Eagles shoot well, Warriors shoot better
Trumbull High’s defense made Wilton High rerun its sets over and over again, as the visiting 8-5 Warriors tried in vain to find an avenue to the basket midway through the second quarter with the 2-11 Eagles holding a 23-20 lead in an FCIAC matchup on Friday night.
Even after an unsuccessful four-shot trip by Wilton, the locals were in good shape.
But, Matt Shifrin hit a 3-pointer from the right corner, and Weston Wilbur turned a rare Trumbull turnover into two points. Shifrin then went to the opposite wing and buried another trey.
There was still 1:58 left in the first half, but for all intents and purposes the die had been cast on Wilton’s eventual 58-43 victory.
“They shot the ball well,” Trumbull coach Buddy Bray said of Wilton, which owns wins over St. Joseph, Kolbe Cathedral and Norwalk. “We had to go small to matchup, but they spread us out and shot the lights out.”
While Wilton was especially effective from the perimeter with 10 made 3-pointers, it was Trumbull that was on target in the first quarter.
Rashard Rodriguez (15 points) opened the game with an eight-footer, before the Warriors bolted to a 7-2 lead after two empty possessions by the Eagles.
Trumbull made 6-of-7 shots with one turnover the next five minutes, and took an 18-17 lead into the break.
Ryan McCabe (11 points) let a defender fly by, reset his feet, and swished home the first of his three 3-pointers.
Rodriguez scored off the dribble and then Luke Waldek found Billy Stickle heading to the rim for another bucket.
McCabe’s steal off a tipped pass by John Watts led to a run-out hoop before Rodriguez went high to tip-in another basket.
Trumbull led 13-12 with 3:12 left in the opening period.
After Wilton regained the lead on a breakaway, Watts assisted on McCabe’s trey from the right corner.
Waldek’s kick-out pass found Rodriguez for a jumper to break a 16-16 tie.
Trumbull’s shooting cooled off (2-for-10) in the second quarter, and Wilton knocked down 4-of-6 from long range to take a 31-25 lead into the locker room.
The Eagles’ Kevin Mott (eight points) came in and played strong defense, forced a turnover, and scored on a pull-up jumper.
McCabe’s trey and a pair of Stickle free throws accounted for the Eagle scoring.
At the half, each team had one foul.
Waldek crossed the lane and made a sweet lefty hook shot to start the third quarter, but it was nearly five minutes before Trumbull scored again, on a Mott free throw.
In the meantime, Wilton only scored 10 points, but it was enough to extend its lead to 41-28.
Trumbull climbed back in on 3-pointers from Mott and Matt Turner, and Mott added another jumper, but Wilton had enough lift in its legs to bury enough shots to hold off the locals.
“The last couple games we’ve played well in spurts, and then have lapses,” Bray said. “We have to value each possession and play better for longer stretches.”
Bassick High had the better of Trumbull on Tuesday, as the Lions had the edge in every period and won an 85-57 decision.
Rodriguez scored 12 points, and Turner and Waldek had nine points each.
Trumbull lost to host Weston High, 70-56, in a non-league game to open the week.
The Eagles reversed a 15-9 deficit and tied the game at 28 after two periods.
Weston (7-7) won the third quarter, 16-8, and outscored the Eagles by a 26-20 margin in the final frame.
Rodriguez scored 12 points, Waldek and Mott eight each, Turner seven, and A.J. Alston and McCabe scored six points apiece.