New Canaan tops Wilton, 53-51, in overtime

Overtime was needed to decide a winner Tuesday night.

When the final buzzer sounded, it was the New Canaan boys basketball team that emerged with a 53-51 victory over host Wilton at the Zeoli Field House.

The Rams outscored Wilton, 6-4, in the four-minute overtime period to get the victory and improve their record to 7-3.

A bucket by New Canaan’s Leo Magnus opened the scoring in the extra session, putting the Rams ahead for good. Kyle Hyzy’s basket pulled Wilton within 52-51 late in overtime, but Ryan McAleer hit one of two foul shots to give New Canaan a two-point cushion.

Tucker Walden’s 3-pointer from the top of the key then bounced off the rim, with the Rams snaring the rebound to end the game.

The contest was close throughout — New Canaan’s five-point leads at the start of the game and midway through the fourth quarter were the largest of the night. Wilton’s biggest advantage was four points early in the second quarter.

Hyzy led the Warriors with a game-high 24 points, but he and his teammates were disappointed about the outcome.

“Give them a lot of credit; they played hard on defense and contested our shots,” Hyzy said about the Rams. “We as a team have to come out and be more physical, fight for 50/50 balls, and get out of our three-point shooting funk.

“We have a lot of talent on this team and we need to hold each other accountable for our play ... we must trust each other,” Hyzy added. “We can’t look back; we need to look forward and take it one game at a time.”

New Canaan got balanced scoring, with Brandon Sechan scoring 13 points to lead the Rams. McAleer added 11 points and Aaron Fishman and Magnus each had nine points.

Andrew Smith and Walden contributed nine points apiece for Wilton, which fell to 4-5 overall (3-2 in the FCIAC) with the loss.

After New Canaan opened the game on a 5-0 run, the Warriors battled back for an 11-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Hyzy had the hot hand for the Warriors in the second period, scoring 11 of his team’s 13 points as Wilton took a 24-23 lead into halftime.

The game was tied at 33-33 through three quarters, and New Canaan was ahead 47-45 with 3.3 seconds left in regulation. Hyzy then hit two pressure-packed free throws to tie the score and force overtime.

“Take nothing away from New Canaan ... they held our offense in check; we just aren’t playing hard-nose, blue-collar basketball that [previous Wilton] teams have displayed,” said Wilton coach Joel Geriak. “I feel we have the talent to compete with the other teams in the league ... there’s something missing and we have to find it.”