TRUMBULL — High School athletes are mercurial beings.
Lots of physicality. Lots of passion. A roller coaster of highs and lows.
Especially on the basketball court.
The Stamford boys basketball team saw a 15-point lead disappear before the Black Knights regrouped to post an important 86-82 road triumph over Trumbull Tuesday night.
“We’ve had moments where we are up. And moments when we’re down,” said Stamford first-year coach Dan Lauture. “We had a recent game against McMahon where we lost a decent lead and lost the game. But it was a good lesson because we held it together tonight.”
Stamford (6-4, 3-3 FCIAC) raced out to a 26-19 edge after one period, 44-28 at halftime and 50-33 with 5:08 left in the third quarter.
“Stamford’s kids are so quick. For us, 19 turnovers is a disappointing number,” Trumbull coach Buddy Bray said. “Give Stamford credit. They were a step quicker all evening.”
What hurt Trumbull (6-3, 3-2 FCIAC) early was that center Quentar Taylor, who serves as the Eagles’ point guard, sat with foul trouble late in the first period and for the final 4:22 of the second quarter.
“Q (Quentar) is one of the best guards in the league,” Stamford’s Lauture said. “He is the key to Trumbull’s offense. He is always a tough matchup.”
Taylor’s value increased in the last five minutes of the third quarter. His drives (14 of his 18 points in the second half) along with his eight assists keyed Trumbull’s 21-4 surge to forge a 54-54 deadlock heading into the fourth quarter. Stamford center Danny Simms sat during the run due to foul trouble.
At 61-61 with 5:42 to play, Stamford’s Jaden Bell (26 points) led a 7-0 run for 68-61 with 4:35 to go.
It was 83-76 Stamford with 40 seconds left as Trumbull made one last push.
Bell fouled out at 38.3 and Stamford’s Simms fouled out at 18.0. Trumbull’s Johnny McCain (19 points) nailed his sixth and final 3-pointer for 83-81 at 20.6. Mileeq Green (team high 26 points) made one of two free throws at 18.0 for 83-82.
But SHS’ Jay Jaudon (26 points) made two free throws at 14.9 for 85-82 as Quentar Taylor fouled out.
Trumbull just missed on a pair of 3-pointers before Isaiah Jackson hit one last free throw at 1.4 to seal it.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Stamford’s Jay Jaudon. The senior cashed in a number of drives and was 7 of 9 from the foul line to lead the Black Knights.
“Our kids showed heart after being down 17 points. But we used a lot of energy in the comeback. For us, 86 points is a lot to give up. Stamford is so good on the dribble drive. SHS was impressive at the line down the stretch (8 of 10 in last 1:22). They made them when they had to. We’re still learning. So we’ll go back to work.” — Trumbull coach Buddy Bray