WESTPORT >> Coming into Tuesday’s FCIAC boys’ basketball game against Staples, Greenwich head coach Bill Brehm emphasized ball pressure and defensive rebounding. It was a simple game plan that the Cardinals executed to near perfection. Greenwich used a 12-2 run in the second quarter and started the third on a 13-0 run to separate themselves and cruise to the 66-36 victory to improve to 5-0 on the season.
“That’s really what we stressed,” Brehm said. “We really wanted to apply some ball pressure, keep the ball away from (David) Katz. Face guard him, which Jonathan Palmer did very well.”
The Cardinals used a balanced attack offensively of inside play and moving the ball around on the perimeter to find the open man. Led by CJ Bryd’s 20 points, Greenwich had eight players score and three reach double figures. Brehm, whose team just came back from a holiday tournament in Kentucky, said that’s been key to the team’s success early on.
“It’s very tough because you can’t key on anybody,” he said. “Sharing the ball is part of that. This year the kids all know their roles and they are accepting those roles.”
Post player Alex Wolf added 16 points and Leonel Hyatt finished with 10 for Greenwich.
It was a balanced effort from the Cardinals that saw a competitive start from the Wreckers. Down 12-6 in the first quarter, Staples found a nice offensive rhythm, in part to three 3-pointer and trailed just 16-15 after the first eight minutes.
But the Cardinals defense buckled down and held the Wreckers to just one field goal and a few trips to the free-throw line, outscoring them 19-5.
“I think we played really well in the first quarter,” Staples head coach Colin Devine said. “And the game really just slipped away from us in the second and third quarter. And I thought we showed some grit in the fourth quarter to fight back, but give Greenwich credit, they are a Top 3 team in the league and we just have to learn from our mistakes.”
Greenwich kept the pressure on to start the second half, holding Staples without a point until three minutes left in the third.
“Zero-zero at halftime,” Brehm said of what his message was to his players. “We do not have a lead; we just have to come out with that same intensity.”
Added Devine: “Greenwich did a nice job of pushing us off our spots with pressure. We didn’t do what we needed to do to be successful.”
Staples (2-3) was led by Katz’s 11 points, while teammate Darryle Wiggins added nine. The Wreckers will look to bounce back as they travel to Brien McMahon on Thursday.