RIDGEFIELD — The chants of “You can’t stop him!” began raining down from the Ridgefield High School student section early in the fourth quarter when Brenden McNamara grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back up and in for the third straight time in a matter of minutes.
And they were right.
At times, it seemed McNamara, the 6-foot-6 senior forward, couldn’t be stopped. Neither could the Tigers.
McNamara poured in a game-high 19 points, and James St. Pierre and Alex Price provided dagger after 3-point dagger down the stretch, as Ridgefield defeated previously unbeaten Danbury, 50-38, Tuesday night.
The win came only three days after the Tigers stunned Trinity Catholic in overtime in Stamford, winning on a basket by McNamara in the final seconds of the extra period.
If these last two wins over two of the FCIAC’s top contenders are any indication, defending-champion Ridgefield will once again be a top contender itself.
“We have a mission on our minds,” McNamara said. “We’re coming back for the second one in a row, and nobody’s getting in our way. The way we’re playing right now, we can beat anybody on the floor.”
Price added 12 points and St. Pierre scored 10. Price’s four-point play — he drained a 3-pointer from the corner in front of the Ridgefield student section, was fouled by Danbury’s Denali Burton and sank the ensuing foul shot — put the Tigers comfortably ahead 47-30 with 3:26 remaining.
Javon Hernandez scored 12 points, Burton 10 and Jordon Brown eight for the Hatters, who trailed 17-8 at halftime.
“I give Jackson Mitchell a lot of credit,” McNamara said of his teammate. “Denali is a tough guard for anyone. He’s one of the best players in the league as a junior, and Jackson played great defense against him.”
A 3-pointer by Hernandez from the corner in front of the Danbury bench with 12 seconds remaining in the third quarter — followed by a block by Burton at the other end at the buzzer — left Danbury trailing by only four entering the fourth quarter.
Three straight put-backs by McNamara, followed by a 3-pointer by Christopher Knachel, extended the Tigers’ lead to 11 with 5:08 remaining. Three 3-pointers by Price and one by St. Pierre stretched that lead to 19 with less than three minutes to go.
“We didn’t hit shots, we didn’t execute,and we didn’t make the extra pass, which hurt us,” Danbury coach Casey Bock said. “We played a little selfish. We had three charges in the first half. Not hitting a shot hurt, but I thought we had opportunities to make extra passes and we didn’t.
“We have to learn from this,” Bock continued. “We didn’t execute well. Scoring eight points in a half is unacceptable. We have to learn from this, make sure we do the little things and keep getting better. It’s a long season.”
Ridgefield, winner of three straight since a tough loss to Bassick at home on Dec. 29, is scheduled to visit Ludlowe on Friday. Ludlowe entered Tuesday’s action without a win.
Danbury hosts Westhill on Thursday. The Vikings had one win heading into Tuesday’s games.
RIDGEFIELD 50, DANBURY 38
DANBURY (6-1, 3-1 FCIAC)
Jordon Brown 4 0-0 8; Denali Burton 5 0-1 10; Connor Goodwin 0 0-0 0; Javon Hernandez 5 0-0 12; Keyon Moore 1 2-4 4; Cameron Snow 1 0-0 2; Justin Tarsi 0 0-0 0; Diante Vines 1 0-2 2. Totals: 17 2-7 38.
RIDGEFIELD (5-2, 4-0 FCIAC)
Christopher Knachel 1 2-4 5; Brenden McNamara 9 0-3 19; Jackson Mitchell 1 0-0 2; Alex Price 4 1-3 12; James St. Pierre 4 0-0 10; Matthew Misurelli 0 0-0 0; Cameron Andry 0 0-0 0; Weston Carpenter 0 0-0 0; Nick Hall 0 0-0 0; Matthew DeLuca 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 3-10 50.
DANBURY4 4 16 14 — 38
RIDGEFIELD7 10 11 22 — 50
3-pointers: D—Hernandez 2; R—Price 3, St. Pierre 2, Knachel, McNamara.