Big fourth quarter helps St. Joseph knock off Wilton
St. Joseph outscored the Wilton boys basketball team, 20-12, in the fourth quarter to pull away for a 68-56 road victory Friday night at the Zeoli Field House.
“We had a few of our key players battling the flu and we didn’t have enough in the tank to finish strong,” Wilton coach Joel Geriak said. “I’m not using that as an excuse, but it played a factor in the performance tonight.
“We also have a lot of things to work on,” Geriak continued. “We need to get in a rhythm on offense; play better defense under the basket; and we need our basketball IQ chemistry to improve.”
The contest was close throughout the first half, with 11 lead changes and five ties. Neither team managed a prolonged scoring run, as the largest lead by either was four points.
Will Diamantis converted the put-back of a missed foul shot to give St. Joseph a 15-13 lead after the first quarter, but hard work under the basket by senior co-captain Kyle Hyzy put Wilton ahead 29-26 late in the second period.
The Cadets then outscored Wilton, 11-4, the rest of the quarter to take a 37-33 lead into halftime.
The Warriors got within one point, 45-44, with 57 seconds remaining in the third period, but Tommy Shannon’s three-pointer put St. Joseph ahead 48-44 going into the final eight minutes. The Cadets then opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run to open a 10-point lead, and Wilton didn’t get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
St. Joseph (2-1) did a good job guarding the three-point line, limiting Wilton (1-3) to three three-pointers, and its press kept the Warriors from getting into a flow on offense. When the Cadets had the ball they displayed quick passing around the perimeter looking for the open man.
“St. Joe’s clearly out-played us, so give them credit,” said Hyzy, who had a game-high 21 points for Wilton. “We have to come out and be more aggressive and show more energy. We have to look into the mirror and come out and play the way we are capable of playing.”
Notes: John Walsh contributed 11 points for Wilton and Josh White had 10 points. White hit two of the Warriors’ three three-pointers.
Paul Fabbri led St. Joseph with 13 points. Glen Manigault added 12 points and Jason James had 11 points.