STAMFORD — The Ridgefield boys basketball team knows if it wants to repeat as FCIAC champions, it all begins with a daunting run to kick off the new year.
After facing Stamford Wednesday, the Tigers will travel to Trinity Catholic Friday before hosting Danbury on Tuesday.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact the Tigers came into Stamford with three starters out or assorted reasons.
The Tigers (3-2, 2-0 FCIAC) got a huge first quarter from Brenden McNamara and ran away from there, defeating the Black Knights 79-60.
“I am happy that some kids had an opportunity to step up. They played within their skill-set, shared the ball and ran really good offense,” Ridgefield coach Andrew McClellan said. “I loved our ball movement, our throw it ahead. There is so much skill on this team that, even with three guys out, we can share the ball and have some success.”
McNamara finished with 29 points and 16 rebounds despite missing chunks of time in the second and third quarters with foul trouble.
The Tigers did not miss a beat with McNamara out as guard James St. Pierre drove to the hoop first and knocked down 3-pointers later on the way to 22 points of his own, including three straight 3s in the third quarter.
Stamford (3-2, 1-1) was sloppy on both ends of the court and got exposed by a Ridgefield team that was always willing to make the extra pass.
“It was everything tonight. Defense, offense and attitude. If we don’t have the right attitude we are not going to be able to do anything offensively or defensively,” Stamford coach Zach Smith said. “They run their offense very well and they run it with pace which is what we would like to do. We have a lot to work on.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brenden McNamara, Ridgefield. McNamara glided to the hoop for baskets, hit 3s and dominated the glass on both ends, showing why he is one of the best players in the state.
“I think I was just going out and executing the game plan. I got a few more shots today, but our team has been doing what we have done all year,” St. Pierre said. “One of our team mantras is ‘one more’ and we practice making the extra pass a lot. We like to spread the ball around and get open looks. When I can go to the basket the other team has to sag off and that opens up my outside shots more. Having Brenden down there helps a lot, too.”
RIDGEFIELD 79, STAMFORD 60
RIDGEFIELD 23 12 23 21—79
STAMFORD 10 15 17 18—60
RIDGEFIELD (3-2, 2-0)
Matt Misurelli 0 2-5 2; James St. Pierre 9 0-0 22; Alex Price 3 0-0 7; Chris Knachel 3 4-6 10; Brenden McNamara 13 1-1 29; Wes Carpenter 2 1-1 5; Cameron Andry 0 0-0 0; Matt DeLuca 1 0-0 2; Nick Hall 1 0-0 2. Totals: 32 8-13 79
STAMFORD (3-2, 1-1)
Josh Thervil 1 0-0 3; Jelani Jackson 6 1-2 15; Tevin St. John 4 1-6 9; Lovell Staton 5 2-2 16; Jay Javdon 1 3-4 5; Jaden Bell 1 1-3 4; Harry Constantine 0 0-0 0; Tyheim Burgess 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 8-17 60
3-point field goals: R—McNamara, St. Pierre 4, Price; S—Jackson, Thervil, Staton 2, Bell
Fouled out: None