Boys basketball: Danbury tops Trumbull in FCIAC title game

Danbury High wouldn’t be denied.

Coach Casey Bock’s Hatters started strong and never let up when they captured the FCIAC boys basketball title with a 75-57 victory over Trumbull High at the Zeoli Field House in Wilton on Thursday night.

For No. 3 seed Danbury, now 20-3, it was its first FCIAC title since 1992.

Trumbull (17-6), the fifth seed, was going for its first league championship since 1983.

Danbury took a 19-10 lead after one period and stretched its advantage to 34-17 at the half.

Game MVP Denali Burton (24 points), Jordan Brown (27 points), Javon Hernandez (11 points) and Cameron Snow (10 points) combined on offense in that first quarter, when Hernandez, Snow and Brown buried 3-pointers.

Trumbull was 4-for-11 shooting in the stanza and came up empty on five attempts from behind the three-point line.

“The kids came out with a lot of energy, a lot of effort and played great defense,” Danbury coach Casey Bock said. “Rebounding was big on both ends (for us), especially in the first half. To limit them to 17 points is huge.”

Timmond Williams (23 points) scored seven consecutive Trumbull points to make it 17-10 with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Another 8:57 would pass before the Eagles scored again — on a J.P. Fromageot basket with 3:03 left in the half.

“They hurt us early on the glass, sticking threes against the zone and then when we went man they spread us out,” Trumbull coach Buddy Bray said. “They are well coached...They were bigger, stronger and quicker tonight.”

The Eagles had a 45-30 halftime lead in the semifinals over Norwalk, and saw the Bears rally back to make it a one possession game before earning an 82-75 victory. So, Trumbull knew a come back was possible.

Williams and Quentar Taylor made consecutive 3-pointers to start the third period, only to see Snow score five points of his own on two trips down the floor.

Chris Brown (16 points), who had assists on those opening treys, led a Trumbull surge midway through the third period.

The junior found Jack Theriault inside for one hoop, and after stopping a Danbury run out with a blocked shot, he dished to Williams inside off a dribble-drive to make it a nine-point game at 45-36.

Turnovers on three straight possessions, and three-point plays by Burton and then Hernandez got the joint jumping for the Hatters.

For all their hard work, the Eagles were only able to shave four-points off the deficit and Danbury took a 53-40 lead into the final quarter where the Hatters scored on five straight possessions including a pair of impressive Burton dunks.

“Danbury has been to two of the last three (FCIAC) finals," Bray said. "They’ve experienced the level of play and the intensity of the game. … We didn’t match that intensity early. We dug ourselves a big hole. They were clicking on all cylinders tonight.

“Our players are very disappointed right now, but this is a great growing experience for them to get to a championship game.”

Bock was proud of his team and his program.

“It’s great for the school, it’s great for the city to finally bring that back," he said. "I feel bad that those other guys that kind of started to turn the program around, they didn’t get the opportunity to get a championship. But they know that they’re part of this, too.”