A game-changing approach to drive to the basket paid dividends, as the host Trumbull High boys basketball team turned a close game into a win going-away 50-35 victory over New Canaan on Monday night.
The Eagles improved to 2-0 and the Rams fell to 0-2.
“Our shots weren’t falling from the outside so coach emphasized going to the rim,” said captain JJ Pfohl, who led all scorers with 19 points and also had three of his team’s 12 steals along with six rebounds.
Coach Buddy Bray’s tactic and his players execution turned an 11-11 tie late in the second quarter into an 11-point lead early in the third period. Pfohl drove to the rim to score with just over two minutes remaining in the canto, and Timmond Williams had back-to-back hoops by finishing a fast break and converting off a putback of his own miss for a 17-11 lead.
Captain Johnny McElroy answered a New Canaan bucket for a 19-13 Trumbull advantage heading into halftime. The lead could have been bigger with a better first-half shot selection, Bray believed. “We talked about it at halftime and made some adjustments with our motion,” he said.
Williams opened the third-quarter point-logging with a 3-pointer, but a vast majority of the Eagles scoring the rest of the way came via pushes to the basket. Pfohl drove to the basket for a 24-13 lead less than two minutes into the third and the Rams called timeout.
With the Rams trailing 28-20, Trumbull’s Dan Ruchalski had consecutive hoops, one on a nice spin move in the paint to put the Eagles up a dozen points late in the third.
John Lynch scored 12 points, Williams had 7 and Ruchalski and McElroy each added four. Evan Gutowski and Quentar Taylor both chipped in with two.
New Canaan standout Tyler Sweeney dropped in nine of his team-high 16 in the third, including seven in a span of 35 seconds, bringing New Canaan to within 32-27 with 52 seconds to play in the quarter.