Preseason predictions in high school sports are often a futile task, with little hard evidence to go by. It usually takes a few games to get a feel for how a season will — or may — play out. Case in point: the New Canaan football team (you didn’t think I could make it through a blog entry without mentioning the Rams, did you?).
For the first week of the season all the talk in the FCIAC girls basketball world has been about how Fairfield Warde and Danbury are overwhelming favorites to meet for the league title. And they both may indeed make it there.
But tonight the Hatters were tripped up on the road at Stamford in overtime, 43-38.
Lauren Beluk finished with a game-high 17 points for Stamford, while Fiona O’Dwyer added 14.
The Black Knights have been mentioned as one of the possible sleeper teams in the league, and their luster dimmed in the eyes of some after they blew a 13-point lead on opening night and lost to Trumbull.
Such is the danger of prematurely pounding question marks into exclamation points.
It is too early to tell whether tonight’s game was an upset or foreshadowing. Beluk is one of the players whose performances could have a big impact on whether the Black Knights develop into legitimate contenders, especially if she can provide the perimeter game she did tonight, with four 3-pointers, to open things up for O’Dwyer.
There are still 17 games to go, but tonight was a big lift for a team that would like to prove it is more than just a sleeper.
Speaking of underrated teams, the Stamford boys may fall into the same category. They won on the road at Danbury tonight, 71-61, behind a superb effort from star guard Chris Evans, who fell one assist (24 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists) shy of a triple double.
The Black Knights made seven 3-point shots.