Wilby girls will be dancing in the postseason

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The last time the Wilby girls basketball team made the state tournament, Barack Obama was in the middle of his first term as president of the United States.

It was 2010, “Tik Tok” from Kesha was the No. 1 song, and Toy Story 3 was the highest-grossing film. The 2009-10 version of the Wilby Wildcats beat Naugatuck and Sacred Heart twice and Torrington once on the way to a 13-7 regular season. Wilby appeared in both the NVL and Class L state tournaments and finished 13-9.

Fast forward 14 years to 2024, and the Wildcats will once again play in the NVL and state tournaments.

Wilby, which had won 19 games since 2009-10 going into this season, amassed nearly a third of that total (6-14). The sixth and final victory came Wednesday night against Crosby within the friendly confines of the Reggie O’Brien Gymnasium. The Wildcats won handily, 51-23, and wrapped up bids for both the NVL and state tournaments. Girls basketball teams need to win 30% of their games to qualify for the state tournament, and Wilby got there with Wednesday’s win. The NVL tournament was expanded this season, and the Wildcats are the No. 12 seed. They take on No. 5 Ansonia today in a play-in game.

Joi Jackson scored 22 points and Raine Upchurch added 14 for Wilby in the win over Crosby. Jackson had 15 points in the first quarter as the Wildcats sprinted out to a 19-2 lead. Wilby never looked back after that, and it clinched a return to the postseason in the process.