Trumbull cagers knock off unbeaten Wilton
The Trumbull High boys basketball team did something it wasn’t able to do in its last game, a 71-62 road loss to Norwalk, and that was to get off to a fast start.
This time, coach Buddy Bray’s Eagles took an 18-9 lead on unbeaten Wilton High and held at least a six-point advantage the rest of the way when they posted an 83-74 FCIAC decision before a large student fan base at home on Friday night.
“We had a good first four minutes tonight and the crowd had a part in that,” said Bray, who gave a salute to Eagle fans after his team improved to 3-2 and Wilton dipped to 5-1.
Eddie McElroy knocked down three of his five 3-pointers in the opening period, Rashard Rodriguez hit a trey and had four assists, and Trumbull did a good job defending the perimeter, where he Warriors were 0-for-7 from long range.
Eight turnovers hurt Trumbull’s chances to extend its lead in the second quarter, but again the defense, this time on the interior, made Wilton earn its points.
Putting a body on every Warrior attacking the basket, the Eagles didn’t allow an easy two-pointer. Forced to the foul line, Wilton was 6-for-11 from the stripe.
That, an 0-for-3 Warrior performance on 3-pointers, and key baskets by Billy Brown, Ben McCullough and McElroy allowed Trumbull to take a 27-19 lead into the half.
Wilton’s Scott Shouvlin made his team’s first trey with his team down 31-19 in the third quarter, and then added five more to finish with 25 points.
But for every Warrior run, Trumbull made the one big play to curtail a huge Wilton come back.
Wilton narrowed the deficit to 41-35 with 1:30 left in the third quarter, after Trumbull had a string of six empty possessions.
Brown, who finished with 23 points, scored on a strong baseline drive and Jason Micalizzi rebounded a Warrior miss.
His outlet pass to McElroy saw the senior go the distance through traffic and tally. Fouled on the play, McElroy, and the Eagles, got more than they bargained for when Wilton’s Michael Bingaman was hit with a technical foul.
McElroy made the three subsequent free throws, two for the technical. Trumbull turned the extra possession into a floater from Brown in the lane to take its largest lead at 50-35.
It was 50-38 entering the final period. Wilton scored on 6-of-8 possessions, but Rodriguez, McElroy and Frank Puglia made 8-of-9 free throws down the stretch to close out the win.
Rodriguez finished with 19 points and McCullough and Brown had 15 points each.
McCullough grabbed 13 rebounds, Christopher Lyons 11, Rodriguez 10 and Brown had eight.
Trumbull had 20 assists on its 28 baskets. Rodriguez had five and McElroy four.
“Those assists are big,” Bray said. “That’s a stat coaches like to see, sharing the basketball.”
Joining Shouvlin in double figures for the Warriors were Richie Williams (17 points) and Matt Shifrin (16 points).
Both teams finished with nine 3-pointers. Trumbull was 18-for-35 from the foul line and Wilton was 19-for-26 (8 for 9 in the second half).