FAIRFIELD — Strength in numbers usually wins the battle.
The Ludlowe boys basketball team used its experience and teamwork to conquer Trinity Catholic 68-60 on Tuesday at the Falcons’ gym.
“Ludlowe has so many seniors (seven) in their rotation,” said Trinity Catholic coach Brian Kriftcher. “They trust each other on the court. They make great decisions. And they can shoot the heck out of the ball.”
Ludlowe (7-1, 3-1 FCIAC) jumped out to a 25-10 edge after one period and 41-19 at halftime to create too tall a mountain for Trinity Catholic to climb.
The Falcons nailed six 3-pointers beyond the arc and added a traditional 3-point play to close out the first quarter.
Senior Guard Pat Kilbride nailed a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer as Ludlowe used its speed, superior passing and hustle to offset Trinity Catholic’s height advantage across its frontline.
Ludlowe held Trinity Catholic’s 6-foot-8 junior forward Rassoul Abakan scoreless in the contest as foul trouble limited his minutes.
Ludlowe led 50-29 midway in the third period when Trinity Catholic (3-4, 2-2 FCIAC) made its one big run in the game.
Led by Rahsen Fisher (game-high 36 points), the Crusaders closed the quarter with an 11-3 surge. They also scored the opening six points of the fourth quarter to reach 53-46 with 6:35 to go.
After a timeout, the Falcons went to work from the free throw line as they were in the bonus for the final 6:35.
Led by Kilbride (team-high 27 points) and senior Sam Sweeney (22 points), Ludlowe made seven of 11 on the charity stripe to secure the victory.
“We can shoot. Perhaps 10 3-pointers is a bit out of character but our guys are very confident,” said Ludlowe coach John Dailey. “Our different zone defenses and our pressure was very effective. The turnovers led to some easy baskets. And after Trinity made its run, we didn’t panic.”
For Trinity Catholic, Andrew Saint-Louis (15 points) and Akim Joseph (nine points) were the team’s only other scorers.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ludlowe’s Pat Kilbride: The senior poured in a team-high 27 points including five 3-pointers. Kilbride and fellow senior Pat Sweeney were always in the right place at the right time.
“Our issue is a mentality thing. We’d win in a combine setting. We’d win the slam dunk contest. But nobody will be intimidated by us if we don’t compete,” said Trinity Catholic coach Brian Kriftcher. “Rahsen Fisher (36 points) was magnificent. He just decided that no one was going to stop him tonight. Unfortunately, we need more than one guy to compete. We need to play with intensity throughout.”