FAIRFIELD PREP >> Hillhouse vs. Fairfield Prep has developed into one of the state’s best boys basketball rivalries for much of the last decade. But while defending Class LL champion Hillhouse is still playing like it’s a championship ball club this season, it looks like it will be awhile before Fairfield Prep is playing at that level again.
Fairfield Prep lost 6-foot-8 senior captain Pat Harding to a badly damaged left shoulder vs. Cheshire last Friday and is out indefinitely. Sprinkle in various other maladies across the Prep lineup and coach Leo Redgate had no illusions about what was to come when Hillhouse came to Alumni Hall Tuesday night.
“I told (Hillhouse coach Renard Sutton) before the game, it could be pretty ugly,” Redgate said.
And so it was. Joey Kasperczyk scored 11 points — all in the first quarter — and Byron Breland led the way with 18 points as the Academics rolled to a 79-42 victory and stayed unbeaten at 10-0.
The result was the least concern to Fairfield Prep, which is appears to be shifting its focus to the more long-term goal of finding replacements for its walking wounded.
Harding is scheduled to have an MRI on Friday. Forward Bobby Haskins was also among several Jesuit starters who were still battling after effects of the flu.
As for Harding, “He may not play again,” Redgate said, frankly. “He whacked his arm on the backboard (vs. Cheshire). It’s all torn up and I don’t think he’s coming back.
“But it’s fine. Hopefully, we’re done with the flu and with injuries. We played a lot of kids. …We’re 5-5 now and we’ll see what happens.”
On the other side, Sutton’s main concern was how his team would play coming off a hard-fought victory over Springfield Central in the HoopHall Classic the day before. Yet, the Academics showed no signs of dispassion as they rolled to a 44-23 halftime lead.
“I thought we were going to come in with some tired legs playing on the big court we played on just last night in Springfield,” he said. “But the guys came out and showed that the conditioning they work on in the gymnasium, that they can maintain their composure and their stamina.
“I was just happy that the guys could come in and execute our stuff.”
— Sean Patrick Bowley (@SPBowley) January 18, 2017
Kasperczyk made a pair of 3-pointers to stake Hillhouse out to an 8-0 lead. He finished with 11 points, all in the first quarter, before leaving the game with an injured wrist.
Sutton said he kept his senior guard out of the second half as a precaution and believed Kasperczyk would ready to play Hamden on Thursday.
The Academics did welcome back junior guard Christian Adams, who had barely played since injuring his ankle vs. Wilbur Cross last week. Adams show no ill-effects against Prep and finished with 12 points.
Davon Warner scored 11 points, Mekhi Warren added 10 as Hillhouse cycled in 11 men throughout, using its trademarked defense to score easy baskets in transition.
“Believe it or not, even though we’re from New Haven and Wilbur Cross is our crosstown rivals, we really consider this school (Prep) to be our main rivals in the SCC,” Sutton said. “I mean, the past six or seven years, it’s either them or us. So our guys came in with a chip on their shoulders regardless of who was playing. They just wanted to win the game.”
HILLHOUSE 79, FAIRFIELD PREP 42
Hillhouse 24 20 12 23 — 79
Fairfield Prep 9 14 7 12 — 42
Joey Kasperczyk 4 0-0 11 Davon Warner 4 2-3 11 Tyler Douglas 1 0-0 2 Christian Adams 5 2-4 12 Jalil Wilkerson 4 0-0 8 Mekhi Warren 5 0-0 10 Byron Breland 6 6-9 18 James Daniels 0 0-0 0 Rayshawn Brewer 2 1-1 5 Jordan Williams 2 0-0 2 J’Vaughn Hoover 0 0-0 0 Totals: 32 11-17 79
FAIRFIELD PREP (42)
Finn Duran 1 0-0 3 Phil Vlandis 0 1-2 1 John Kelly 4 8-9 17 Sean O’Leary 1 0-0 3 Spence Vlandis 1 0-0 2 Mitch Savoca 1 0-0 2 Mason Reale 1 0-0 3 Brian Noone 2 0-0 4 Bobby Haskins 0 2-2 2 Max Mulquin 0 0-0 0 Adam Stone 0 0-0 0 Nick Rothe 2 0-0 5 Totals: 13 11-13 42
3-point goals: H–Kasperczyk 3, Warner; FP–Duran, Kelly, Reale, Rothe, O’Leary.
Team records: Hillhouse 10-0, Fairfield Prep 5-5.