Each week, GOOD Morning Wilton will run news of weekend results and scores from Wilton Youth sports teams. Please send all stories and updates, along with a photo to editor@goodmorningwilton.com by noon on Monday of each week. Stories received after the deadline may not be included. Results write-ups will be grouped by sport and published in the order they are received.

Wilton Pony Club Spends a Day at the Beach

Saturday, Dec. 1 was a beautiful, blue sky day at Penfield Beach in Fairfield. While sunny, it was too cold for a dip–unless you are a horse! Ten girls from Wilton Pony Club and nine horses and ponies hit the beach. The Wilton Pony Club sponsored the event, which drew crowds of onlookers as the horses walked, trot, cantered and even swam in the sound. This annual winter event highlights older girls helping younger ones and is a favorite for the girls, parents and horses!

Lily Kepner from Wilton splashed out of the water riding Just Perfect
Members of the Wilton Pony Club enjoying the Long Island Sound
Charlotte Stevenson and her horse Happy Harry from the Wilton Riding Club give Liesel Schmauch from Wilton a ride

Wilton Youth Basketball

Wilton Boys 5/6th Grade Basketball with Slow Start to Season

The Wilton Boys 5/6th Grade basketball team had its first two games of the season this weekend under coach John Redding. The boys started off the season facing an extremely tough Stamford JCC team that greeted them with a full court press and who shot extremely well from the three point line, barely missing a foul shot. There were not many highlights to speak of from this game but every game is a learning and building experience. Stefano Cross was the high scorer with 4 points, 2 rebounds and a couple assists. Patrick Lillis scored two points on a nice shot which was a quarter end buzzer beater. Trevien Goldman also had two points and an assist to wrap up the offense for this game, as Wilton fell 8-62 to start the season. Ryan Meenan racked up an impressive four rebounds and Henry Soojian also had three rebounds in this game (he would go on to rack up five rebounds, one assist and a steal in the second game).

On Sunday the squad’s second game was a vast improvement, as Wilton met the Greenwich Stars away. Wilton’s offense improved and put some points on the board, finding themselves tied up at 16 with about 8 minutes to go in the game. Big man Max Totten had 5 points, 6 rebounds and a steal, and Dylan Gallo was the game’s high scorer with 7 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals and an assist. Connor Toohill and Matt Garcia each had a steal and a couple of rebounds. Mason Andrews had 2 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound and Jake Brokaw had 2 rebounds. Liam Joy showed some good ball handling at guard and scored 2 points and added 1 steal and 1 rebound. Wilton played good defense throughout the game but their offense went cold over the last 8 minutes, for a final score of 16-22.

Wilton Hoops 5th Grade Girls Face Character-Building Opening Weekend

The Wilton Hoops 5th Grade Girls opened their season with a pair of weekend games against Darien and Ridgefield. Facing an older Darien squad on Saturday, the girls fell far behind in the first half but battled back to match the Blue Wave with eight points in the third quarter. Darien prevailed in the end, 14-37, and though Ridgefield won on Sunday, 14-21, the girls made a strong improvement on defense in just one day.

Rose Bilella showcased fancy footwork and smooth passing on Saturday, scoring on a fast break for the first Wilton points of the season. Ellie Smith dominated the second half with 10 points, including two three-pointers. Maia Andjelkovic finished the scoring with a clutch basket late in the game, while Carolina Bonita and Kokona Layne provided standout defense throughout.

Wilton jumped to a 6-3 lead after one quarter at home on Sunday, before Ridgefield found its groove. Smith again led the scoring with six points, with Liliana Finn pouring in five points and Josie Silva chipping in three. Rory Kepner grabbed several rebounds down low, and Arwen Garcia and Ella Loughran each contributed steals on defense.

