SCC Tournament: Favorites hold serve in quarterfinals, but it wasn’t easy

BRANFORD >> All four boys basketball games in Saturday’s SCC tournament quarterfinals Saturday were still in doubt heading into the fourth quarter.

But all four favorites, all ranked in the top 10 of the Register/GameTimeCT Top 10 poll, found a way to advance to Monday night’s semifinals. None had a more difficult time advancing than the state’s last undefeated team.

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Ryan Foley hit a 3-point shot with 21 seconds left that allowed the top-seeded and top-ranked Fairfield Prep to outlast No. 9 Notre Dame-West Haven 54-50 at Branford High School.

“We played great zone offense for about 4 minutes. That’s it,” Fairfield Prep coach Leo Redgate said. “The boys need to see it for themselves how horrible it was. They have to stop thinking they know what’s best and do what they are told.”

The game featured nine ties in the first half and Notre Dame rallying from a pair of nine-point, third-quarter deficits to tie the game heading into the fourth. Notre Dame (14-8) made just one basket in the fourth quarter. But the Green Knights hung tough.

“I’m especially proud of the way we handled the second half,” Notre Dame coach Jason Shea said. “Most teams when Prep gets it to nine, they fold. We just went right back at them.”

Tahj Eaddy (game-high 18 points) was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 46.5 seconds left with Prep (21-0) up 51-48. Eaddy made the first two free throws, but missed the third.

Shea wanted to foul the right person when the opportunity arose. That person was Foley, playing his first game after missing more than a month with mononucleosis. But before he could be fouled, Foley connected on Prep’s 10th 3-pointer of the game.

“We weren’t in a panic at that point,” Shea said. “The only thing that makes it a two-possession game is a three, which we didn’t think he was going to take.”

Said Redgate: “I have no issue with that shot.”

Prep survived despite 7-foot-2 center Paschal Chukwu scoring just five points.

“It was the first time all year we played a zone,” Shea said. “Our whole plan was to take him away. A 7-footer and the fact that they already beat us twice, we had to do something different.”

Said Redgate: “They can take him out all day long. I think we have the best 3-point shooters in the state of Connecticut collectively.”

Guard Tom Nolan had 17 points in the first half, none in the second half. Notre Dame made eight three-pointers in the game.

FAIRFIELD PREP 54, NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN 50

(at Branford)
Notre Dame 10 15 18 7 – 50
Fairfield Prep 8 20 15 11 – 54

NOTRE DAME-WEST HAVEN (50)
Tahj Eaddy 5 6-7 18, Karim Cisse 3 0-2 8, Alexander Puzone 2 2-4 7, Patrick Doyle 3 1-2 9, Ben Bagnoli 0 0-0 0, Lonnie Blackwell 3 1-2 8, Kam Matthews 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 10-17 50
FAIRFIELD PREP (54)
Keith Pettway 3 5-8 11, Thomas Nolan 6 0-0 17, Ray Featherston 0 0-0 0, Dave Zielinski 2 0-0 6, Ryan Foley 4 0-0 11, Patrick Harding 2 0-0 4, Paschal Chukwu 2 1-3 5. Totals: 19 6-11 54
3-point goals: Notre Dame-West Haven 8 (Eaddy 2, Cisse 2, Puzone 1, Doyle 2, Blackwell 1); Fairfield Prep 10 (Nolan 5, Zielinski 2, Foley 3); Records: Notre Dame-West Haven 14-8; Fairfield Prep 21-0

No. 4 Wilbur Cross 53, No. 5 Guilford 47

 Tenth-ranked Wilbur Cross scored the game’s last seven points to avoid the upset. Chan Willams-Bey had a game-high 23 points for the Governors (16-5), who will face Fairfield Prep in the semifinals.

Tony Pensa’s three-point shot gave Guilford (17-5) its last lead at 47-46 with 2:245 left. The Indians never scored again and committed several turnovers down the stretch.

“We ran out of the gas it takes to make a play, a tipped ball, a loose ball a scramble,” Guilford coach Jeff DeMaio said. “When (forward) Luke (Dombroski) fouled out (with 1:47 left), it changes a lot of who we are. Teams have to account for him.”

Anthony Miller made five free throws with under 2 minutes left to seal the win for the Governors. They won despite benching two starters, guard Josh Fleming and center Jaelin Robinson, for most of the second half.

“I was really worried about this game,” Cross coach Kevin Walton said. “They have three guards who can control the game. I like the way they play. They are scrappy and play together.”

