Greenwich won its first 14 games for the first time in school history this season. It’s a different situation for the Cardinals to be in: having every FCIAC team chasing them.
One of those teams is Bridgeport Central, the defending league champion, which Greenwich faces Tuesday at 7 p.m., in Bridgeport. It could be a preview of things to come in both the league and Class LL state tournaments.
“It’s a game that will impact FCIAC tournament seeding,” Greenwich coach Bill Brehm said. “We will need to limit our turnovers and be strong defensively and rebounding.”
Greenwich is one of three remaining undefeated teams (Fairfield Prep and Westbrook are the others). While the record may be a surprise, it’s been team chemistry and the focus on the defensive end of the floor that has Greenwich at No. 3 in the latest poll.
“The approach we have taken is this is where we want to be. It’s everyone else’s job to try and stop us,” Brehm said. “We preach defense. That’s the reason we are where we are. We have to keep defensive rebounding. We take pride in it. We haven’t reached any goals yet. Only once in 14 games I felt were not mentally prepared, and that was against Fairfield Ludlowe last week.”
There are seven seniors on Greenwich’s roster, none bigger — literally — than 6-foot-9 Alex Wolf. Brehm said he is getting interest from Dartmouth and Cornell and said he received offers as a junior from Kent State and Oakland among others. Wolf said he wants to attend an Ivy League school.
C.J. Byrd is a 6-2 slasher who also has been tough to stop. He had 26 points in Friday’s 62-39 win over Harding.
“It’s been hard to stop both of them. Teams have chosen one or the other,” Brehm said. “Alex has had several triple-doubles and C.J. is one of the best guards in the state, I believe. Having those two is definitely a luxury.”
Greenwich’s four-man guard rotation with Byrd also includes seniors Jon Palmer and Tom Povinelli and junior Griffin Golden, then senior Pat Santini off the bench.
Brehm admits this team “certainly has the potential to be the best team ever” in school history. He doesn’t believe the Cardinals have peaked yet.
“We have a big target on our backs, but what’s the alternative?” Brehm said. “We’d rather be here than anywhere else.”