— Mike C (@mikecfree) January 10, 2020
NORWALK — If there’s a consistent feature up-and-down the Fairfield Warde boys basketball team in 2020 it’s height. The Mustangs’ roster features a dozen players over six foot tall, including dynamic sophomore twins Jordyn and Justyn Davis.
The height — along with a combination of youth and experience — has helped the Mustangs control games defensively in the half court early on.
That recipe was on full display Tuesday night in a 57-43 win against Norwalk, which helped Warde improve to 3-1. Through the first four games the Mustangs have held opponents to 43.5 points per game.
“We want to control the paint,” Warde coach Ryan Swaller said. “We’re big all the way across the board. Our advantage is our length, our rebounding.”
Jordyn and Justyn Davis each scored 13 points to co-lead the Mustangs. Brendan McMahon added 10.
“We need to keep doing what we did tonight,” Justyn Davis said. “We’re looking for states.”
The Mustangs held the Bears without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes to start the game and limited Norwalk to 12 for the game. Although Norwalk shot 32 free throws, no one from Warde fouled out.
Jamal Boyd scored 19 for Norwalk to lead all scorers. Mysonne Pollard had 16 for the Bears (1-3).
“Warde has good size, good depth, good guards, they play hard,” Norwalk coach Matt Whelan said. “At this point we’re not making a lot of the little plays that Warde is making and that makes a difference.”
Warde forced 14 turnovers in the first half to build a 29-17 lead at the break. Norwalk’s best spurt came in the third via a 6-0 run that made it 36-27. Warde never let it get any closer and a dunk by Jordyn Davis put the Mustangs ahead 40-27.
Many of Warde’s points came on second chances created on offensive rebounds from senior Joey Gulbin, who finished with 10.
“When I break down film, the possessions (Gulbin) gives us on defense feeds everyone,” Swaller said. “He won’t give us a ton of scoring but those second-chance points are those points that don’t show up in the box score. He’s our glue.”
The improving play of the Davis twins — both 6-foot-4 — has Warde optimistic as the FCIAC schedule hits its full stride.
“Last year they got some time off the bench as freshman,” Gulbin said. “This year they’ve grown two inches. They’re both stud basketball players. They’re twins. They have the twin telepathy. It’s a great connection to have and they’re unselfish as well.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Jordyn Davis, Fairfield Warde — Sophomore co-lead the Mustangs with his twin brother Justyn with 13 points. Jordyn Davis added 10 rebounds. Each brother also dunked for the first time in a varsity game.
“I need them to make that next step. I need them to act like juniors or seniors, not sophomores. They’re ready to play. If they can get to that next level, we can be that great team. They can bring us to that kind of level.” — Fairfield Warde coach Ryan Swaller on sophomores Jordyn and Justyn Davis.