Warde edged by Wilton, 43-42, in FCIAC girls basketball semis

The top two seeds, No. 1 Trumbull and No. 2 Wilton, scored semifinal victories on Tuesday and will clash for the FCIAC girls basketball championship at 7 p.m., Thursday, at Fairfield-Ludlowe High School.

The Wilton Warriors edged the Warde Mustangs, 43-42, on a late bucket by Clair Gulbin in the early semifinal, while Trumbull held off a rally by the Stamford Black Knights and won their game, 51-44, in the night cap.

Trumbull is looking to repeat at league champion, and is making its fifth appearance in the last eight years in the FCIAC final.

Wilton last reached the FCIAC final in 2014 but lost to Danbury, and the Warriors have never won a conference girls hoops title.

In the opener, the Warriors and Mustangs were tied at halftime, 22-22, and stayed tight throughout the second half. Kat Allison’s basket late in the fourth quarter gave Warde a 42-41 lead with under a minute to play, but the Mustangs turned the ball on an inbounds play as Gulbin recovered a called timeout with 37 seconds on the clock.

Gulbin, who scored a game-best 20 points, then drove to the hoop and scooped in a shot to put Wilton ahead for good at 43-42.

Gulbin’s performance included four three-pointers, and she also scored the Warriors’ first 10 points of the game. Lauren Robertson netted nine points and Emily Tuin scored seven.

For Warde, Olivia Parisi and Caroline Aufiero both scored double digits, with Parisi knocking down 14 points and Aufiero scoring 11. Allison finished with eight.

In the second game, Trumbull bolted out to a 17-3 lead in the first quarter, but Stamford rallied back into it and got as close as three points in the fourth quarter. Brooke Kelly, who had 18 points in the semifinal and 48 in two playoff games, drained a 3-pointer to make it 39-36 with three minutes to go.

Trumbull righted the ship and outscored Stamford 12-8 the rest of the way to nail down the victory.

The Eagles’ offense was spread around to several players, with Brady Lynch scoring 12, and Julie Keckler and Cassi Barbato pitching in 11 points each.

For Stamford, in addition to Kelly’s 18 points, Andrea O’Connor scored 13 and Jessica Nelson had eight.

FCIAC Girls Basketball Semifinals

Tuesday, Feb. 20, at Ludlowe HS

Wilton 43, Warde 42

Warde 9-13-9-11 42

Wilton 12-10-10-11 43

Warde: Toni Lamparski 2 0-0 6, Ava Fitzpatrick 0 0-0 0, Kristina Krasniqi 1 0-0 3, Kat Allison 4 0-2 8, Caroline Aufiero 4 2-2 11, Olivia Parisi 7 0-1 14. Totals 18 2-5 42

Wilton: Caroline Sweeny 1 1-2 3, Zoe Rappaport 1 0-2 2, Claire Gulbin 7 2-2 20, Elizabeth Breslin 0 2-2 2, Emily Tuin 3 0-0 7, Lauren Robertson 3 3-4 9. Totals 15 8-12 43

3-pointers: Warde – Lampanski 2, Krasniqi, Aufiero; Wilton – Gulbin 4, Tuin

Trumbull 51, Stamford 44

Stamford 3-9-14-18 44

Trumbull 17-6-13-15 51

Stamford: Andrea O’Connor 6 1-1 13, Megan Landsiedel 2 0-0 4, Jessica Nelson 3 2-7 8, Kelly Jagodzinski 0 0-0 0, Claudia Moses 0 1-4 1, Dina Marone 0 0-0 0, Brooke Kelly 5 4-4 18. Totals 16 8-16 44

Trumbull: Meghan Lesko 0 0-0 0, Kelly O’Leary 0 1-2 1, Krystina Schueler 2 3-4 7, Aisling Maguire 1 0-0 2, Julie Keckler 2 6-9 11, Cassi Barbato 3 4-6 11, Gianna Ghitsa 0 0-0 0, Allie Palmieri 2 2-2 7, Brady Lynch 6 0-0 12. Totals 16 16-23 51

3-pointers: Stamford – Kelly 4; Trumbull – Keckler, Barbato, Palmieri

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