5th Grade Future Warrior Boys Cap Opening Weekend with two Wins

On Saturday afternoon, the fifth grade Future Warriors started off the season with their first win against Greenwich Catholic. The game started off slow as Wilton quickly found themselves down 4-0 early. Led by Craig O’Neill and Jake Padilla, Wilton bounced back to take the lead. Great passing from Will Byrnes and tough defense at the top from Charlie Roy and Alan Osta allowed the future warriors to close the gap to a 1-point lead at half. Second half dominance in rebounding by Curtis Jackson (8 rebounds) and Blake Ongley (7 rebounds) helped the boys gain the lead and never look back. The team had a total of 12 steals throughout the game. Defense held up strong against Greenwich’s shooting, as Wilton shut them down in the second half, only allowing 12 points thanks to pressure from big men Joseph Aversano and Grant Stein. A huge, first win (33-24) on the road, and a nice way to begin the season.

On Sunday Wilton faced Ridgefield rivals at home, and was able to gain the lead early and hold on throughout. Starting off to a bit of a slow start, the game quickly turned around into a fast pace frenzy. The first quarter began with the tip-off going Wilton’s way and a few plays later with a steal by Theo Satrazemis, which led to an assist to Roy for a score. Second quarter was full of fast breaks, one including a steal by Aversano with an assist to O’Neill. Third quarter was more of the same story, with O’Neill making a great steal and taking it coast to coast and finishing with a fast break layup. Byrnes and Padilla showed off their legs, hustling and pushing the ball up court quickly. Ongley hit a beautiful shot from way downtown, nothing but the bottom of the net! Defense and rebounding were clearly where Wilton excelled, with Aversano, Osta and Stein each earning seven rebounds. O’Neill and Roy led the boys with 8 points each and pushed the ball numerous times into fast breaks. Roy’s moves kept the defense guessing. Stein had three blocks and shut Ridgefield down in the paint. A strong 25-16 win defending Wilton’s home court finished the first weekend of games 2-0.

Wilton 8th Grade Boys Win One, Lose One

The 8th Grade Boys started off the weekend with a gritty win against Greenwich Select. The teams went neck-and-neck the entire game which made every possession crucial. The Warriors established their inside game to start things off with Nick Walden banging the boards to finish with 13 rebounds and 6 points. Bailey Finn was guarded closely by Greenwich but toughed out 12 of his 18 points in the first half. The inside presence of Finn, Walden, Alexander Reyes and Will McCormack helped open things up for Ryan Preisano, who made the three only 3-pointers of the contest. Preisano and the other guards, Tommy Walsh, Tommy McKiernan and Mikey Byrnes, made the Greenwich players’ lives difficult on the perimeter with pesky defense all game long. With the Warriors down by one with 1:24 remaining, some strong defense and four consecutive free throws by McKiernan (who finished with 16 pts) sealed the 52-49 victory.

The Sunday contest against the Fairfield boys was equally tough. The Warriors fell behind big quickly until McKiernan caught fire in the second quarter with three 3-pointers to finish with 20 points to get Wilton back into striking range. Preisano, Walsh and Spencer Liston added 5, 2 and 3 points, respectively. In the second half Wilton’s front line of Finn, Walden and Reyes came to life spearheaded by Finn, who finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Walden had a key block down the stretch to go with his 5 points and 5 rebounds. But despite some good decisions by Byrnes and McCormack and a great play call by coach Kevin Hand for an open 3-point attempt with two seconds left, the boys came up short and lost 53-56.

Wilton 7th Grade Girls Start Season with Two Wins

Wilton 7th grade girls’ team won a pair of games this weekend. On Saturday, Wilton defeated Trumbull, 36-21, in a League game. Wilton dominated the second half, outscoring its opponent 24-4. Maddie Dineen led the scoring with 10 points, followed by Anisa Burrows (8 points), Riley Fitzgerald (7 points, including one 3-pointer), and Ashleigh Masterson with 5 points. Caroline Hage (3 points) and Maddie Phelan (2 points) rounded out the scoring. Wilton struggled in the first-half against Trumbull’s full-court press, but in the second half, Wilton deployed its own full-court pressure, energized by Lauren Moe, to stifle the Trumbull attack.

In the second game, Wilton exploded out of the gate to defeat New Canaan 55-36. Burrows (17 points), Fitzgerald (9 points, including one 3-pointer), Hage (8 points), Molly Hancock (8 points), Masterson (6 points), Emma Kelly (4 points), and Ella Mulfinger (3 points) sparked the offense. Wilton scored numerous lay-ups, both in transition and its half-court offense as the result of hard basket cuts and great interior passing. Wilton’s tough defense, especially its help-side defense, shut down its opponent’s drives to the basket.

