WILTON — The Naugatuck girls basketball season came to an end on Tuesday in the first round of the Class L state tournament.
The No. 27 Greyhounds went up against the No. 6-seeded Wilton and came up on the short end of a 61-25 final margin.
Angelina Piccirillo led Naugatuck with eight points. Emma Colucci and Nicole Boucher added seven points each as Jamie Dwy chipped in three points to account for all of the Greyhounds scoring.
Wilton (20-4), the runner-up in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference, came out looking to leave its FCIAC championship game loss to Danbury in the past and got out to a quick 8-2 advantage. Erin Cunningham, the All-FCIAC guard of the Warriors, led the team with 10 of her 17 points in the opening period.
Naugatuck (8-14) went 4-of-4 at the foul line but scored its first basket of the game with just 12 seconds remaining in the period as the Greyhounds trailed 17-6 heading into the second quarter.
Playing on the road in a very loud Zeoli Field House in Wilton, the Greyhounds struggled to find their offense against a defense that held five opponents under 30 points during the season.
“We were getting beat on the boards,” Naugatuck head coach Jodie Ruccio said. “Especially in the second half we didn’t do a good job of boxing out and got beat on the offensive boards. We had periods during the season where our offense struggled. We opened the game with a scoring drought scoring one basket just before the end of the period.”
The Greyhounds trailed 29-11 at the half. When Wilton came out in the third period, All-FCIAC center Erin Meyer scored 10 of her 14 points in the opening minutes. Wilton went on to outscore Naugatuck by a wide 18-3 margin and took a commanding 47-14 lead heading into the final period.
“Erin Meyer, at 6-foot-3, was a handful as she scored the first 10 points of the third period,” Ruccio said. “We went scoreless for eight minutes.”
The ‘Hounds did throw down 11 fourth-period points as the Warriors tacked on another 14 for the 61-25 final margin.
Naugatuck’s season ended after first-round losses in both the Naugatuck Valley League and Class L state tournaments. Tuesday’s game was the last career contest for eight seniors: Piccirillo, Colucci, Jess Butler, Christina Batista, Jessica Case, Christina Jando, Michaela Pruchnicki and Jill Monck.
“It’s a tough way to end the season,” Ruccio said. “But I’m happy for our seniors that they got a chance to end their careers with a spot in the NVL tournament and one more chance at the Class L state tournament.”