The Staples High School girls basketball team does not have a true center. Two of its most experienced players have been lost for the season with injuries, forcing coach Ed Huydic to use just six players Friday against Greenwich as the teams battled in Westport.
But the Wreckers play defense better than just about everybody else in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. That was evident again as the Wreckers improved to 2-0 with a 33-24 victory.
"Our defense is the key aspect to our team,'' said senior Nicole Brill, who filled up the stat line with eight points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. "That's how we're going to win games this season."
Staples looked good early, building a 21-14 halftime lead. The Wreckers went dry for large chunks of the second half and did not have a field goal in the fourth quarter. Their sticky matchup zone defense helped keep Greenwich at bay after the Cardinals closed to within 28-24 with 3:47 left in the game. Greenwich struggled offensively just days after beating Wilton , 45-41, in its season opener.
"I would hope we'll shoot the ball better than we did in the fourth quarter,'' Huydic said. "We're not a team with a great presence in the middle. We're going to have to hit the perimeter shot. We missed some today, but I was pleased with the energy despite our shortcomings on the offensive end."
MK Vansant scored nine points for Staples and added three steals and a block. The Wreckers, who have qualified for the state tournament for 26 straight years, figure to endure growing pains this year. A fast start has them pointed in the right direction.
"We don't have a lot of experience,'' Brill says. "We're developing chemistry the more we play with each other. That's going to help us as the season goes along."
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