Wilton 8th Grade Girls Basketball Split Weekend Play

The Wilton 8th Grade girls played two tough games over the weekend. On Saturday, they beat Milford 36-33. Wilton was lead by Kelly Holmgren (15 points), Kendall Scholz (9 Points), Mary Scally (6 Points), Heather Plowright (3 points) and Lucy Corry (2 points). Charlotte Casiraghi, Molly McLaughlin, and Maddie Ratcliffe all played significant minutes and contributed to Wilton’s outstanding defense.

On Sunday, Wilton lost a tough defensive battle to Norwalk 30-33. Wilton was led by Scally (9 points) and Holmgren (7 points). Casiraghi and Ratcliffe played great defense. Corry, McLaughlin, Plowright and Anna Joy all contributed to the scoring. Scholz pulled down 10 rebounds.

Wilton 6th Grade Boys Split the Weekend, Beating Weston but Falling to Madison

The Wilton 6th Grade Travel Boys kicked off the season with a 29-22 win over Weston. The first half was a defensive struggle as the offense worked to find a rhythm, after falling behind by eight points to rally to tie it at the half. With momentum on their side, the offense came to life as Liam McKiernan, Grady Kaliski, and Jack Schwartz led the scoring charge. With centers Cole Siegel and Liam Murphy blocking several shots, forwards Luke Ginsburg, Cole Galante and Cael Dexter controlling the boards and guards Ryan Luchetta and Luke Perna providing assists and steals, the depth of the team was on display as the 10-player rotation wore down Weston, opening a large, fourth quarter lead and bringing home the win for Coach Torres.

The second game of the weekend was against one of the best teams in the league, as Wilton was matched up against a strong Madison team. Once again, the strength of the team proved to be its defense and depth as they frustrated Madison into many forced shots and numerous turnovers. Ginsburg (2 points, 3 steals), Schwartz (2 points, 4 rebounds) and Galante ( 2 steals, 2 rebounds) provided tough defense as the first half ended with Madison in a 12 point lead. The second half proved to be a different story as Siegel (8 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocks), McKiernan (12 points, 3 assists) and Perna (4 points, 5 steals, 6 rebounds) provided the offensive spark while  Murphy (2 points, 4 rebounds), Dexter (2 steals, 2 rebounds), Luchetta (2 steals, 2 rebounds) and Kaliski (2 assists, 2 rebounds) all contributed on both ends of the floor. While the score showed a final of 30-43 in favor of Madison it served notice to the rest of the league that the Warriors will be a force to be reckoned with all season long.

Wilton 7th Grade Boys Defeat Norwalk Youth (64-27) and New Canaan (50-27)

The Wilton 7th Grade Boys basketball team started the season with a border battle between Norwalk Youth 7B on Saturday and New Canaan Red 7B on Sunday. On Saturday against Norwalk, Wilton started with a 6-0 run and never looked back. Max Jarvie led all scorers with 26 points. Wilton dominated the boards with Kyle Roesser’s nine rebounds. Wyatt Jones (5 points) managed the offense with multiple assists. Jack Minnich and Will Fischer were three point threats. At the end of the first half, Wilton was up 36-10. Norwalk had no answer to Todd Woodring, Luke DiRocco, and Peter Reyes’ defensive wall. Levi Kaplan (6 points) and Henry Roy were both unafraid to drive the lane. After four quarters, Wilton started the season with a 64-27 win with all players scoring.

Would the boys be able to maintain their frenetic pace going into their second game of the weekend against New Canaan? Less than one minute into the game, Wilton was up 6-0, forcing an early New Canaan timeout, Wilton continued with eight unanswered points. Jarvie dominated the inside game (14 points) and Minnich (12 points) was an outside threat. Wilton was up 14-1 at the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter Kaplan had several assists and Roesser controlled the boards, but New Canaan rallied. Combined with some mental mistakes by Wilton and early foul trouble by Jones (4 steals) and Minnich, New Canaan got back in the game to bring the score to 28-13 at the half. In the second half Wilton came out gunning on a 5-0 run, forcing New Canaan to call another early timeout. Roy stymied New Canaan with his six steals. Fischer and DiRocco’s relentless defensive pressure, Reyes’ ability to grab rebounds both offensive and defensive plus Woodring’s ability to drive the lane kept Wilton on top with a 50-27 win with all players scoring for the second game in a row.

