There's something about the second quarter that gets the Greenwich High School girls basketball team playing its best.
A game after building a commanding lead in the second quarter in their win against Darien, the Cardinals raised their level of play on both ends of the court after the first quarter when Staples came to town on Tuesday.
And the result was another one-sided victory for the Cardinals.
Sophomore center Abbie Wolf produced her best performance of the young season, recording 17 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals in Greenwich's impressive 73-32 triumph over the Wreckers. The Cardinals (6-1) trailed 11-10 following the first quarter, but outscored Staples 20-5 in the second quarter, then also came out on fire after halftime, going on a smothering 27-3 run.
"The second quarter we moved the ball well on offense and our press slowed them down a little bit," Wolf said. "We really played well in the second quarter."
Sophomore sharp shooter Caroline Beneville scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers and junior forward Jamie Kockenmeister registered 14 points and seven rebounds for the Cardinals, who have won three straight games and seem to be gaining more confidence with each victory.
"A good second quarter opened it up for us," GHS coach Chrys Hernandez said. "Our game plan was to be aggressive and Staples came out just as aggressive, but our team did a good job of sticking to the game plan. We were aggressive and did a great job of playing the passing lanes."
Abby Lustig scored 12 points for the Wreckers, who led the whole first quarter. Madeline Schemel hit a jumper and Lustig converted pair of free throws, putting the visitors up, 11-8. But then it was all Greenwich, which used its full-court press to force numerous turnovers.
"I thought we should have scored more than 11 points in the first quarter," Staples coach Ed Huydic said. "We established a good press break early, but that broke down in the second quarter."
The Cards opened the second quarter with a 15-0 run and never looked back. Junior guard Alexa Moses swished a 3-pointer, Beneville scored in transition and senior guard Rebecca DeCarlo made a runner in the lane, putting GHS ahead 23-11 midway through the second stanza. A putback by Kockenmeister, followed by a pair of baskets by freshman guard Jayla Faison and a 3-pointer by Beneville, put the Wreckers in a 30-16 halftime hole.
"Tonight, we penetrated, kicked out to the open person and did a good job of finding those open looks," Beneville said. "We're clicking, everyone seems to know where each other is going to be."
"They came out and took the lead, but once we got the momentum they were not able to get it back," Moses said.
Staples had a tough time contending with Wolf in the low post. The 6-foot-3 Wolf helped Greenwich get second shots and was an intimidating presence on defense.
"I told Abbie we have been waiting for this all season," Hernandez said. "She played the way we all knew she was capable of playing." Read Full Article
Wolf's layup and senior Colleen Bennett's short jumper extended the Cards' advantage to 41-19 early in the third quarter. The home team led 57-19 heading into the final quarter.
"That big run they went on was primarily due to turnovers, some of which were unforced," Huydic said. "That, along with missed shots, made it ugly really quick. Kudos to them, they played a complete game offensively and defensively and Wolf in the middle dominated."
Junior Maggie Fair had 12 points, while Schemel scored six for Staples, which was stymied by Greenwich's 2-3 zone. Moses tallied five points and six rebounds, junior point guard Leigh Galletta contributed six points, Bennett had six rebounds and freshman center Emily Anderson grabbed seven rebounds for the Cardinals, who once again, received strong bench play.
"Everyone in practice has been working hard and everyone knows when called upon they have to be ready to step on the floor and fill the shoes of the person coming off the floor," Moses said.
Up next for the surging Cards is a matchup against visiting Fairfield Warde Wednesday at 7 p.m.
"They beat us last year on a buzzer-beater, so we are going into this game with a chip on our shoulder," Wolf said.
STAPLES (32): Madeline Schemel 3 0-0 6; Abby Lustig 3 3-4 12; Tessa Mall 1 0-0 2; Maggie Fair 4 0-0 12; Meredith Gemus 0 0-2 0; Julia Bartimer 0 0-2 0; Carlyn Lenihan 0 0-2 0; Tasha George 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 3-8 32.
GREENWICH (73): Jamie Kockenmeister 5 4-4 14; Leigh Galletta 3 0-0 6; Abbie Wolf 8 1-3 17; Alexa Moses 1 2-2 5; Caroline Beneville 5 0-0 14; Rebecca DeCarlo 2 0-0 4; Emily Anderson 1 1-2 3; Colleen Bennett 2 0-0 4; Jayla Faison 2 0-0 4; Emily Hunt 1 0-0 2; Raquel Ireifej 0 0-0 0. Totals: 30 8-11 73.
3-pointers: G -- Beneville 4, Moses; S -- Lustig 3, Fair 3.
Records: Greenwich 6-1; Staples 2-4.