After competing on a four-game road trip that ran into the new year, the Cheshire High School girls’ basketball team was excited to finally come home to play on Tuesday. The Rams enjoyed an early lead in their Quinnipiac Division opener, but Wilbur Cross used their athleticism at both ends to come away with a 53-37 road win.
“They (the Governors) are tall, long, and can run the floor,” said Head Coach Michelle Vieira. “That makes them tough to defend.”
In scoring 11 points in the first half, senior Emma Watkinson sparked CHS (2-4) at the outset. Watkinson netted a three-pointer and a layup to put Cheshire up 7-4, but the Governors responded with a 7-0 run and led 13-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Watkinson drained two three-pointers in the second quarter to help CHS pull to within 22-17, however Wilbur Cross came back with a three-pointer and a layup.
“That was tough,” said Vieira. “We can’t leave players open on the court.”
The Governors took a 27-19 lead at halftime and didn’t allow CHS to cut the deficit to single digits. Led by junior Dejah Middleton (game-high 24 points), Wilbur Cross forced turnovers and then scored in transition.
“We let them go on runs and can’t let that happen,” said point guard Ari Perlini, a senior co-captain with Toni Wetmore. “When we took care of the ball, we showed that we can go up and down with them.”
Perlini scored nine of her team-high 15 points in the second half and beat the buzzer with a three-pointer to end the third quarter. Sophomore Grace Lurz supplied seven points.
Sophomore Tess Givens made a jump shot and classmate Emily Grayson hit two free throws in the fourth quarter.
Last Friday, CHS fell 49-43 at West Haven. Cheshire jumped ahead 11-7 to end the first quarter, but the Blue Devils outscored them 14-7 in the second and went on to get the home win.
Watkinson made a three-pointer among her team-high 14 points. Junior Kaylee Clark recorded 12 points, sinking two three-pointers for the second game in a row.
Givens had eight points. Perlini and senior Rylee Post netted four points each. Lurz also sank a free throw.
On Dec. 30, Cheshire lost 39-34 at Plainville. The teams combined for just six points in the first quarter, with Plainville taking a 4-2 lead and extending their advantage to 16-13 at halftime.
Clark and Perlini both netted 10 points. Perlini scored eight points after intermission.
Watkinson supplied five points, including a three-pointer. Givens tallied four points, while Wetmore and Lurz had two points. Post netted a free throw.
The Rams host Shelton on Friday (7 p.m.) and Daniel Hand on Jan. 13 (5:15 p.m.). On Jan. 15, CHS visits Milford to face Lauralton Hall at 6:15 p.m.