In a fast-paced contest that went down to the final buzzer, the Wilton High boys basketball team came away with an exciting 65-64 win over Trinity Catholic on Friday night at the Zeoli Fieldhouse.
It was the fifth straight victory for the Warriors, who improved to 10-2 overall and 7-1 in the FCIAC.
Wilton was ahead throughout the game but could not pull away. The Warriors’ largest advantage was eight points, which the hosts led by twice in the first half.
After keeping Wilton in its sights, Trinity Catholic got within 52-51 with 6:01 left in the fourth quarter, as sophomore Akim Joseph converted an offensive rebound and was fouled, adding the free throw for a three-point play.
But Wilton made steals on Trinity’s next two possessions, leading to baskets by Andrew Smith and Kyle Hyzy that gave the Warriors a 56-51 lead. Hyzy then hit a wide open 3-pointer from the wing to put Wilton ahead 59-52 with 4:21 to play.
Trinity, though, wasn’t done. The Crusaders trimmed Wilton’s lead to four points, 62-58, with less than two minutes left before fouling to stop the clock. Nick Kronenberg hit one of two foul shots for a 63-58 Wilton lead, but Trinity’s Brian Ceballos drained a 3-pointer to make it 63-61.
A lane violation during a Wilton free throw gave possession back to Trinity. But the Crusaders had no timeouts left, and when they couldn’t inbound the ball in the allotted five seconds the turnover returned possession to Wilton.
Tucker Walden was fouled and converted both free throws to give the Warriors a 65-61 lead. Trinity missed a shot but got the ball back with 13.3 seconds remaining. Joseph then hit a 3-pointer, but the clock ran out before Wilton needed to inbound the ball.
“I knew they were young and have shown that they commit a lot of turnovers, but what surprised me was that we also turned the ball over too many times tonight,” Wilton coach Joel Geriak said. “Our plan tonight was to pack it in on defense and we did a good job on the boards, but it seems the last few teams that we have played hit their outside shots, which kept them in the game.
“I’m happy that we got the win, but we still have a lot of room for improvement,” Geriak added. “We’ve come a long way since the beginning of the season, but I feel we’re about 50 percent there. We have to make better decisions on the floor and play smarter.”
Trinity’s last lead of the game was 9-7, midway though the opening period. The Warriors moved ahead, 23-18, by the end of the quarter and led 39-31 at halftime and 47-45 through three quarters.
“We got out to a fast start and the pace of the game was up and down the court,” Wilton senior Ryan Schriber said. “With us being on top of our division we’re going to get every team’s A game each night, and Trinity brought theirs tonight. We trust each other as a team and we worked hard for the win.”
Kronenberg led the Warriors with 19 points, 18 of which came in the first half. Schriber added 14 points and Smith finished with 11 points.
Trinity (6-6 overall, 4-5 in the FCIAC) was led by Rahsen Fisher with 19 points. Ceballos had 17 points and Joseph chipped in 13 points.