Boys basketball: Trumbull last unbeaten team in FCIAC
After defeating Danbury High 62-51 on Friday night, the Trumbull High boys basketball team found itself the last unbeaten squad standing in the FCIAC.
At 6-0, the Eagles are perched atop the West Division at the midway point of the season, followed by the Hatters and Stamford High at 5-1. While in an enviable position in both the league and state, Trumbull is maintaining its one-day-at-a-time approach.
“It’s not like we aren’t paying attention to the league. The kids follow the league,” Trumbull head coach Buddy Bray said. “But we are more about just having good practices and concentrating on what we need to do to win basketball games.”
In a clash between the last two unbeaten squads in the conference, the Eagles (9-1, 6-0 FCIAC) used stout interior defense and balanced scoring to vanquish the Hatters. Particularly tough was Trumbull’s zone defense, which flummoxed Danbury all night.
“They work on their slides all the time,” Bray said. “I don’t think a day goes by where we don’t work on it… Credit it to the kids, as long as they keep hustling and working hard, hopefully good things will keep happening.”
Trumbull also slowed down the Hatters’ fast-break offense, keeping their runouts to a minimum. That, coupled with the stingy zone defense, led to Danbury scoring fewer than 60 points for just the second time this season.
“If we kept the game in the 60s, I told them they would have a good chance to win the game,” Bray said.
The Eagles spread the ball around on offense, with J.J. Pfohl and Johnny McElroy leading the way with 11 points apiece. Chris Lyons added 10 markers and Jack Moore and Eddie Giovannini chipped in eight each.
“The kids played hard tonight,” Bray said. “They (the Hatters) are a good basketball team. They are going to win a lot of games.”
Scott Nesbitt scored a game-high 20 points for the Hatters (8-1, 5-1), while Marcus Fox notched 12 markers.
Nesbitt poured in 15 of his points in the second half, but Trumbull maintained the lead for the final nine minutes, seven seconds. Nesbitt scored on a drive with 2:13 left in the third to tie the game at 35, but the Hatters’ bench was hit with a technical foul at the 1:07 mark.
Pfohl sank both free throws and Joe Nemchek added a basket to stake the Eagles to a 39-35 edge heading into the final frame.
Behind a pair of 3-pointers from Giovannini, another from Moore and a 6-for-6 performance from the foul line in the final minute, the Eagles prevailed in the FCIAC West Division showdown.
“I think we just made enough plays there,” Bray said. “We came out with a tough win.”