Cadets stay atop FCIAC standings

From the opening tip, the St. Joseph High boys basketball team did what its does best — run the floor and control the tempo — to defeat FCIAC rival Bassick of Bridgeport, 85-51, at Webster Bank Arena on Friday night.

“Bassick is a good team. They’ve won the FCIAC the past couple years,” Cadets coach Chris Watts said. “For us to come in here and get a win was big.”

The 12-1 Cadets’ Quincy McKnight led with 29 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Jonny Dzurenda added 18 points, including four 3-pointers, and six assists. Raekwon Reid had 12 points and five steals.

St. Joseph is tied with Trinity Catholic of Stamford and Westhill of Stamford atop the FCIAC standings with identical 12-1 records.

Curhone Baldwin had 18 points for the 8-5 Lions and Anthony Brown added 11.

“It was teamwork all the way around,” Watts said. “It was a team effort. Quincy is one of the better players in the league, you get him going good things happen, but everybody else was involved like it has been all year.”

Early in the first quarter, Bassick and St. Joseph were neck and neck, as Brown and Baldwin matched every make from McKnight and Dzurenda before Reid buried a trey and then got a steal and the layup to take a 9-8 game to a 14-8.

The Cadets went on a 15-4 run on cap the first quarter leading 29-16, behind McKnight’s five markers and baskets from Jake Pelletier, Denzel Moscova, Dzurenda and Reid.

St. Joseph continued to run the floor, as the Cadets answered Bassick’s 6-2 second-quarter start with a 15-5 run.

After a layup, McKnight stole the ball and bounced a pass to Reid for a bucket, before Dzurenda and Reid made long-range jumpers.

Judenick Florian and Pelletier added treys to give the Cadets a 52-35 lead at the half.

In the third quarter, the Cadets’ defense caused the Lions to turn the ball over., and cashed in those Bassick mistakes to go on a 13-4 run.

The Lions mustered only three baskets to trail by 30 points after three quarters.

“I contribute it to our active hands as well as all the kids buying into what we want to do,” Watts said. “I’d say it was one of the better games we’ve played this year, all the way around.

“Rebounding, taking care of the basketball, sharing the basketball, and turning over the basketball.”

St. Joseph kept working in the fourth quarter.

Rich Kelly (10 points) got hot from beyond the arc, nailing three jumpers, as the Cadets outscored Bassick 12-8 to win 85-51

“They’re a really good team so this game we focused on practice more. Yesterday, we did a lot of shooting in practice yesterday and it showed,” McKnight said.

“It was just one of those nights that everybody played well. Everybody contributed so it was a good win for us.”

St. Joseph posted a 62-59 win over Staples High in Westport on Tuesday.

Dzurenda scored 28 points, McKnight 20 and Langston 10 for the Cadets, who narrowly edged the Wreckers (6-6) in every period.

The Cadets are off until Tuesday when Norwalk High visits at 7 p.m.

Bridgeport Central comes to town on Friday, Feb. 8 for another 7 p.m. tipoff.