The Stratford girls basketball team earned the No. 28 seed for the upcoming CIAC Class L girls basketball tournament and along with that right comes a showdown with one of the defending state champs.
The Red Devils will travel to fifth-seeded East Haven on Monday for a 7 p.m. game.
The Yellowjackets, who won the Class M title a year ago, are 16-4 on the regular season. They are the 7th-ranked team in the state, according to GameTimeCT’s weekly poll.
“Our goal going into the state tournament is just to play our game,” first-year Stratford coach Laura Discenza said. “We can’t worry about what the jersey says on the other side of the court. It’s what got us here. Passing the ball, finding the open person, just believe in each other. That’s all we have to focus on.”
East Haven coach Anthony Russell told Hearst Media Connecticut that he expects a lot more competition in the higher class.
“The biggest difference going from M to L is in M the first few rounds have a lot of lopsided games. In L, that is not usually the case,” Russell said. “Between the SCC and our out of conference schedule, we play L and LL all season. We are playing high-caliber and playoff-caliber teams night in and night out.”
Stratford is led by three seniors, including Julia Torreso, Serena Mbachiantim and Kairyn Jimenez. Junior Abby Anka has also been a key along with sophomores Sami Perley and Sydney Ritchie.
Freshman Julie Carbone, Juliette Macisco and Alyssa Diaz have been coming off the bench and playing roles, as well.
The Red Devils were hit by the injury bug late in the year, losing Keryna Upchurch and Angelyna Upchurch to injury along with Amanda Ogrodowicz to illness.
As of the end of the regular season, Discenza was unsure of their availability for the postseason.