Ith, Danbury advance in FCIAC tournament with win over Staples
FAIRFIELD—The game plan for the Danbury girls basketball team in its FCIAC quarterfinal matchup against Staples was simple.
Pound the ball inside and then do it again and again and again.
Dominating the paint all night, the No. 4 Hatters defeated No. 5 Staples 50-41 in the quarterfinals at Ludlowe High School.
Danbury’s dominance inside was apparent from the opening tip.
“We took advantage of that. We have to when we can. There are teams like Norwalk and Trinity who have kids as big as ours. We have to take advantage with our post players when we can,” Danbury coach Jackie DiNardo said. “(Ty’Lynn Ith) stepped up in the fourth quarter. That’s senior leadership, right there.”
Ith, a senior guard, got the ball in her hands every time Staples made a run in the second half, scoring 11 of her game-high 16 points over the final 16 minutes.
Danbury will face the winner of No. 8 Stamford and No. 1 Norwalk in the semifinals Tuesday night at Trumbull High School.
Staples trailed by 31-16 at the half before adjusting better guard the low post, chipping away at the Hatters’ lead.
Staples coach Paco Fabian said it was too little, too late for his team.
“It took too long,” Fabian said. “Our goal coming into the game was to stop them inside. We did an absolutely horrible job of that in the first half. Our whole defensive plan was to stop the ball going to the low post and Danbury did a great job of that and their bigs won the game.”
Danbury got 8 points from junior center Tanisha Cunningham, all in the first half and 11 points from sophomore forward Tianna Rogers.
Staples was led by 10 points apiece from Elle Fair and Marley Lopez-Paul.
The Wreckers was able get within six points in the fourth quarter but could not get any closer.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ty’Lynn Ith, Danbury: The senior guard not only led the team in scoring but controlled the ball down the stretch. She went 6 of 7 from the free throw line in the second half, helping secure the win.
“I try to step up when I need to,” Ith said. “We realized there was a big mismatch inside and we wanted our post players to have a field day. That was our strength today and we played to our strengths.”
DANBURY 50 STAPLES 41
STAPLES 6 10 18 7--41
DANBURY 12 19 9 10--50
STAPLES (12-9) Abby Carter 1 0-0 2 Nicole Holmes 0 2-2 2 Alva Nordin 2 2-2 7 Elle Fair 4 1-2 10 Sydelle Bernstein 2 0-0 6 Marley Lopez-Paul 5 0-0 10 Lexie Moskovit 0 2-2 2 Caroline DeLaurentis 0 2-2 2. Totals: 14 9-10 41
DANBURY (16-5) Tianna Rogers 5 1-1 11 Sabrina Almeida 1 2-2 4 Susana Almeida 4 0-0 9 Tanisha Cunningham 3 2-5 8 Ty’Lynn Ith 4 6-7 16 Kianna Perry 1 0-0 2 Totals: 18 12-16 50
3-point field goals: S—Fair, Nordin, Bernstein 2. D—Sus. Almeida, Ith
Fouled out: S—Nordin; D—Rogers