Wilton Basketball Association teams had the following results in travel action Jan. 2-4:
Wilton 46, Southbury 24
Darien 26 Wilton 6
The Wilton sixth grade girls, sponsored by Servco Oil, split their games this weekend. On Saturday against Southbury, a very balance attack was led by Ashleigh Masterson (12 points), Anisa Burrows (8) and Lauren Moe (6). Molly Hancock had a team-high seven steals. Ella Mulfinger (7 rebounds) and Riley Fitzgerald (6 rebounds) controlled the boards. Maddie Dineen ran a solid floor game and tallied three assists. Marin Burke, Julie Colias and Caroline Hage played intense defense and helped create scoring opportunities to secure the victory. On Sunday the girls came out a little flat and were overmatched by a bigger Darien seventh grade team and fell 26-6.
Wilton 45, New Canaan 33
The Wilton fifth grade boys travel team finished strong on Saturday afternoon to earn a well-fought victory on the road over a well-balanced New Canaan team. This was a critical divisional win to bring the boys record to 5-4 and get over the .500 hump.
The Wilton boys struggled early but some solid shooting by Ryan Luchetta (11 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds) and Luke Ginsburg (5 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 3 steals) kept Wilton close. Plagued by early turnovers, Wilton persevered by winning the battle on the boards with 27 team rebounds. Leading these efforts were Cole Siegel (3 rebounds) and the two Liam’s – Liam Murphy (5 points, 7 rebounds, 2 blocked shots) and Liam McKiernan (11 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal). New Canaan’s three-point assault was stymied by excellent defensive work by Cael Dexter (3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal), Matt Garcia (2 rebounds, 1 steal), Luke Perna (4 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals) and Grady Kaliski (2 rebounds, 1 steal). New Canaan carried a lead most of the game but momentum swung into Wilton’s favor late in the fourth quarter with a strong three-point play by Jack Schwartz (5 points, 2 rebounds) prior to fouling out. Wilton dominated the last two minutes of the game and finished the game hitting an impressive 13 free throws and was able to overcome some early jitters with a quality win.
Westport PAL 52, Wilton 44
The Wilton sixth grade boys team, sponsored by Servco Oil and Propane, lost a hard-fought game on Saturday against Westport PAL. Wilton’s strong offense dominated the first half, with long 3’s from both Henry Roy (14 points, 7 steals, 2 blocked shots) and Levi Kaplan, who had three points, three steals and a huge blocked shot. The first half featured lots of aggressive defensive from Anderson Campbell (3 points, 12 rebounds, 2 blocked shots), Max Jarvie (3 points, 7 rebounds) and Peter Reyes (4 points,3 rebounds, 2 steals). Luke Umphred added two points and five rebounds. Wilton led 28-20 after the first half, with all nine players scoring.
Wilton continued to play strong in the third quarter, with five points by Todd Woodring, who finished with seven points, three steals and five rebounds. Despite tough defense from Kyle Roesser (4 points, 6 rebounds, 6 blocked shots) and Jack Minnich (5 points, 3 steals, 4 rebounds), Westport’s non-stop press and strong shooting proved too much for Wilton, and Westport outscored Wilton 21-7 in the fourth Quarter to take the victory.
Wilton 42, Ridgefield 40
On Friday night, the Wilton seventh grade boys, sponsored by Wilton Hardware, remained hot and kept their season on a winning track. The schedule said it was a non-league game, but for the players this was a major league rivalry, with a score to settle from last year’s lopsided loss.
The early action was back and forth, but Wilton took command in the second period with a 14-5 run, and captured the lead it would never surrender. Led by Tommie McKiernan (15 points) and Bailey Finn (12 points), the Warriors played a steady and solid all-around game. Unselfish teamwork has been the key to Wilton already surpassing last year’s win total, and continued throughout this game with Spencer Liston, Andrew Roth and Griffin Turner feeding the scorers with crisp-passing assists. With a height disadvantage inside, it was the sound defensive play by Alexander Reyes, Ryan Preisano and Jackson Duncan, combined with timely rebounding of Finn (6) and Nick Walden (4) that frustrated the Tigers all night. Key points off the bench by Tommie Walsh and Roth kept the lead intact through the third period.
The Ridgefield run was expected and came fast and furious in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Warriors 19-13, and converting a turnover into a potential three-point play with 20 seconds remaining. The tie-breaking free throw was missed, giving Wilton a chance for a last possession play. After a mad scramble ended with Ridgefield claiming possession, the ball handler called for timeout. After conferring, the referees assessed Ridgefield a technical foul for not having a timeout left, thereby awarding Wilton free throws. McKiernan calmly made both clutch shots, giving the Warriors a two-point lead and the win.
