Tough season brings Lady Hounds closer

NAUGATUCK — Bruised knees, sore muscles, floor burns, and even a broken nose. The two seniors on the Naugatuck girls basketball team have experienced all the aches and pains of the sport, and more than that, they’ve experienced it together.

Four years ago, they began as a group of eight. Monday night, the Greyhounds ended with just two. Senior captains Renee Augustine and Michelle Trochsler took the court in their final game, which, unfortunately for the Hounds, ended in a 63-44 win for Seymour.

Early on, it looked as if it may have been Naugatuck’s night with Trochsler hitting her first two 3-point attempts to keep the Greyhounds in the game.

The Wildcats then began to pound the ball inside to center Christina Cretella against an extremely undersized Naugatuck team. A 17-4 run propelled Seymour to a 23-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. Cretella finished with 34 points, 14 rebounds, and four blocks.

But, the Greyhounds would not go down without a fight. Augustine battled down low, grabbing an offensive rebound and converting two free throws to trigger a 6-0 run by Naugatuck to start the second quarter. Junior Lauren Piroscafo, who finished with a team-high 21 points, found the basket a couple of times during the run to cut Seymour’s lead to just eight at the half.

That was as close as the Hounds would get, as the Wildcats outscored the Greyhounds, 17-13, in the third quarter and 17-10 in the fourth quarter.

With a little over one minute left in the final period, Trochsler and Augustine both exited the game one by one, receiving a big round of applause from their coaches, teammates and the crowd on hand.

Although the season may not have gone according to plan, the girls still had a positive attitude at the end of the night.

“I think that as the games went on we began to play better and work together more as a team, even though our record may not have shown that,” Trochsler said. “The season didn’t quite work out to what we all hoped it would have been. But, the time we all got to spend together between practices, playing together, and things outside of basketball made the season amazing.”

Naugatuck finishes the season with a 3-17 record. However, the struggles the team experienced throughout the season never deterred the girls from working hard to become a better team every time they took the court.

“It’s sad to know that it’s finally all over,” Augustine added. “It may not have ended the way we imagined, but we have grown as a team throughout the season both on and off the court. We are more than just teammates; we’re family.”

Piroscafo will return next year as the team’s leading scorer, but this night belonged to Augustine and Trochsler.