Bogdwicz key to tourney win

One word summed up Bunnell High girls basketball coach Marvin Tyson’s focus for his team playing in last week’s Shelton Christmas Tournament — defense.
“Coming in, we were giving up more than sixty-five points a game,” Tyson said. “So we implemented a full-court pressure defense.”
The change in strategy worked as the Lady Bulldogs allowed an average of only 42.5 points in two games to gain a split. Bunnell lost to eventual champion Shelton 45-42 in the first round and won the consolation game by a 60-40 margin over Branford High.
Bunnell is 2-4 overall as it heads back to South-West Conference play this week with games at Lauralton Hall of Milford on Wednesday before hosting cross-town rival Stratford Friday night.
“We were up late against Shelton and we battled hard,” said Tyson of his team’s effort despite the loss. “A play here or there, we could’ve been playing in the championship game.”
Jess Bogdwicz, who was named to the all-tournament team, led the Lady Bulldogs with a game-high 20 points, while senior Lauryn Kostopoulos added seven.
Bunnell had to bounce back the next night with the consolation game moved up a day to Friday night due to the snow forecast for Saturday.
The Lady Bulldogs trailed just once at 2-1 before Bogdwicz nailed a 3-pointer off an assist from freshman Caitlyn Carrafiello to take the lead.
Kostopoulos drained a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter to make it 7-2. Bunnell used an 8-2 run to extend its lead to nine points, as Carrafiello scored all four of her points.
Branford (3-4) cut the lead to six points on a couple of occasions, including a conventional three-point play late in the first half.
But Bogdwicz had an answer, sinking her third trey of the night and adding both ends of a one-and-one to give the Lady Bulldogs a 5-0 run and extend their halftime lead to 30-19.
“Every time they made a little run, we responded,” Tyson said.
Bunnell added to the lead to start the third quarter.
Sophomore center Shannon Hofmiller converted a feed from Bogdwicz on a perfectly executed pick-and-roll, and Kostopoulos scored on a pretty scoop shot for a 34-19 advantage just 30 seconds into the second half.
Not only would Branford not get back within single-digits the rest of the night, the locals continued to add to their lead, even as Tyson made liberal use of his reserves.
Freshman Ryane Newall made it a 20-point Bunnell advantage late in the third quarter on a short baseline jumper off a pass from Deja Fonseca.
Newall ended a 5-0 Hornet run with a layup 30 seconds into the final quarter.
Bunnell never extended the lead beyond 20 points, as the teams traded points in the fourth quarter.
Sophomore forward Jill McManus closed out the scoring with a putback of a Michelle Costa miss to make it 60-40.
Nine Lady Bulldogs scored on the night, led by 18 points from Bogzwicz and 13 from Kostopoulos. Hofmiller (eight points and 10 rebounds), Erin Koletar (seven points, two steals), Carrafiello (four points, six rebounds), Newall (four points), Costa (two points), McManus (two points) and Rachel Mudre (two points) all found the scoring column for Bunnell. Senior Bianca Burgos didn’t score, but grabbed five rebounds for Bunnell.
Shelton won the tournament with a 50-38 victory over Norwalk.

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