Wilton Boys 7/8 Opens Season with Win

Facing their first opponent of the season, Wilton Boys 7/8 defeated Greenwich Boys Club by a score of 61-50. Starting the game with an 8-0 run, leading scorers Burkhart, Turner, Weist and Bologna led their team with four buckets each. Wall ran the offense setting up the scoring opportunities and four points of his own. Despite being challenged at the start of the second half Wilton maintained its lead throughout the game with additional scoring from Duncan, Martin, and Umphred. Finally assists from Brokaw, Farrell and Heffernan made this truly a team win!

Wilton’s 2nd game on the road against Darien proved more difficult. Finally getting on the board with leading scorers Duncan, Wall and Weist, Wilton fought hard all game with additional scoring from Brokaw, Burkhart and Umphred. Assists and hustle from Bologna, Farrell, Heffernan, Martin and Turner rounded out the team’s efforts. In the end Darien was too much, but Wilton looks forward to playing them again later in the season.

Wilton Family YMCA Gymnastics

Wilton Y Gymnasts Delve into World of USA Gymnastics Competition

On Sunday, Dec. 2, the Wilton YMCA Gymnastics team embarked on its first-ever foray into the world of United States of America Gymnastics (USAG) competition, at the New England Invitational in Glastonbury CT. As part of efforts to continuously improve the gymnastics platform, the Wilton Y initiated a pilot program for level 5+ gymnasts this season. With stricter rules and more focused levels of competition compared to the YMCA league, the Wilton USAG team proved they were up to the task, with all 12 gymnasts taking home one or more medals.

Overall, Level 5 captured 2nd place, Level 7 placed 4th all around, and Level 8 took 3rd AA.

Level 5

For Age Senior, Jeni von Bartheld won the title of floor champion with 9.150, placed 3rd on bars, 5th on beam, and took home the trophy for 3rd AA. Elly Fahey‘s elegant leaps on floor led to a 2nd place finish, while also placing 4th on vault. Teagan Stengrim’s powerful vault scored 9.1 for 2nd place, and also earned 2nd on bars and 5th on floor. Ella Mancuso easily took 1st place on bars with her fast-paced and well-connected routine.

Level 6

For Ages 9-11, Taylor Archambeau’s speed and power secured a 2nd place win on vault and a 5th place finish on bars; she also scored 9.025 on floor, and walked away with the 4th AA trophy. Alyssa Mariani “stick it” mentality earned her 2nd on vault, while also scoring a 9.150 on floor for 5th.

Level 7

For Ages 11-12, Ashley Umhoefer’s fearless attitude earned her the title of bars champion, while taking silver on vault (9.05), bronze on floor (9.2), and going home with a 2nd AA finish. For Age 13, Alyssa Smeriglio’s well-rounded ability led to 3rd on floor and bars, 4th on vault, 5th on beam, and a 4th AA finish. For Age 14, Alyson Scheurkogel attacked the vault table to capture the silver medal with a 9.0, and placed 5th on vault and beam.

Level 8

For Age Junior, Mia Karlehag’s incredible grace and posture easily led to her first place finish on floor with a score of 9.70, and also placed 4th on vault. For Age Senior, Emma Daugherty captured the silver medal with a beautiful vault and score of 9.150, and placed 5th on floor.

Come cheer on the Wilton gymnasts at the next competition, Wilton’s own Snowflake Invitational from Dec. 15-16, at the Wilton YMCA.

Level 5 gymnasts: Teagan Stengrim, Ella Mancuso, Jeni von Bartheld, Cailyn Cruickshank, and Elly Fahey
Ashley Umhoefer (Weston), Level 7 2nd place AA winner