WESTPORT — After each practice, Norwalk’s Tyrique Langley says, he stays late to shoot an additional 50 free throws.
That hard work paid off as the senior sank four clutch free throws late to propel the Bears over Staples 62-60 on Tuesday night.
“It all starts in practice,” Langley said. “Coach always has confidence in us. We come to practice to work hard and close out the games. And that’s what we do.”
Langley finished with a game-high 25 points along with three rebounds, two assists and a steal for coach Tom Keyes’ squad as the Bears won their third game this season by three points or less.
A trait that is going to bode well for Norwalk going forward, Keyes said.
“The wins are great,” he said. “But also a lot of them are close and we know that every night is a dogfight in the league. It’s not like we’ve run away with a lot of games. We’ve won a lot of the tight games and that’s a really good sign too.”
Staples led for the majority of the game — including at halftime and heading into the fourth quarter — but a late run from the Bears, led by Langley, cost the Wreckers late.
“I thought we outplayed them for about 29 minutes,” Staples coach Colin Devine said. “We just didn’t finish the game. We’ll just regroup at practice and try to get the win on Friday.”
The Wreckers were coming off their second win of the season and were led in scoring by freshman guard Luke Murphy, who finished with 23 points — including a game-high seven from behind the arc.
The freshman battled with Langley for much of the night, but he was not afraid of the big moment, Murphy said.
“(Confidence) played huge because I think if I didn’t take the shots that I took we wouldn’t have been where we were or in a close game,” he said.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Langley. The senior finished with a game-high 25 points, but it was the four clutch free throws late — a pair to tie the game and a pair with 6.9 seconds left to take the lead — that propelled the Bears to the win
BEARS STAY HOT
After dropping three game to start the season, Norwalk has won six out of the last seven games.
“He’s been a great player for us in the clutch all season. Some kids just have it in the clutch, when the game’s on the line and the pressure’s on, he kind of has something about him that when the pressure is on he doesn’t falter under it. In fact, he rises above it and gets better.” — Norwalk coach Tom Keyes on the the performance of senior Tyrique Langley.
NORWALK 62, STAPLES 60
NORWALK 17 15 16 14—62
STAPLES 17 18 15 10—60
Tyrique Langley 9 7-10 25; Zyaire Sellers 3 0-2 7; Izaiah Lopez 1 0-0 2; Xavier Vines 2 0-0 4; Conner Mastropletro 4 0-0 11; Joseph Benincaso 4 1-1 13 Jadyn Grant 0 0-0 0 Dylan Polka 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 8-13 62.
Luke Murphy 8 0-0 23; Ben Pearl 1 0-0 2; A.J. Konstanty 5 1-4 11; Max Sussman 6 0-0 16; Stedman van Arsdale 4 0-0 6; Jake Thaw 1 0-0 2; Evan Vishno 0 0-0. Totals: 25 1-4 60.
3-pointers: N—Mastropietro 3, Benincaso 3, Sellers; S—Sussman 4, Murphy 7. Fouled Out: S— Pearl. Highlights: N— Mastropletro had four rebounds, a block, and an assist. S— Pearl had nine rebounds and five assists.