Boys basketball: Hatters hang on against Cadets

The Danbury High boys basketball team defeated St. Joseph High, 69-68, at Vito Montelli Court on Tuesday night in an FCIAC matchup.

The Cadets, who fell to 1-8 overall and lost their fourth game in a row, had a chance to win after Danbury guard Tysheen McCrea missed a pair of free throws — the second intentionally — with 0.9 seconds left. But, Joe Mangiamele's 3/4's court heave at the buzzer ricochetted off the top of the backboard, and the Hatters escaped Trumbull with a hard-fought victory.

Danbury halted a two-game skid of its own and improved to 7-3 on the season.

McCrea led the Hatters with 18 points, including 16 in the second half, while Will Orr and Marcus Fox chipped in with 15 apiece.

Mike Sulik scored a game-high 20 points for St. Joseph, before fouling out with 3:16 left in the contest. Omar Telfer notched 15 points and Tyshon Williams 13 for the Cadets, while sophomore Camren Menefee came off the bench to score 11.

After Sulik picked up his fifth foul with just over three minutes left, McCrea hit both free throws for a 60-55 Hatter advantage. Baskets from Orr and Fox then staked Danbury to 65-58 edge with 1:39 remaining, before Menefee responded with an old-fashioned three-point play to narrow the gap to 65-61.

Titus James then missed two foul shots for Danbury, and Telfer drove the lane for a layup on the other end. Fox then sandwiched four free throws around another layup by Telfer. On the basket, Telfer was fouled but the sophomore couldn't finish off the three-point play.

Fox's second brace from the line with 20.8 seconds left put Danbury ahead 69-65, which shrunk back to a point after Aaron Sells drained a 3-pointer from the left wing with 1.6 seconds left.

McCrea's misses gave the Cadets a puncher's chance, but Mangiamele's desperation heave was off target.

St. Joseph trailed 32-20 at the half, when McCrea erupted for 12 third-quarter points — all on 3-pointers — to help the Hatters build a 54-45 advantage heading into the final stanza.

The Cadets kept at it, but trailed for the entire fourth quarter en route to their fourth straight loss.