Trumbull defeats Ludlowe in FCIAC boys basketball opener
TRUMBULL — Chances are if you stop by the Trumbull High gymnasium before the school bell rings — think 6:30 a.m. range — Mileeq Green will be inside working on his game. It was during one of these early-morning sessions Eagles boys basketball coach Buddy Bray told Green that he needed his junior captain to become more of a scorer this season.
Friday night against Fairfield Ludlowe, Green did exactly what his coach asked.
Green scored 20 points to lead five Eagles in double figures, as Trumbull defeated Fairfield Ludlowe 72-58 in the FCIAC opener for both schools.
“Mileeq’s role had to change for us to be good this year,” Bray said. “The first couple games he was too, I’m not going to say passive, but he wasn’t looking to score the ball — and I need him to score the ball. What we generated was because he attacked more, it opened up the floor and we had four guys contribute.”
Jake Gruttadauria came off the bench with 13 points for Trumbull (4-1). Senior Quentar Taylor added 11, while Andrew Cutter and sophomore Connor Johnston each scored 10. Cutter finished with seven rebounds and a couple blocks.
This week Green said he spent most of his mornings working on moves that would get him to the foul line, along with free throw shooting. Green made three 3s and went 4-for-4 from the line against the Falcons. In his mind there’s no difference shooting in an empty gym in the predawn hours — or in front of a couple hundred people on a Friday night.
“In order to play good in front of everybody you have to play good by yourself when nobody is around,” Green said.
Trumbull opened quickly with a 7-0 lead and led wire-to-wire. The Eagles also finished 6-for-13 from 3-point range.
Fairfield Ludlowe (4-1), which came into the game undefeated with a win in the Fairfield Prep Holiday Tournament along with an impressive victory over Bassick, kept things close most of the way. Baskets by James Bourque and Chris Carlucci in the final minute of the third made it a 46-38 game going into the fourth quarter.
The Eagles opened the fourth with an 8-0 run to effectively put it out of reach.
“They took it to us early and got us back on our heels. We never got anything going,” Falcons coach John Dailey said. “We never got the stop we needed.”
Bourque led Ludlowe with 16.
Bray felt Ludlowe provided a good measuring stick for his squad.
“It’s a big confidence booster for us,” Bray said. “We only came back with two starters — Mileeq and (Taylor). Everybody else is new to this kind of atmosphere and it was a great atmosphere in the gym tonight — big crowd both sides. Hopefully this will springboard us and give us some confidence into Darien on Tuesday.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Mileeq Green, Trumbull. The junior led five Eagles in double figures with 20 points.
In the first half Fairfield Ludlowe and Trumbull combined for three turnovers and one attempted free throw. The Eagles did however finish 20-for-23 from the line.
“I needed him to step his role up. He’s a junior and a captain. I need him to be that person, to lead.” Trumbull coach Buddy Bray on Green’s importance to the Eagles his season.
TRUMBULL 72, LUDLOWE 58
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE (4-1, 0-1 FCIAC)
Patrick Kilbride 2 0-0 5 Chris Carlucci 5 0-0 11 James Bourque 7 2-2 16 Ian Bentley 4 0-1 8 Connor Lawlor 1 1-2 3 Michael Lynch 2 0-0 4 Patrick Leverty 3 0-0 8 James Mockler 0 0-1 0 Alex Vlandis 0 0-0 0 Rowan Keesser 1 1-1 3 Totals: 25 4-7 58
TRUMBULL (4-1, 1-0)
Tyler Woolery 1 0-1 2 Mileeq Green 7 4-4 20 Lance Walsh 1 0-0 3 Connor Johnston 2 5-5 10 Johnny McCain 0 0-0 0 Christian Sanders 0 0-0 0 Sebastian Mettellus 1 0-0 3 Andrew Cutter 4 2-2 10 Jake Gruttadauria 4 4-5 13 Quentar Taylor 3 5-6 11 Totals: 23 20-23 72
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 7 17 14 20—58
TRUMBULL 16 18 12 26—72
3-pointers: FL —Kilbride, Carlucci, Leverty 2; T—Green 2, Walsh, Johnston, Mettellus, Gruttadauria.
Technical fouls: FL—Kilbride