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Saturday, February 17 Sports

Notre Dame girls fall to New Fairfield

The Notre-Dame Fairfield girls basketball team had been playing inconsistently entering Thursday night's matchup with New Fairfield, and the storyline continued against the Rebels. Despite playing well for stretches, the Lancers did not maintain a high level for four quarters in a 55-48 loss in a SWC game in Fairfield.

After trailing by 12 at halftime, Notre Dame went on a 13-0 run at the beginning of the third quarter to tie the game at 30. With 1:52 remaining in the quarter, it was 34-34. Instead of wilting, New Fairfield maintained composure and executed well at both ends of the court to prevent an upset.

With the win, the Rebels improved to 9-3 overall and 8-2 in the SWC. Meanwhile, the Lancers fell to 4-7 overall and 3-4 in the conference.

Katherine Broderick led New Fairfield with 24 points. Bridget Zima (11) and Erin Carter (10) also finished in double figures. Nakia Mabin scored 14 points to lead Notre Dame.

The Lancers turned the ball over a number of times in the first half and struggled to make shots, while allowing some second-chance points. As a result, they found themselves down 28-16 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Lancers looked like a different team. The defense did an excellent job of pressuring the Rebels and forcing them into turnovers, and Notre Dame did a much better job of rebounding. As a result, Notre Dame hit New Fairfield with that 13-0 run that lasted just over four minutes. After trading baskets, the teams were tied 30-30. Notre Dame's gym had come alive.

"In the third quarter, our defense played very well both on and off the ball and we limited their second-chance shots after they had gotten so many of them in the first half," Lancers coach Eric DeMarco said. "That was a big focus for us at halftime."

After a 34-34 tie, the Lancers never grabbed the lead again. The Rebels scored 10 consecutive points to grab a 44-34 advantage with 6:31 remaining in the fourth quarter. Notre Dame never got closer than three points the rest of the way. New Fairfield stretched the lead by forcing turnovers and controlling the pace of the game.

"It's hard to go up against a well-coached team like that when there is no shot clock," DeMarco said. "There were times where they passed the ball seven or eight times before they shot, and it's hard to maintain defensive intensity when a team has the ball that long."

"Both at the beginning of the game and the end, our offense made good decisions and didn't get itself into bad situations," Rebels coach Joe Russo said. "We took great shots when we were playing well."

DeMarco maintains a positive attitude despite the loss, the Lancers' third in the last four games.

"I still believe we have a lot of upside with the players we have in this program," DeMarco said. "I'm excited about the long-term prospects for our team, and I think we can go on a significant run."

Danny Atkinson is a freelance reporter

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New Fairfield 55, Notre Dame 48


Emily Farrell 1 0-0 2 Bridget Zima 4 3-4 11 Erin Carter 4 0-0 10 Katherine Broderick 9 6-8 24 Jordon O'Connor 1 0-0 2 Eileen Ruby 1 0-0 2 Rebecca Jansen 0 0-0 0 Victoria Scofield 0 0-0 0 Haley Anderson 0 0-0 0 Sydney Gouveia 0 0-0 0 Pamela Sbarra 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 7-13 55.


Kayla Croswell 3 2-2 8 Alex Danas 2 0-0 6 Bryanna D'Arcangelo 0 0-0 0 Eliana Otero 0 0-0 0 Kim Rodriguez 0 0-0 0 Alicia Berard 0 0-0 0 Whitney Fulton 0 0-0 0 Precious Montgomery 0 0-0 0 Patriney Alteus 0 1-2 0 Yasmine Walker 2 0-0-5 Briana Mann 2 3-4 5 Raina Ceryak 3 0-0 7 Nakia Mabin 6 2-7 14. Totals: 18 8-15 48.

NEW FAIRFIELD 12 16 12 15--55

NOTRE DAME 8 8 18 14--48

3-pointers: NF--Carter 2; ND--Danas 2; Walker, Ceryak.