Girls basketball: Weston comeback falls short in loss to Notre Dame

weston girls basketball
Kate Joyce pushes the ball up the court during the Weston girls basketball team’s 45-44 loss at Notre Dame-Fairfield on Friday night.

An epic comeback by the Weston High girls basketball team fell painfully short as the Trojans lost at Notre Dame-Fairfield, 45-44, on Friday night.

The Lancers led 41-27 after three quarters. The Trojans held the Lancers scoreless for nearly five minutes to open the fourth quarter and had the ball and a chance to win the game on two possessions but couldn’t quite pull it off.

It was the first loss of the season for the Trojans, who fell to 8-1. The Lancers — ranked ninth in the state — improved to 6-2, with the losses coming to New London and Mercy, the state’s top-ranked squads.

Notre Dame led 17-7 after one quarter and 30-22 at the intermission.

The Lancers went scoreless for more than five minutes to open the fourth quarter, allowing the Trojans to creep back.

A steal and layup by Kate Joyce and two free throws by Katharine Orefice made it 41-36, and a Joyce free throw capped a 10-0 run, cutting the deficit to to 41-37 with 3:10 left.

Notre Dame’s Gabby Joseph scored off a feed by Yamani McCollough to break the Lancers’ scoring drought, but Orefice answered with a 3-pointer from the wing to make it a one-possession game, 43-40, with 2:25 left.

A putback by Notre Dame’s Zuquila Mbachiantim was answered by two free throws by Orefice, and two free throws by Grace Toner cut the Notre Dame lead to 45-44 with 1:14 left.

Notre Dame kept the door open for Weston in the final minute with missed free throws and a turnover, but the Trojans couldn’t take advantage down the stretch.

Orefice led Weston with 16 points, while Joyce had 15 points and Toner 11 points.

For the Lancers, Mbachiantim had 17 points and McCollough 10 points.

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