Boys basketball succeeds in season opener

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Boys basketball succeeds in season opener

Talia Hendel, Web Managing Editor

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The Staples Boys’ basketball team showed a little pre-season rustiness in the opening minutes of their game against Darien in Trumbull on Dec. 22. However, they managed to turn up the defensive intensity and settle their offensive mistakes later on to make a strong comeback and come away with a 43-42 win.

I think one of the keys to yesterday’s win was a strong push in the beginning of the second half. We turned up the defense and got a lot of open looks on offense,” Jared Vishno ‘16, a captain, said of their comeback win.

        Justin Seidman ’17 started off the offensive game for the Wreckers with a short jump shot in the first quarter. However, Staples would only score two more points that quarter to give Darien a 10-4 lead going into the second quarter. The Wreckers were struggling to convert their outside shots and as Dylan Dreyfuss ‘16 said in an interview with the Norwalk Hour, that is going to be a key point for the team,  “We are undersized, but we do have great shooters.”

        Staples began to pick it up on both the defensive and offensive ends at the start of the second quarter with a three pointer by Dreyfuss continued to play strongly throughout the quarter with a quick and successful man defense. Seidman made a strong drive to draw the foul and hit both free throws to bring the Wreckers within five at the half with a score of 22-17.

        Staples came out of the locker room with a very high defensive intensity and started the second half with a defensive stop. Sean Pritchett ’17 had the opening points of the half with an “and-one” three-point play and a steal, which he took to the basket to draw the foul. Pritchett’s free throws tied the game at 22-22.

        The Wreckers continued to build off of their defensive success and took advantage of their stops on the offensive end with a three-pointer by Ben Casparius ’17 to bring Staples ahead 25-22.

        Darien tied it back up with a strong offensive attack and a pair of free throws but Vishno scored off a steal with a minute left in the third quarter to take the lead 27-25.

        Justin Jordan ’18 of Darien tied the game with twenty seconds left in the third quarter which was answered by a buzzer-beater jump shot by Seidman to give Staples the lead 29-27 going into the fourth quarter.

        The Wreckers continued their strong intensity on both sides of the court for the remainder of the game, starting with a run led by a putback by Vishno and three-pointer by Casparius to extend their lead to 34-29 with three minutes left in the game.

        Darien was not done yet, however, as they made one last push with a little over a minute left. The Blue Wave’s Alex Preston ‘17 hit two free throws to bring them within two with a score of 42-40. Vishno answered with two points off of one-and-one free throws with fifteen seconds left to make it a four point game.

         Following one free throw by The Blue Wave’s Andrew Steuber ‘17, Darien’s Zak Swetye ‘17 threw up a buzzer beater shot that was good. The Blue Wave needed a three to tie it but Swetye’s foot was on the line causing the Wreckers to win 43-42.

Going forward, the biggest thing is going to be rebounding on defense. We’re undersized, but if we box out and push the ball up the court we’ll have a shot to beat a lot of good teams” Vishno said. In an interview with the Norwalk Hour, Coach Colin Devine said that they hope to be “an FCIAC playoff team” and that the key to a successful season will be “to play our best basketball at the end of the year.” 

Updated: 12/30