Boys basketball: Warriors top McMahon, clinch state berth

In a game of two halves, the Wilton High boys basketball team, after building an early double-digit lead, held on for a 56-51 win over the Brien McMahon Senators on Tuesday night at the Zeoli Field House.

The victory gives the Warriors eight wins on the season and clinches a spot in the state tournament. It is the second year in a row that the team has qualified for states, following a 12-year absence. Wilton’s record is now 8-5 overall and 6-5 in the conference. The win also puts the Warriors one step closer to earning an FCIAC playoff bid.

The Warriors got out to a fast 17-2 lead, with four of Wilton’s starting five knocking down shots. The Senators cut the lead to 18-7 by the end of one. The home team played well in the second quarter and took a 35-21 lead into the break.

Part two of the game, or the second half, saw McMahon come out with the hot hand and also take advantage of Wilton turnovers and cold shooting. The Senators outscored Wilton, 18-6, in the third quarter to pull within two points, 41-39, at the end of three.

McMahon then went ahead 43-41 with two baskets to open the final quarter, but with 3;30 to play Wilton's Max Maudsley tied the game at 48-48, and with 2:25 left Eric Houska nailed a three-pointer to put Wilton ahead to stay.

Maudsley and Olandi LeGrand were the only Warriors to score in the second half until Houska hit the three.

Maudsley led his team with a game-high 17 points. Houska finished with 13 points and seven steals, and Weston Wilbur had 12 points and nine rebounds.