FAIRFIELD >> There are hot starts and then there is what Notre Dame-Fairfield did to Immaculate in the first quarter on Tuesday night.
The Lancers made four 3-pointers and took a 16-0 lead before surrendering its first points of the game with 3.9 seconds left in the first quarter to set the tone in the Sister Marion Rielly Memorial Auditorium.
Notre Dame held off a second half push by the reigning Class S state champion Mustangs to win 70-54.
Sophomore Josh Reaves led the Lancers with 23 points. Noreaga Davis added 17 and Anthony Mongillo matched his jersey number with 11, nine of which came in a just over a minute span in the second quarter when he drained three 3s to balloon Notre Dame’s lead to 27-8.
“The kids are making open shots,” Notre Dame-Fairfield coach Chris Watts said. “We have a lot of good athletes and teams aren’t going to want to play us man-to-man, they’re going to want to play us zone. We have to be able to get into seams and make open shots. We were fortunate enough to make them tonight.”
William Hatcher scored a game-high 25 for Immaculate, 22 in the second half and most of which came from the low post. Isaiah Payton contributed 17 for the Mustangs.
Tyler Bourne got the scoring started right off the bat with a 3-pointer a minute into the game and then another to make it 6-0.
Reaves began to pour it on with a layup, 3-pointer and a transition bucket essentially forcing a timeout by Immaculate coach Nelson Mingachos.
“I’m really fortunate because I believe I have three, first team all-league type players on my team and he’s one of them,” Watts said. “Josh makes good decisions and doesn’t press the situation too much where he’s looking sloppy. He’s a young kid, but when he steps on the floor he’s very mature.”
Charles Clemons made a 3 of his own with 28 seconds left in the first for the Lancers 16th point. The lid finally came off the Mustangs’ basket with 3.9 seconds on the clock when Payton was fouled on a made basket.
“The first quarter just absolutely killed us,” Mingachos said. “We lost the second quarter by four and I think we won the last two quarters. You give a good team that lead it’s tough getting back into the game.”
“We came out flat. Credit them they came out hungry, they took it to us.”
The long-range shooting continued in the second as Mongillo made his run.
Immaculate crept slightly closer in the last two minutes of the half when Payton and Hatcher combined for a 7-0 run. But to make matters worse, Notre Dame’s Colin Burke hit a mid-range jumper from straight away as time expired to send the Landers into the half with a 35-17 lead.
As Watts expected, the Mustangs were ready to make a run in the second half.
Hatcher scored 11 in the third, including the team’s first eight, but two more 3s from Reaves and Davis made it sting less.
“They made their run late,” Watts said. “We were able to shut them down pretty well in the first quarter and second quarter, so we knew their run was coming. It’s just a matter of how we’re going to react when they do make that run.”
An 8-2 run to start the fourth quarter got Immaculate within 11 and the bench louder. By the 1:59 mark the Mustangs could also touch a tie score at 58-51, but time ran thin and the Lancers were able to pull away enough to be comfortable.
Notre Dame-Fairfield 70, Immaculate 54
Immaculate: 3 14 18 19 — 54
ND-Fairfield: 16 19 17 18 — 70
(at Notre Dame-Fairfield)
Immaculate (54) — Isaiah Payton 5 5-6 17, Michael Basile 1 0-1 2, Donte Williams 2 0-3 4, Quinn Guth 2 0-1 5, Colm Doherty 0 1-2 1, William Hatcher 9 7-9 25 — Total 18 12-21 54.
Notre Dame-Fairfield (70) — Damion Medwinter 0 0-0 0, Tyler Bourne 3 0-0 8, Woodley Monnexant 0 0-0 0, Colin Burke 1 0-0 2, Anthony Mongillo 4 0-0 11, Charles Clemons 2 0-0 5, Noreaga Davis 7 3-3 17, Josh Reaves 9 3-4 23 — Total 27 6-7 70.
3-pointers: I — Payton (2), Guth; NDF — Mongillo (3), Bourne (2), Reaves (2), Clemons.
Team records: Immaculate 4-2; Notre Dame-Fairfield 5-1.