Trumbull's Williams sinks Ridgefield with last shot
A milestone accomplishment is thrilling in its own right, but the way in which Trumbull High’s Timmond Williams reached the 1,000-point plateau on Thursday was something extra special.
With his team trailing FCIAC rival Ridgefield by two points, the seconds ticking away and the game seemingly slipping away, Williams launched a prayer that banked in off the backboard as the buzzer sounded.
Williams was swarmed by his teammates and fans alike after the Eagles’ 50-49 thrilling win.
“I knew the shot wasn’t going to be easy. Thank God it went in,” Williams said. “When the game’s on the line I feel confident with the ball.”
Williams, Trumbull’s senior guard, took the inbounds pass at midcourt. With a couple of Tigers closely defending, he knocked home the shot from beyond the 3-point line’s right elbow.
When it went in the Tigers, who had trailed for much of the night but held a four-point lead with less than 20 seconds left, were in shock.
Williams was sitting on 999 career points before the game winner, which pushed Trumbull’s unbeaten start to 6-0 while dropping the Tigers to 4-2.
“I’m so happy for Timmond, he deserves it,” Trumbull coach Buddy Bray said. “He’s worked extremely hard. He’s a very talented player.”
Williams, and the Eagles as a team, had an off night shooting the ball.
Trumbull was 19-of-51 from the floor, but did just enough to overcome a Ridgefield team that had erased an eight-point deficit in the second half.
Williams scored 19 points, Quentar Taylor had 14, Evan Gutowski had six, Mileeq Green five, Chris Brown four and Jack Therriault two.
Brown had nine rebounds and Green eight.
Williams grabbed five boards and Taylor had three rebounds and a trio of assists.
Brown had two of Trumbull’s five shot blocks.
Trumbull’s defense helped the hosts seize a first-quarter lead they would carry into the final minutes. It was 13-12 Eagles after one quarter of play, 25-19 Eagles at the half, and 34-30 Trumbull on top heading to the fourth.
Trumbull threw the ball away on consecutive fast-break opportunities in the third, and had some costly turnovers in the fourth to help the Tigers come back.
Chris Knachel’s 3-pointer put Ridgefield up 36-34 with 6:48 to go.
A long field goal by Williams evened the score seconds later, but the Tigers got the next six points on consecutive 3-pointers by James St. Pierre (25 points to lead all scorers) for a 42-36 lead at the 5:25 mark.
Taylor sank a 3-pointer to cut the lead in half with 5:05 left, before Ridgefield went up by six with just under four minutes to play.
In the second quarter, Brown had two blocks and Taylor one rejection as the Eagles held the Tigers to just two points in the first five and a half minutes of the stanza. Williams added a block later in the period.
The Eagles built a 22-14 lead highlighted by the first of Williams’ three shots from downtown and a drive and bucket by Taylor.
After Ridgefield closed to within 27-24 in the third, Williams drained another 3-pointer and Brown scored in transition off a feed from Williams to get the lead back to eight at the midpoint of the period.
The Tigers were looking for more, but Taylor’s steal and subsequent 3-pointer from straight on got a five-point deficit down to two with 3:26 showing on the scoreboard clock.
Trumbull missed a pair of long-range bids for the lead, before Williams swished a right side baseline jumper to tie things at 45 with just 1:31 left.
Knachel scored for a two-point Ridgefield lead with 1:20 to go, and his steal led to another couple of points with exactly a minute to play.
A missed front end one-and-one free throw with 27 seconds left gave the Eagles some hope.
Williams was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and, after missing the first free throw, hit the next two for a 49-47 deficit.
Another missed one-and-one try by the Tigers, rebounded by Williams, set the stage for the wild finish.
“Credit Ridgefield — very well-coached team, great game plan coming in and we had a tough shooting night,” Bray said. “It’s a win, but we can’t be happy with some of the things (turnovers) that allowed them back into the game. We need to shoot the ball better than we did but I’m proud of the way the kids hung in there.”
Notes: Candace Williams (Notre Dame-Fairfield class of 2008), is Timmond Williams’ first cousin and was in attendance. A 1,000 point scorer herself, Candace Williams presented him with a plaque welcoming him to the 1,000 point club.
Prior to the game, Bill and Nancy Brown, parents of Chris Brown and former Eagles' Billy and Taylor, were honored.
Bill is a Marine Colonel who served in Iraq in 2005.
Cameron Andry 0 0-0 0
Matt Misurelli 0 0-0 0
Nick Hall 1 0-0 2
John Briody 0 0-0 0
Derek Szpakowski 3 0-3 6
Luke McGarrity 2 2-2 7
Weston Carpenter 0 0-0 0
Yahann Britto 0 0-0 0
Ryan Carson 0 1-2 1
Delvea 0 1-2 1
James St. Pierre 8 4-6 25
Chris Knachel 3 0-0 7
Totals 17 8-15 49
3 Pointers: St. Pierre 5, Knachel 1, McGarrity 1
Mileeq Green 2 0-0 5
Dylan Palinkas 0 0-0 0
Chris Brown 2 0-0 4
Isaiah Johnson 0 0-0 0
JP Fromageot 0 0-0 0
Jack Therriault 1 0-0 2
Timmand Willaims 6 4-5 19
Andrew Cutter 0 0-0 0
Evan Gutkowski 2 2-3 6
Quentar Taylor 6 0-0 14
Totals 19 6-8 50
3 Pointers: Williams 3, Taylor 2, Green 1
Ridgefield 12 7 11 19 49
Trumbull 13 12 9 16 50