STAMFORD — The FCIAC boys basketball season may be a marathon, but the St. Joseph boys basketball team has been sprinting past the opposition lately.
The Cadets used their depth and their hustle to earn their eighth victory in the last nine contests Monday night as they rolled to a 64-48 road triumph over Stamford at Paul Kuczo Memorial gym.
“We have been getting better every day,” said St. Joseph coach Kevin Wielk. “I like my guys. And I believe in my guys.”
The Cadets hustled themselves into offensive rebounds and extra scoring opportunities as they outscored Stamford 21-7 in the third quarter to take control of the contest.
Trailing 20-8 after one quarter, Stamford (7-5, 4-4 FCIAC) used an 11-0 surge to grab a 27-26 lead just 40 seconds before intermission.
The Black Knights entered the third quarter with four starters (Isaiah Jackson, leading scorer Jay Jaudon, top rebounder Daniel Simms and Justin Lockery) all in foul trouble.
And when Jaudon headed to the bench with four fouls with 5:27 left in the third quarter, the clash turned in St. Joseph’s favor.
Over the next eight minutes of playing time, St. Joseph (8-2, 7-1 FCIAC) fashioned a 24-4 surge for a 57-34 lead with 6 minutes to go.
“St. Joseph is relentless. They come at you in waves,” said Stamford coach Dan Lauture. “They are tough. They’re hard nosed. They don’t care who scores the points. It’s all about the mission of earning another victory.”
“We compete hard in practice. Our mantra is to win at least 75 percent of the 50-50 balls,” St. Joseph’s Wielk said. “Hustle plays change games.”
Senior Paul Fabbri paced the St. Joseph attack with 19 points. Sophomore Jason James had a host of drives and fast breaks on his way to 17 points, followed by seniors Will Diamantis (11) and Jared Grindrod (seven).
Stamford never made enough shots from the perimeter (Jaden Bell, team-high 14 points, had Stamford’s lone pair of 3-pointers) to open up lanes to drive against St. Joseph’s 2-3 zone defense.
Jalen Lindsey had 11 points followed by Jaudon (10) and Simms (nine) for Stamford.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
St. Joseph guard Paul Fabbri: The senior scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half. He made six of seven free throws down the stretch to ice the win. He kept the ball moving when the Cadets needed to run clock with a double-digit lead.
“We started poorly but climbed out of the hole by halftime,” said Stamford coach Dan Lauture. “But in the second half, St. Joseph got too many offensive rebounds and second chance points. When our shots don’t fall, we still have to find ways to grind it out.”
ST. JOSEPH 64, STAMFORD 48
ST. JOSEPH 20 8 21 15—64
STAMFORD 8 19 7 14—48
ST. JOSEPH (8-2, 7-1 FCIAC)
Paul Fabbri 5 8-11 19 Jared Grindrod 2 2-2 7 Carson Arkay 1 0-3 2 Jason James 8 0-2 17 Hadyn Gourley 0 0-0 0 Brian Robertson 2 0-2 4 Glenn Manigault 1 0-0 2 Will Diamantis 4 3-3 11 Tommy Shannon 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 13-23 64.
STAMFORD (7-5, 4-4 FCIAC)
Jay Jaudon 4 2-4 10 Daniel Simms 4 1-2 9 Damani Taylor 1 0-0 2 Jaden Bell 5 2-3 14 Jose Oliva 0 0-0 0 Justin Lockery 0 0-0 0 Isaiah Jackson 1 0-0 2 Jalen Lindsey 4 3-4 11. Totals: 19 8-13 48.
3-Pointers: StJ—Fabbri, Grindrod, James. Stam—Bell 2.