Boys basketball: Westhill knocks off Trumbull in semis

Westhill High of Stamford defeated the Trumbull High boys basketball team, 53-43, in the FCIAC semifinals at Fairfield Warde on Tuesday night.

The sixth-seeded Vikings will play top-seeded Danbury for the title on Thursday at 7 p.m. at Warde.

“We never got in synch,” Trumbull head coach Buddy Bray said of his second-seeded Eagles. “Credit Westhill. They made shots, they made free throws and they made some big plays. Credit them and their coaching staff, they did a great job.”

Coach Howard White’s Westhill team was led by the tandem of Parish Rowell, who scored 19 points, and Tyrell Alexander, who scored 15 points.

Jack Moore scored 14 points and Alex Recker 10 for the Eagles.

Alexander had nine points in the first period when the Vikings stayed with the Eagles, who took a 14-13 lead at the break.

Moore had five points in the frame, Eddie Giovanni knocked down a 3-pointer, and Recker had an assist, three rebounds and a steal.

The Eagles were 5-for-10 from the field with a pair of treys.

A slow start to the second quarter by Trumbull, who had four empty possessions, keyed a strong stanza by the Vikings, who took a 33-24 lead into the half.

Jared Yaghoubian came off the bench and the junior drained consecutive 3-pointers, the second deeper than the first to put Westhill on top 19-14.

Chris Lyons scored for Trumbull on a reverse layup in transition and J.J. Pfohl assisted on a hoop by Recker, but five turnovers hurt the Eagles.

Moore turned a spinning drive into a three-point play, before Rowell swished home a buzzer beating three to maintain the nine-point Vikings lead at intermission.

Trumbull was 4-for-10 from the floor, but came away empty on four shots from beyond the three-point line.

Westhill had three treys in the second period (5-for-12 at the half).

Trumbull did all the little things right to draw closer in the third period.

Lyons blocked two shots, had a rebound and an assist.

The senior also drew his second charging foul on Alexander on the Vikings’ first possession. That sent the 6-4 senior to the bench with three fouls.

Recker kept playing well, scoring three baskets and grabbing three rebounds.

With Alexander sidelined, Westhill turned to Rowell, who scored the Vikings’ final two baskets in the frame for a 39-34 lead.

Johnny McElroy made one of his three hoops on a left-handed drive and Lyons tallied on an eight-foot jumper in the lane to cut the Eagles’ deficit to three points early in the fourth.

Alexander returned to the court and made his presence felt on defense, drawing a charging foul of his own at the 4:09 mark.

Trumbull came away without a point on five straight possessions, and Westhill got a bucket from Rowell and a pair of free throws from Alexander for a 47-39 advantage.

Pfohl hit a floater to end a three-minute scoring drought, but with 1:29 remaining Alexander put back a missed foul shot.

Trumbull couldn’t mount a rally, as Moore scored on a layup after the Eagles missed four shots and had a turnover in the final 1:35.