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Darien Girls Scrap for Huge Win in Playoff Push

DARIEN, Conn. – It was far from pretty, but style points hardly mattered Tuesday evening in the push to the playoffs for the Darien High girls basketball team. The Blue Wave scored a huge upset over third-ranked Wilton, boosting its postseason chances with a hard-fought 33-28 win.

“At this point in the season we need the wins. We probably need them all,” Darien head coach Gary Peterson said. “We’re going to keep on pushing to get them. We tried to give this one away, but the girls didn’t give up.”

Baskets were at a premium throughout the game, as Darien went into halftime with only a 16-8 lead. Wilton went without a point for nearly eight minutes and without a field goal for almost 10 between the second and third quarter.

The shots finally started to fall for Darien in the fourth quarter, as the Blue Wave put up 10 points in the final frame. After Wilton cut the Blue Wave lead to two with just over three minutes to play, Meg Marren (team-high 11 points) netted a short jumper to put the game out of reach.

Darien’s defense was the star of the night, holding Wilton’s best outside shooter, Casey Pearsall, to just three points. The Blue Wave used a “crash” defense on Wilton’s leading scorer, Maddy Fulton, with three and sometimes four players covering her when she entered the paint.

Wilton seemed to keep expecting to draw fouls, driving to the net as often as it could. The referees seemed to have left their whistles at home, however, and the Warriors could not find another way to score.

“We’ve known from past years that Wilton is a very good shooting team. So we had to get on their shooters and stay strong on [Fulton] especially,” Darien forward Kate Bushell said. “We’re going to have this same intensity for the rest of the games.

Emily Stein nailed a pair of three-pointers to finish with 10 points. Bushell finished with just five points, but added a key basket in the fourth.

Darien (9-6 conference, 10-7 overall) hosts Stamford on Friday at 7 p.m in the second of a three-game homestand. The Blue Wave is currently tied with Stamford and Fairfield Warde for the final conference playoff spot.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest Main Street Connect coverage of Fairfield County sports. Like The Daily Darien on Facebook .

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