De GRAFF – Ansonia’s Brooke Neal scored all of the Lady Tigers’ nine points in the first quarter – all on nine points coming via bombs from beyond the 3-point stripe – in leading the Lady Tigers to a 45-37 win over host Riverside in non-league girls basketball action Saturday.
A fourth 3-point attempt from Neal rimmed out as the buzzer sounded to end the opening period.
Neal, a senior guard for Tiger head coach Jim Bolin, ended the game with 20 points to lead all scorers. Neal sank five or her eight free throws in the fourth quarter to help ice the game for Ansonia.
The Tigers (5-3 overall) took advantage of the Pirates’ horrible shooting from the floor in the first half to take 22-13 lead into the locker room then held off a Pirate surge in the third when the hosts pulled to within one point of the Tigers near the close of the period before Ansonia was able to open a 31-28 advantage headed into the fourth.
After that, however, it was all Tigers, as Ansonia took advantage of the late-game fouls by the Pirates, the visitors connecting on 8-of-13 free throws in the final period. The Tigers also hit three field goals in the period – two of the late buckets coming from sophomore Bailey Stammen – to finally pull away from Riverside. As a team, Ansonia was 11-of-22 from the charity stripe in the game for a pedestrian 50 percent but was able to make the freebies down the stretch when they counted most and kept Riverside at arm’s length throughout the final period.
In addition to Neal’s 20 points, Stammen closed with 10 points for the Tigers.
Marissa Davis paced Riverside with 14 points and 13 rebounds. The Pirates are now 3-4 on the season.
Ansonia also won the junior varsity game, downing Riverside 32-22.
Ansonia will be in action again Monday in a Cross County Conference match-up at Tri-Village.