WILBUR CROSS 53, GUILFORD 47
(at Branford)
Guilford 12 16 12 7 – 47
Wilbur Cross 12 13 13 15 – 53

GUILFORD (47)
Mike Afeltra 0 0-0 0, Tony Pensa 3 0-1 7, Will Cofrances 1 0-1 3, Chris Rogers 0 2-2 2, Shaun Ross 1 1-2 4, J.P. Barrett 8 0-2 18, Nick Rubino 0 2-2 2, Luke Dombroski 5 0-0 11. Totals: 18 5-10 47
WILBUR CROSS (53)
Anthony Miller 0 5-6 5, Joshua Fleming 4 0-0 9, Chan Williams-Bey 8 6-7 23, Darryl Stokes 1 0-0 2, Robert Durant 3 4-12 10, Jaylin Fuller 0 0-2 0, Jaelin Robinson 2 0-0 4. Totals: 18 15-27 53
3-point goals: Guilford 6 (Pensa 1, Cofrances 1, Ross 1, Barrett 2, Dombroski 1); Wilbur Cross 2 ( Fleming 1, Williams-Bey 1); Fouled out: Guilford (Dombroski, Cofrances); Records: Guilford 17-5; Wilbur Cross 16-5

No. 3 Hillhouse 59, No. 11 Branford 45

 Shane Christie had 22 points and nine rebounds for fifth-ranked Hillhouse, which pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Raiquan Clark added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Academics (17-4) who will face Career in the semifinals Monday at 6 p.m. The two teams split during the season.

Branford (11-11) held a 37-36 lead through three quarters, thanks to three free throws from Alex King, who was fouled on a 3-point shot with 0.1 seconds left. Then Troy Walters hit two three-pointers himself to start the fourth quarter for Hillhouse. Branford scored just eight points in the final quarter.

Restinel Lomotey had 16 points and four blocks to lead Branford.

HILLHOUSE 59, BRANFORD 45
(at Branford)
Branford 8 13 16 8 – 45
Hillhouse 14 10 12 23 – 59

BRANFORD (45)
Jonathan Fuller 1 2-4 4, Alexander King 3 4-4 10, Restinel Lomotey 5 2-3 16, Connor Stratton 2 1-2 7, Joseph Carbone 2 2-2 8. Totals: 13 11-15 45
HILLHOUSE (59)
Shane Christie 6 8-9 22, Raiquan Clark 8 3-5 20, Troy Walters 3 2-3 11, Dion Boyd 0 2-3 2, Wayne Whyth 1 0-0 2, Dontell Glover 0 0-2 0, Joe Kasperzyk 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 15-22 59
3-point goals: Branford 8 ( Lomotey 4, Stratton 2, Carbone 2); Hillhouse 6 (Christie 2, Clark 1, Walters 3); Fouled out: Branford (King, Lomotey); Records: Branford 11-11.

No. 2 Career 50, No. 7 Xavier 39

Matt Hamilton led the way with 13 points for sixth-ranked Career, which also pulled away late in the fourth quarter.

Career (18-3) held Xavier (14-8) without a field goal for the final 5:50 of the game and to just six points in the final quarter.

Elijah Pemberton, who hit the last basket for Xavier, led the Falcons with 16 points.

CAREER 50, XAVIER 39
(at Branford)
Xavier 7 11 15 6 – 39
Career 14 8 10 18 – 50
XAVIER (39)
Tom Jackson 4 2-4 10, Joe McCormick 0 0-0 0, Kaleb Lutton 0 0-0 0, John Habeaski 2 0-0 4, Elijah Pemberton 5 6-10 16, Brandon MacPherson 3 3-6 9. Totals: 14 11-20 39
CAREER (50)
Tyreek Perkins 4 0-0 8, Tyrell Eaddy 1 2-3 4, Amos Ford 2 0-0 5, Matt Hamilton 5 2-3 13, Justin Campbell 2 0-0 4, Jordan Lomax 2 3-5 7, Justice Phifer 2 5-6 9. Totals: 18 12-17 50
3-point goals: Career 2 (Ford 1, Hamilton 1); Fouled out: Career (McCormack); Records: Xavier 14-8; Career 18-3.


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Comments

  1. wilton davis says

    I am Wilton Davis, is your name really Wilton? or are you a Clown? , who post s with someone else s name?

  2. Rich says

    Prep has got to wakeup and start playing good basketball. They are a too talented group of kids to let there horrible coach almost loose a game that should have been a blowout.

    • Rich says

      If prep plays like they did against ND, then anyone can beat them. But no one can beat them when they are playing there best. They better come out for wc. they’re the real deal.

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