Boys basketball: Trumbull defeats Westhill Vikings, 57-40

Trumbull's Ben McCullough looks to go up for a shot against the Westhill Vikings. — David G. Whitham photo
Trumbull's Ben McCullough looks to go up for a shot against the Westhill Vikings. — David G. Whitham photo

The Trumbull High boys basketball team took control of its FCIAC game with visiting Westhill High from the outset on Friday Night.

Coach Buddy Bray’s Eagles scored the first eight points, withstood a mini-rally by the Vikings in the second quarter, and posted a 57-40 win.

Trumbull, coming off its first FCIAC loss (to Greenwich), is 10-2.

Defending FCIAC champion Westhill, winners of four three straight games, fell to 7-4.

“It was a nice bounce back game,” Bray said. “We came out and played hard. We wanted to be aggressive. Westhill has nice length and are well coached. Howie (Howard White) does a good job. We did a lot of rebound drills and didn’t want to give up the second shot.”

The extra work on the boards paid off, as the Vikings were limited to only one shot at the basket on most trips and scored only one basket on a direct putback.

Trumbull's Johnny McElroy scored the game’s first four points. He finished with a game-high 16 markers, including eight straight points to open the third quarter.

Westhill, led in scoring by 6-4 senior Tyrell Alexander (12 points) and 6-2 junior Jake Dardis (11 points), looked to make it an up tempo game behind its quicksilver guards Parish Rowell and Carl Gedeon.

Trumbull scored in transition when the opportunity was there, but on most possessions worked the ball around the defense for the best shot.

Ben McCullough, Chris Lyons, McElroy and Alex Recker did a good job on the defensive boards. Trumbull led 16-6 after one period.

After the Vikings scored on their first two possessions of the second quarter, Jack Moore earned a pair of made free throws and made a nifty dish to McCullough on the block for a bucket. McElroy converted a brace off free throws when fouled on a rebound to put Westhill over the limit. Moore scored in traffic before Alexander answered in kind to break the 8-0 run.

Trumbull kept grinding. McCullough scored off an assist from McElroy and Lyons assisted on J.J. Pfohl’s 3-pointer to run the Vikings into a timeout down 30-14 with 1:56 left in the first half.

Towell made a 3-pointer, but the Eagles led 30-17 at the half.

McElroy began Trumbull’s scoring in the third quarter with a three off a baseline pass from Moore.

Lenold August and Alexander scored for Westhill before Moore assisted on another McElroy 3-pointer.

Lyons had a steal on one end; McElroy a basket at the rim at the other.

Trumbull’s advantage was 38-21 three minutes into the third.

Alexander, Gedeon and Rowell had baskets for the Vikings, but Moore tallied from the elbow before McElroy left the ball behind the arc for Eddie Giovannini, who buried a 3-pointer.

Joe Nemchek assisted on Recker’s basket and Trumbull took a 45-27 lead into the final period.

McCullough finished with 10 points, Pfohl nine, Moore eight and Recker seven.

“Mike King our athletic director handed t-shirts out to the guys after the game that read ‘Work Hard’ on the back,” Bray said. “It was a nice gesture and our players appreciate that. It’s what we want to do, work hard every day and see where that leads us.”