The Black Knights wanted to come out strong against Norwalk on wednesday night, and they did just that, earning a 57-25 victory.
Stamford opened the game with an 18-0 run before allowing a basket by Norwalk's Mallory Rochefort late in the opening frame.
Looking at the team roster, one which features a number players who made their debuts, a balanced scoring effort is surprising.
Stamford had three players with scoring the in double digits, with junior center Kelsey Santagata leading the way with 19 points, including 8 from inside the paint.
The junior has taken on a leadership role on a young team and played the game that way despite the added pressure of captaincy "theres not really pressure, its what I love to do so i think it comes naturally." she remarked after the game.
The Black Knights benefitted from contributions down the roster including 11 from senior point guard Ashyla Cody and Ansia Fortt, respectively. Rounding out the scoring was freshman Tiana England, who made her varsity debut.
The ball seemingly followed her around the court as she dished 5 assists, most of which to Santagata. England finished the game with 7 points and a steal to her credit.
For Norwalk, senior center Emma Oyomba posted 14 points, 5 blocks and 8 rebounds, using her height as an advantage. While the Bears were truly unable to establish thier possesion game, Oyomba was able to find buckets off rebounds and made things happen in the paint en route to a layup. Mallory Rochefort also played well in the loss, finding herself in the mix of every play, and scoring 6 on the night.
Stamford put in many hours of practice adapting to a fast break offense which helped Santagata rack up the points. "We ran it really well, we' are a fast team so we're looking to push the ball and I think we executed really well."
Thanks to team cohesion the season opener for many of the underclassmen was smooth, "we are a young team but i think were experienced as well, we're learning as wer'e going all together, its coming together nicely... I think we can be a great team, and i think we're all on the same page with what we want" (an FCIAC title) added Santagata.
The Black Knights have a long season ahead of them but a start like this could be a sign of good things to come. Next on the schedule for Stamford is a trip to Harding on Friday, while Norwalk travels to Danbury in a week.
Norwalk: 2 9 9 5
Stamford: 20 10 10 17
Stamford: Kelsey Santagata, 19 pts (8 FG, 3/7 FT) Ashyla Cody, 11 pts (4 FG, 3/4 FT) Anisa Fortt, 11 pts (5 FG, 1/2 FT) Tiana England, 7 pts (2 FG, 3FG)
Norwalk: Emma Oyomba 14 pts, (5 blocks, 8 rebounds) Mallory Rochefort 6 pts (1 FG, 1 3FG, 1/2 FT)
Watch the full game Friday, December 7 at 9:30 p.m. on Optimum ch. 14 and again anytime on ch. 614 or MSGVarsity.com