WESTPORT, Conn. The Staples girls basketball team dodged a bullet Friday night while gaining important ground in the conference playoff race. Nicole Bukovsky netted a game-high 17 points for the Wreckers, which held off a last-second effort by Westhill for the 42-40 win.
Six teams, including Staples and Westhill, came into Fridays games tied for the last two playoff spots, so the Wreckers knew how important it was to win this one.
We really needed this. We really wanted this one for our seniors, Bukovsky said. We got lucky that their shots werent going in and ours were. Its our last home game, and we really need to take this on the road with us.
Baskets came at a premium on both sides, but Staples benefited from an ice-cold shooting night by Westhill. The Vikings netted just two shots from the field in the fourth quarter and were a paltry 10-for-20 in free throws.
Westhill used a fierce full-court press for much of the evening, coming up with a dozen steals. The Vikings could not take advantage, however, and Staples survived.
We were in a dead tie with Westhill, and it was really do or die tonight," Staples head coach Ed Huydic said. "Im feeling very fortunate we won this game. Their pressure on us gave us lots of trouble, but we changed our defense and handled it very well in the fourth.
Remy Nolan hit a pair of free throws late in the fourth to give Staples the cushion it needed. Jess Coelho finished with nine points, and Erica Stein had seven.
The road to the conference playoffs will not be easy for Staples , which plays all four of its remaining games on the road. The seventh-ranked Wreckers take on undefeated Danbury on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.