Wilton Basketball Association teams had the following results in travel action from Jan. 19-21:
The Wilton eighth grade girls team, sponsored by Pinocchio Pizza, had two impressive victories last weekend.
Wilton 32, Ridgefield 30 (OT)
The first game against Ridgefield started as a strong defensive battle for Leah Martins, Ellie Coffey and Erynn Floyd. Wilton stepped up offense in the second half as Katie Umphred (9 points), Ellie Copley (6 points), Catherine Dineen (4 points) and Morgan Lebek (4 points) had game critical baskets. Also contributing offensively were Grace Williams, Bella Andjelkovic and Olivia Rossi. The two teams exchanged baskets in the fourth quarter, with a score of 30-30 with under 1:30 minutes to go. Ridgefield couldn’t get a buzzer-beater shot off. Dineen scored the game-winning basket early in overtime and Wilton secured the 32-30 win.
Wilton 36, Wakeman 31
In the second game against Wakeman, after a 3-pointer by Martins (8 points) and a short-range jumper by Coffey (8 points), Wilton took the lead. With less than 10 seconds to go, Williams (5 points) converted with a layup, but Wakeman ended ahead at halftime with a deep three. Lebek (10 points) got a key offensive rebound and layup to tie the game in the third quarter. After two baskets by Coffey and a 3-pointer from Martins, Wilton held on for a 36-31 win.
The Wilton sixth grade girls, sponsored by Servco Oil, brought home two wins last weekend against Fairfield and West Haven.
Wilton 55, Fairfield 26
On Saturday against Fairfield, the girls got back to business with a win. Ashleigh Masterson (12), Anisa Burrows (10) and Caroline Hage (10) led the team offensively with a combined 32 points. Molly Hancock (8), Maddie Dineen (6), Riley Fitzgerald (4) and Marin Burke showed strong ball-handling, driving the ball down the court. Aggressive defense by Lauren Moe (2), Ella Mulfinger (1) and Julie Colias (2) held Fairfield from having many opportunities to score.
Wilton 29, West Haven 22
On Sunday the team played a nail-biter against a skilled and physical West Haven team. In a true team effort, all of the girls were essential in earning Wilton the win. Julie Colias, Ella Mulfinger and Lauren Moe (1) kept West Haven on their heels throughout the game. Showing some of their best defense of the season, Ashleigh Masterson (4), Anisa Burrows (5) and Caroline Hage (2) rallied the team with rebounds and blocks. Molly Hancock (7), Maddie Dineen (4), Marin Burke (4) and Riley Fitzgerald (2) also played strong defense and helped create scoring opportunities that helped the team secure the win.
With four games and a developmental scrimmage on the schedule, it was a jam-packed weekend for the Wilton 5th/6th boys basketball team, sponsored by Servco Oil.
Andover (Mass.) 55, Wilton 19
Following Friday night’s scrimmage, the action began on Saturday with a two-game tournament in Trumbull.
In the first game, the Warriors faced a formidable team from Andover, Mass. Patrick Heffernan opened the game with a strong drive that resulted in a quick two points, and both Brody Hess and Stefano Cross stood out for aggressively breaking through big defenders. Despite being down 33-9 at the start of the second half, Declan Brokaw got the crowd going by draining a 3-pointer. In the end, Andover prevailed 55-19.
Connecticut Elite 26, Wilton 22
Next up was a pressure cooker against the tournament’s host team – The Connecticut Elite 11. The Warriors led at the end of the first half thanks in part to a power layup from Tucker Farrell, four points from Jack Williams, and Declan Brokaw’s second trey on the day. However, despite second-half scoring from Justin Kammerman, Luke DiRocco, Cole Galante and Patrick Heffernan, the Elite 11 tied things up at 19-19 with 3:50 left. A series of time-outs, intentional fouls and free throws ensued. After being fouled, Brody Hess sunk one of his free throws to regain the lead (22-21) but the Elite 11 came back quickly and hit a 3-pointer and two subsequent foul shots for a 26-22 win.
Stamford 43, Wilton 32
After a couple hours of rest, the Warriors headed south to face the Stamford JCC. The boys worked well together to amass 32 points in the evening – with impressive assists from Mason Andrews and Henry Soojian – yet not enough to beat the host team. Despite a dramatic three pointer from Brody Hess at the end of the game, Stamford pulled out the win, 43-32.
Wilton 40, Westport 34
Finally, the fourth game of the weekend proved an exciting one, with the Warriors pulling out a victory over Westport’s PAL 6B. Some of the best action came in the second half including an ‘And-1’ from Luke DiRocco, and a finger roll off the back door from Cole Galante. In the end, the Warriors took home the ‘W’, 40-34, including 10 points from Patrick Heffernan and seven boards from Declan Brokaw.
Wilton 42, Norwalk 40
The Wilton seventh grade boys team, sponsored by Wilton Hardware, hold off a furious fourth-quarter surge by Norwalk to score a thrilling victory at Middlebrook. The Wilton bigs, including centers Bailey Finn and Nick Walden and forwards Jackson Duncan, Alexander Reyes and Griffin Turner, crashed the boards with a vengeance. Finn, with his relentless and dominant play down low, led the team with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Point guard Tommy McKiernan, with his calm disposition, tallied nine points, including a clutch 3-pointer towards the end of the game, handed out three assists and collected four offensive boards.
