Trumbull hoopsters go cold in fourth during loss to Staples

Although the Trumbull High School boys basketball team was within striking distance at the half against Staples, they weren't able to get the shots to fall in the second and fell to the Wreckers 57-42.

"Staples was better than us all night," THS head coach Buddy Bray said. "It's disappointing. We had a big win Tuesday and tonight we didn't compete. All the credit needs to be given to the way Staples played. They out-hustled us, made shots, made big threes and killed us on the glass."

The Eagles were led by Eddie McElroy, as he finished with a team-high 13 points. Rashard Rodriguez added 10 points and the duo of Chris Lyons and Brandon Owen each pitched in with five points.

For Staples, Nick Esposito led all scorers with 15 points, while Justin Seldmann and Sean Pritchett each finished with 12 points. Ben Casparius added nine points in the winning effort.

The Wreckers were living by the three-point shot all game. In total they finished with nine made shots from beyond the arch.

On the other side of the ball, Trumbull went cold in the second half. With 3:09 to play in the third quarter, Lyons hit the layup under the net to cut the deficit to 33-28. From that point until the end of the game the Eagles scored 14 points.

In a back-and-forth opening quarter, Trumbull was able to hold its own with the Wreckers. Rodriguez got the ball rolling with an offensive rebound and putback. Although the Wreckers took the 4-2 lead, the Eagles regained the lead when McElroy connected on the baseline three-pointer with 3:50 showing on the clock.

Although Esposito hit the easy layup, McElroy answered with a layup of his own off a nice dish from Billy Brown.

Leading 9-8 after one, the Eagles claimed its biggest lead of the game when Ben McCullough hit the layup underneath. But that was when Staples started hitting its long distance shots, as Connor Whelan and Casparius hit back-to-back three-pointers to give Staples the 14-11 advantage.

Leading 25-21 at the break, Staples added to its lead to start the second off dunk by Esposito. Again, Trumbull mounted a comeback, as Lyons hit a three-pointer from the top of the key and McElroy found the net on a layup with 4:14 to play in the third to cut the deficit to 27-26.

Staples again stretched the lead to eight when the duo of Seldman and Casparius hit the back-to-back three-pointers and Harry Kohn also joined in on the long distance party to extend the Wrecker's lead to 36-28.

Just like they did to start the second half, Trumbull came storming back by ending the quarter on a 7-2 run. Brandon Owen hit a three-pointer, Rodriguez calmly drained his foul shots and then ended the quarter with an offensive rebound and putback to make the score 38-35.

Staples iced the game by going on a 14-5 run to end the contest.

"Their man gave us trouble," Bray said. "They have good man-to-man, good principals, they don't get out of stance and they don't reach. They were solid and it was tough for us to score the ball. We went a little bit too much 1-on-1 and we had a poor shooting night too. Some guys that have been scoring the ball for us just couldn't get shots to go down tonight."