Weston's girls basketball got off to a slow start, its floor leader saw limited minutes because of foul trouble, and neighboring Joel Barlow came swarming after the Trojans with an aggressive defense from the opening tip. Everything seemed to be going against the Trojans.
But they won, 33-25, Tuesday night at Barlow to improve to 6-0. The victory should be a tremendous confidence-builder for a team that suddenly has the look of a South-West Conference contender. "I'm proud of the kids,'' first-year coach Dan Rosen said. "They fought through some adversity and pulled it out. That will help us down the road."
Ellie Martin scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Weston. Dakota Sloop added eight points as the Trojans rallied after trailing 9-2 after the first quarter. Barlow fell to 3-2.
The most impressive aspect of the victory was that the Trojans prevailed even though senior guard Christina Welsh had a rare off-night. She entered the game with an 11.8 average, but saw limited minutes due to foul trouble. She picked up her fourth with 7:21 left in the third quarter and promptly went to the bench. When she returned with 7:06 left in the game, and the score knotted at 23, she fouled out 39 seconds later and scored just two points.
"When Christina fouled out I think we thought, Okay, we all have to do our part now, said Ellie. We had people step up. It's Barlow we really wanted to beat."
With Welch out, Hannah Hutchins and Taylor Swanson took over ball-handling responsibilities. Lianna Hursh contributed a key 3-pointer in the fourth period to help Weston build a five-point lead, and Sloop's putback with 3:23 left re-established the five-point margin. Swanson hit three throws in the final 75 seconds to help the Trojans hold on.
"It's an important confidence boost for us,'' Martin said. "It's great that we're 6-0, but we have Newtown on Friday and that's going to be another tough game. We have to look ahead."
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