In the first quarter, Wilton McKiernan’s on-the-money passes produced two layups for Walden as Wilton jumped out to a 15-9 lead. Walden played a solid-all-around game, scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds. In the second quarter, Spencer Liston, Ryan Preisano, Andrew Roth and Tommy Walsh’s stifling defense held Norwalk to only seven points. Spencer Liston’s sharp long-range shooting was on display as he nailed a 3-point shot on a pass from Roth and the team held onto a 21-16 halftime lead. In the third quarter, Liston made a Curry-esque, no-look pass to Turner under the basket for an uncontested layup. Finn took the ball strong to the basket while Reyes played tough defense (four steals and two rebounds) and ignited the fast break. Wilton held onto a precarious 32-26 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The final quarter was as exciting a quarter of basketball as the boys have played all season. Norwalk went on an 11-3 run to start the quarter, tying the game, 35-35, with 3:20 to go, and taking the lead, 37-35, with three minutes left. However, Wilton’s grit, character and mental toughness permeated throughout the gym. Tommy McKiernan dialed long distance and drained a timely 3-pointer with 2:42 to go to retake the lead, 38-37. Norwalk fought hard and took a 39-38 lead with less than two minutes to go. Finn then made it 40-39 Wilton as he scored off one of his nine offensive boards with 1:10 to go. Preisano capped off the scoring with two clutch free throws with 32 seconds left to make the final score 42-40.
The team improved its record to 8-1 in league play and 14-2 overall.
It was a great weekend for the Wilton 7/8th grade boys basketball team, sponsored by Caraluzzi’s.
Wilton 46, Weston Blue 42
On Saturday the team worked hard for a 46-42 win over a tough opponent. Defense led the way with multiple steals from Sean Wiseman, Connor Lillis and Dillon Mannix along with strong rebounding from Connor Robertson, Tim Martin and Jefferson Mitchell and consistent pressure from Colin Tsai, James Minnich and Will Sullivan. Scoring highlights included timely 3-pointers from AJ Preisano and Dylan Smith along with a couple of clutch free throws from Harrison Lent.
Wilton 68, Stamford White 61 (OT)
On Sunday the team won an exciting game, 68-61, that included a buzzer beater from Tim Martin to send the contest into overtime, lights-out shooting from Dillon Mannix (4 treys), confident free throw shooting (20 points from seven different players) and a monster day on the boards led by Connor Robertson, who collected 20 rebounds.
Wilton 72, Milford 39
The Wilton Warriors 8th grade boys team, sponsored by Pinocchio Pizza, went 2-0 over the weekend with victories over Milford and Westport.
On Saturday night at Milford’s home gym the Warriors came out flying with a high-speed attack and offensive precision by hitting 10 of their first 11 shots. Wilton was paced in the first quarter by Connor Cummings (10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks), Craig Hyzy (13 points, 4 rebounds), Will Murphy’s breakout game of the year (9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and a block), and Kevin Hyzy (3 points, 2 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals). Wilton led 24-5 after one. The second quarter featured hustle fever with multiple steals, full court sprinting, and diving for loose balls. Leading the attack heading into the half was Parker Woodring (10 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals), Max Andrews (12 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals) and Grant Masterson (4 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists). This balanced pressure opened up a 19-point lead over Milford at 38-19 to end the first half. It was Zarius Eusebe’s play (6 points, 5 assists, 3 steals) to start the third quarter that sparked the Warriors, as he pushed the pace that allowed Wilton to get easy buckets. Wilton expanded its lead to 26 at 58-32 to end the third quarter. In the final quarter it was time for Jack Lynch (2 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks) to show off his hustle skills with four straight plays that forced turnovers by Milford. The hustle plays allowed his wingman Max Silva (3 points, 2 assists) to nail a long bomb from the top of the arc, which pushed the score over a 30 point lead.
Wilton 43, Westport 32
Game two on Sunday was against archrival Westport. The game featured a fast-paced attack with defensive intensity throughout. In the first quarter the Warriors couldn’t find the bottom of the net. Parker Woodring (7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists) and Kevin Hyzy (4 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals) led the way as Wilton took a 12-9 lead. Diversified scoring off of fast breaks and lock-down defense in the second quarter allowed Wilton to open up a nine-point lead at 25-16. Eusebe (4 points, 4 assists, 2 steals), Craig Hyzy (6 points, 2 rebounds), Cummings (6 points, 5 rebounds, 3 blocks), and lightning Max Andrews (7 points, 11 rebounds, 3 steals), who had a monster game wiping off the glass, led the second-quarter effort. In the second half Westport climbed back and cut the lead to one. But a long bomb by Max Silva (3 points, 2 assists), the constant hustle by Grant Masterson (3 rebounds, 3 assists), and defensive pressure by Will Murphy (2 rebounds, 2 steals, 2 blocks) allowed Wilton to maintain the lead at 29-27. In the fourth quarter, once again, it was Jack Lynch (6 points, 3 rebounds) with two consecutive and-1s and key free throws by Craig Hyzy down the stretch to seal the victory.