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Thursday, April 26 Sports

Fast start lifts Wilton girls past Ludlowe in FCIAC quarterfinals

STAMFORD -- The Wilton girls basketball team had to get through the first quarter of the season without the services of center Erica Meyer, who was sidelined with a wrist injury.

In the FCIAC quarterfinals against Fairfield Ludlowe, Meyer went to the bench in foul trouble in the second quarter and again in the third, but the No. 2 Warriors did not worry, having learned to play without her earlier in the season.

The truth is, the Warriors would have been fine with or without Meyer as everyone else on the team seemed locked in from the opening tip, beating No. 7 Ludlowe 48-29 at Westhill, advancing to the FCIAC semifinals Tuesday at Ludlowe High School where they will face No. 6 Greenwich.

"We are not the same time without her on the floor but I don't see how the level of play drops tremendously," Wilton coach Jaclyn Porco said. "We are prepared if she gets into foul trouble and we are happy because there is not a large drop of when she's out. It did help at the beginning of the year, although we would have loved to have her all season."

Meyer scored 11 in the time she was on the court, with Erin Cunningham leading all scorers with 15 points.

Wilton's full-court press smothered the Falcons early on, but Ludlowe hurt itself throughout the game, missing layups all afternoon.

"Our offense was bad. I mean terrible," Ludlowe coach Sarah Huntington said. "We couldn't buy a basket. Missing free throws, missing a ton of layups. I don't know we just had a bad night. I am trying to figure it out... nothing was working for us."

Ludlowe (15-6) was led by 8 points from Caroline Pangallo.

Wilton (16-3) jumped out to a 13-5 lead after one, leading 27-12 at halftime and 38-20 after three.

The Warriors have had several games come down to the final possession this season and were looking to start fast against Ludlowe.

"That was the game plan. We have had way too many games come down to the fourth quarter and the last possessions of the game and at this point in the season, we can't have that," Porco said. "The mentality was to get to them early, so, we went full court and kept the pressure on them and it was working."

Scott.Ericson@scni.com; @EricsonSports

FCIAC quarterfinals

At Westhill H.S.

Wilton 48, Fairfield Ludlowe 29

LUDLOWE (15-6)

Pauline Blatt 2 1-3 5; Sara Grabowski 1 0-0 2; Caroline Pangallo 2 3-4 8; Regan Steed 1 0-0 2; Alex McKinnon 2 2-6 6; Caroline Yates 2 0-0 4; Julia Pangallo 0 2-2 2. Totals: 10 8-15 29

WILTON (16-3)

Erica Meyer 4 3-6 11; Erin Cunningham 5 2-2- 15; MaKenna Pearsall 1 0-4 2; Haley English 3 3-3 8; Karen Brosko 1 0-0 3; Christina Holmgren 3 1-1 7; Cori Cannavino 0 1-2 1; Sara Dickinson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 11-19 48

LUDLOWE 5 7 8 9 - 29

WILTON 13 13 11 11 -- 48

3-pointers: W -- Cunningham 3, Brosko; L -- C. Pangallo.