In their penultimate regular-season game, the Wilton Warriors clinched an FCIAC playoff spot with a 46-40 home win over Trinity Catholic, which had already earned a berth in the conference playoffs.
Wilton's victory knocked Trinity (12-6) out of the top four and with it, home court for the opening quarter-final round.
Trinity had already clinched a playoff spot and were the No.4 seed until tonight. Wilton (12-5) – with one game remaining – plays its final regular season game at Bridgeport Central (2-17) on Wednesday. The Warriors would be the fourth seed with a win against Central.
Trinity led for most of the first half when coach Jaclyn Woitkowski substituted two freshman; Erica Meyer, a 6-foot, 2-inch center (nine points) and Haley English, who provided an instant spark. Meyer, who has excellent stamina and runs the court, scored nine points to give the home team a 20-18 halftime lead.
"She's very patient for someone so young She also did a good job on doubling up on Trinity's center Mackenzie Griffin (16 points)," Woitkowski said.
Griffin said,"They were a very physical team and did a good job of drawing and making foul shots. We missed some key opportunities but give them credit."
Senior Maddy Fulton and junior Alyssa Malvarossa helped break a 20-20 tie in the third quarter with aggressive go-to-the-basket drives as well as chasing down loose balls. They were key in opening up a four-point lead after three quarters.
Fulton, who is headed for Bowdoin in the fall, said "It was extra special winning tonight on Senior Night after losing to them a couple of seasons ago, also on Senior Night."
Wilton went with three freshmen at crunch time – Meyer, English and Erin Cunningham.
"They play well together," said Woitkowski.
Casey Pearsall, who did a good job quarterbacking the team, scored seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter.
Meyer gave the Warriors the lead for good when she scored on a drive to the basket and followed it with a foul shot; the three-point play made it 36-30. But when Trinity's Kellie Hurd(14 points) nailed her fourth 3-pointer followed by a nice drive and it was a one-point game game with 1:26 remaining.
That's when Pearsall took over. She scored five of her team's next seven points and sealed the win.
Trinity Coach Tom Kriz thought the Wilton defense was the difference. "They were good on 'D' and they rebounded well. We'll be playing on Saturday in the FCIAC, but tonight we lost home court."