Boys basketball: Trumbull answers Stratford's come back bid
Trumbull High’s unbeaten start, once presumably well on its way to continuing, seemed to suddenly be in jeopardy when the Eagles paid a visit to Stratford High on Saturday night.
The Red Devils brought a 20-point deficit all the way down to five heading into the fourth quarter, before Timmond Williams drained back-to-back 3-pointers in the opening minute of the fourth for an 11-point lead.
Order was restored, and the 5-0 Eagles were on their way to a 69-53 triumph.
“We practice situations like that,” said Williams, who drained five shots from downtown on his way to a 27-point effort. “We just stayed composed as a team.“We shared the ball well.”
Coach Buddy Bray had the Eagles, who led 38-24 at the half and 44-24 early in the third quarter, prepared for the Red Devils to make their run.
“Credit Stratford — they didn’t go away,” Bray said of Tim Swaller’s 2-2 club. “They’re very well-coached. We got off to a good start. I think we shared the ball well, especially on the break.”
Trumbull led 49-44 after three. After the quick six points from Williams, the Red Devils hung around and trailed 57-49 with five minutes to play. The Eagles finished on a 12-4 run.
Jack Therriault, Chris Brown and Williams all had key buckets down the stretch.
Brown scored 13 and Quentar Taylor had 11. Mileeq Green and Evan Gutkowski had six apiece, Therriault added four and J.P. Fromageot tacked on two.
Brown grabbed nine rebounds and came away with a trio of steals.
Taylor had 10 assists. Williams grabbed four rebounds. Brown and Taylor both hit 3-pointers.
Trumbull was 4-for-4 from the foul line.
Stratford was led by Mike August with 17 points and Joe August with 11.
Bray said the Eagles, while playing tired coming off an 87-65 triumph over Harding of Bridgeport the night before, had to make some adjustments after seeing Stratford make a game of it in the second half.
“We’ve got to learn to play with the lead a little better and be smart with the basketball, make the extra pass,” he said. “Let’s get a better look and not force it. The kids hung in there playing back to back nights."
During the fourth quarter, the Eagles drove to the basket and created in-close chances that they cashed in on.
“We showed a little growth here,” Bray said. “I think last year that would have gone a little differently. We attacked the rim well.”
Trumbull denied Stratford a chance to get the deficit back to single digits just past the midpoint of the fourth.
Brown went to the rim and cleaned up miss to cap a fast break for a 63-50 lead with 3:30 to play.