Darien slips, the Crusaders could find themselves ahead of schedule and in the playoffs this year.
LUDLOWE (4-6) The Falcons buried themselves with a terrible start to the season but have since righted the ship, winning their last three games. Ludlowe will have to beat Darien next week and then upset one or both of Warde or Staples in the final week of the season.