Starting strong


Photo by: Shelley Berger

By: Matthew Engler ’18

Photo by: Shelley Berger

The Staples gymnasium was nearly packed as the Wreckers took on Bridgeport’s Bullard Havens Tech in their first home game of the 2017-2018 season. The Wreckers, who recently came off a win against Stratford High School in a preseason game, wanted to continue their performance with a win over Bullard Havens Tech. The Wreckers were led by captains Max Sussman ’18 and Ben Pearl ’18 in the 52-46 victory.

The first quarter started slow. Both teams were going back and forth with energy right out the of gate. The Wreckers, who are known for their ability to shoot the three, struggled in the first quarter to knock down their shots.

They instead worked the ball and found a way to come up with the majority of their points in the paint. “The shots weren’t falling from the outside but they played good defense and worked the inside,” Nick Perry ’18, attending fan, said.

Big men Tristan Hockman ’18 and Stedman Van Arsdale ’18 shined on the defensive end and made some key stops to keep the Wreckers in the game. “As a big man on the team it means I have to constantly help out my fellow guards when they get beat by their man,” Hockman said. “I have to step up and help them stop their man from scoring or at least make it harder for them to penetrate the paint.”

This great defense continued into the second quarter, and the perimeter shooting started to fall. The Wreckers went into the second half with a lead of 30-23. Both teams, who looked worn down at half, were re-energized to start the third period.

Throughout the third quarter, back and forth scoring by both the Tigers Tyrese Wright ’18, and the Wreckers Sussman energized the crowd. With 3:15 left in the third quarter, the Wreckers made a big stop on defense and found an open Sussman for three.

After over a minute of scoreless play, Sussman hit another three pointer. He then found an opening for a drive. Sussman scored seven straight points for the Wreckers at this point. However, even with Susman’s dominance, it was truly a battle.

The teams both found success offensively for the remainder of the third quarter. Things started to get chippy as Wright and Murphy ended up getting into a scuffle towards the end of the quarter. The referee had to break up both players as the players started to get too physical.

The third quarter started slow for the Wreckers. They failed to score for three minutes at one point. The Tigers were starting to come back into the game with several baskets coming from Wright. The Wreckers, however, were able to regain there form for the remainder of the quarter. The score was 49-40 at the end of the third quarter.

The Wreckers returned to their dominant form with standout fourth quarter play by Pearl who had four assists in the quarter. The Wreckers continued their tenacious defense with a big steal by Murphy who then was fouled driving to the basket at the other end. Murphy went one for two from the line and put the wreckers up 52-44 with under two minutes left. Staples dealt well with the Tiger’s press and were able to finish the game with the score of 54-46.

Standout performances by Sussman, Pearl and Murphy helped carry the team to victory. Being a senior captain Sussman talked about leading his team in close games in the final minutes. “If we (Pearl and Sussman) are calm, cool, and collected on the court during the last two minutes of a close game then our team will follow,” Sussman said.

“We played hard and got the result, all that matters is the next game,” Wrecker Lefty Pendarakis ’19 said. “We take it one at a time.”

The Wreckers look to continue their winning ways against Trinity Catholic at home at 7:00 p.m. on Dec 23.