Warde holds off Trumbull to advance in Class LL

Fairfield Warde withstood a late Trumbull High comeback when coach Dave Danko’s 14th-seeded Mustangs defeated the visiting 19th-seeded Eagles, 41-37, in a Class L first round state tournament girls basketball game on Monday night.
Warde (16-5) will visit defending champion and third-seeded Mercy High (20-1) in Middletown on Thursday at 7 p.m.
“Our girls played fantastic,” Danko said. “This was a great team effort and a good win for our seniors. Now we get to go play a great SCC team in Mercy. That’s our next challenge.”
Lejla Markovic scored 11 points and played a smart floor game for Warde, which received solid scoring from Iliani Krasniqi (10 points) and Sarah Cotto (eight points).
The Mustangs went on  10-0 run during a two-minute span of the second quarter to turn an 11-7 deficit into a 17-11 lead with four minutes remaining until halftime.
Krasniqi scored six of the points and Cotto dropped a 3-pointer on the Eagles (13-8).
Markovic opened the third period with a 3-pointer of her own to stake Warde to a 27-16 lead.
Tiara Fountain had a key hoop and helped up front to dominate the glass, as the Mustangs took a 36-24 lead into the fourth quarter.
Krasniqi scored on a press break to up the lead to 14 to open the frame. Trumbull, however, went on a 13-0 run over the next frantic six minutes to get within 38-37 on Amanda Pfohl’s baseline jumper at the 1:41 mark.
Warde missed three consecutive free throws, but Cotto twice came from the weakside to block Eagle shots and maintain the one-point edge.
Markovic’s free throw with 15.7 on the clock made it 39-37, and after an Eagle miss, Cotto concluded the scoring with a rebound bucket at the buzzer.
See the next issue of the Sun for complete game story.

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