One of the trademarks of Trinity Catholics successful girls basketball teams under coach Tom Kriz has been a tenacious defense. Friday night, Trumbull's girls solved the Crusaders' defense repeatedly, tallying a convincing 63-39 victory in Trumbull in a battle of teams undefeated in Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference play.
"You have to give all the credit to them,'' Kriz said. "They played a whale of a game."
Kelly Coughlin scored 17 points, including 10 in the first quarter, to pace the Golden Eagles (8-1 overall, 8-0 in the FCIAC). Mackenzie Griffin scored a game-high 24 for the Crusaders (8-2, 7-0).
Coughlin helped Trumbull take control early. After Alexa Pfohl (12 points) scored to give Trumbull a 7-4 lead, Coughlin's 3-pointer stretched the lead to 10-4. She scored on two more trips down the floor as Trumbull went on a 13-2 run to take an 18-6 lead with 1:17 left in the first quarter.
Griffin, who scored all 10 of Trinity's first-quarter points, tried to keep the Crusaders in it. But Trumbull threw a blanket on her in the second quarter, and the Crusaders managed just one field goal and faced a 31-15 deficit at halftime.
"We try to establish Mackenzie early every game, that's no secret,'' Kriz said. "If it's not there then we try to kick it out. Again, you have to credit Trumbull. They played great."
The Crusaders never narrowed the lead to single digits in the second half. One key factor was Trumbull's guard play. The Golden Eagles had just five turnovers. Victoria Pfohl (eight points), Mookie Kennedy (15 points), Alexa Pfohl and Coughlin worked the ball expertly around the Crusaders' defense.
Jovan Kingwood, Erin Sottosanti and Ali Palma had four points apiece for the Crusaders. They face another tough test Tuesday when they host New Canaan at 7 p.m.
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