Wilton 52, Fairfield 36
On Sunday, the Warriors took on Fairfield for another challenging non-league contest. This game remained close at halftime, due to the talented Fairfield team keeping up the pressure and forcing numerous uncharacteristic turnovers. But the afternoon belonged to Bailey Finn with a dominating performance with 26 points, 17 rebounds, and three blocked shots. The inside game was further helped by the penetrating plays of Tommie McKiernan (10 points, 3 assists), Alexander Reyes (4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals), and Nick Walden’s (4 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) extremely productive minutes off the bench. The Warriors came out with new energy in the second half to outscore Fairfield 14-4 in the third period. Spencer Liston was a sparkplug with three well-timed rebounds and two assists, with the offensive attack complemented by Ryan Preisano, Griffin Turner, and Andrew Roth. Tommie Walsh and Jackson Duncan added quality minutes on both ends of the floor to sustain the Warriors in a gutsy 52-38 performance, raising the team’s impressive overall record to 17-2.
Wilton 70, Brookfield 65
After a slow start and a 27-point deficit in the second quarter, the Wilton boys seventh and eighth grade team, sponsored by Caraluzzi’s, pulled off an exciting 70-65 win over Brookfield in overtime. Dillon Mannix and Connor Robertson set the pace for the team early in the game with multiple assists from Mannix to Robertson inside the paint.
Brookfield answered with strong outside shooting that left Wilton down 24-39 at the half. Wilton pulled ahead in the third quarter with shots from Robertson, Sean Wiseman, James Minnich, Dylan Smith and Conor Lillis. AJ Preisano sunk an outside shot to tie the game. With strong defense from Tim Martin, Will Sullivan, Harrison Lent and Collin Tsai, multiple shots by Lillis helped to secure the win. Robertson finished the game with 22 points, Lillis with 15, Mannix with eight, Preisano and Wiseman with five points each, Martin, Smith and Sullivan with four apiece, and Minnich with three.
Darien 54, Wilton 38
In Sunday’s game against Darien, Wilton struggled against the height and accurate shooting of Darien. Dillon Mannix and Sean Wiseman demonstrated their adept ball handling while AJ Preisano, Connor Robertson, Tim Martin and Dylan Smith persisted in their efforts to rebound. The team made numerous attempts to work the perimeter with strong passes from Conor Lilis, Jeff Mitchell, Collin Tsai and Will Sullivan, but Darien persisted and won the game with a final score of 54-38. Robertson had 13 points, Preisano had 10, Smith had five, Lillis and Mannix had three each, and James Minnich and Harrison Lent both added two points.
Westport PAL 51, Wilton 39
Wilton 40, Redding-Easton 29
Danbury PAL 62, Wilton 54
The Wilton White eighth grade boys team, sponsored by Pinocchio Pizza, went 1-2 on the weekend with a sloppy 51-39 loss to Westport PAL, an overpowering 40-29 victory over Redding-Easton, and a hard-fought loss to Danbury PAL, 62-54. The Warriors are now 10-7 on the season.
The Friday night loss to Westport was a disappointment, coming less than two weeks after an 11-point victory by the Warriors.
The Warriors didn’t need overtime this time around for another victory against Redding-Easton, as Max Andrews used his tenacious pressing defense to turn multiple steals into a team-high 14 points. Kevin Hyzy pressured the Redding-Easton defense by driving the lane, distributing the ball, and scoring seven points, while Grant Masterson’s effort led to multiple offensive rebounds and five points. The defense was the deciding factor as Max Silva, Jack Lynch (2 points), Zarious Eusebe (2 points), Will Murphy, Connor Cummings (4 points), Parker Wooding (2 points) and Craig Hyzy (4 points) gave up a season-low 29 points.
In the final game of the weekend, Wilton welcomed the sharpshooting 17-3 Danbury PAL squad. Despite falling behind more than 20 points in the second half, Wilton battled almost all the way back behind the Hyzy twins (Kevin and Craig), who had an identical 11 points apiece to lead the comeback. Andrews battled to seven points and seven rebounds, while Murphy hit two 3-pointers for a total of eight points. Eusebe (5 points, 3 rebounds) and Woodring’s (4 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists) effort was palpable as they dove all over the court. Lynch (4 points, 5 rebounds) and Masterson (4 rebounds, 3 steals) battled the bigger Danbury big men, while Silva hit a timely 3-pointer to go with his two rebounds.