Boys basketball: After loss to Stamford, Wilton needs help to make FCIACs

After a 54-50 overtime loss at Stamford on Monday night, the Wilton High boys basketball team is going to need some help to make the FCIAC playoffs.

The loss dropped the Warriors from eighth to ninth in the playoff standings, at 9-6 in FCIAC play (and 12-7 overall).

Norwalk, Trumbull and Bridgeport Central, all 10-5 in the conference, are also in the mix for the final three playoff spots with one regular-season game left.

Wilton lost to Norwalk and Central, so it will need to win at Fairfield Ludlowe on Wednesday night and hope for a Trumbull loss to Danbury to grab the eighth seed.

“We have to scoreboard watch and we never want to do that,” said head coach Joel Geriak after the game. “Hopefully something falls the right way.”

Wilton had led by seven at halftime, 25-18, but Stamford opened the second quarter with a 12-4 run to take the lead, and were up by two points, 37-35, after three quarters.

The Black Knights (13-6 overall; 11-4 FCIAC) took their biggest lead of the game, since jumping out to an early 6-0 lead, at 40-35 to open the final quarter.

The Warriors got a 3-pointer from Nick Kronenberg, who then drove to the paint and dished to Ryan Schriber, who swished a trey from the opposite corner to put Wilton up 41-40.

Tevin St. John was able to get to the rim on consecutive drives to put Stamford back on top, which was answered by Antonio Brancato’s floater that he banked in off the glass.

Schriber swished another 3-pointer from the corner, his third trey of the second half, to give Wilton a 46-44 lead with 1:15 left, but St. John was able to drive to the hoop once again and scored to tie things up. Wilton's potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer was no good and the game went to overtime.

Wilton trailed 50-47 midway through overtime, when consecutive steals by Brancato led to a driving hoop by Kronenberg and then a chance for Wilton to take the lead. But Brancato was called for a charge with 59 seconds left.

Stamford beat Wilton’s press and made it 52-49 with 30 seconds left on Jelani Jackson’s layup. Brancato was fouled on a 3-pointer attempt, but hit only one of three foul shots, and Stamford was able to seal the win when Jackson hit a pair of free throws at the other end with five seconds left.

Wilton hit only three of seven free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime, and were 7-for-15 at the line for the game.

“We fought hard. We made mental errors. You can’t miss a bunch of foul shots down the stretch. You can’t miss box-outs and expect to win games of this magnitude. And tonight we didn’t do that,” said Geriak. “For us to get in we can’t have that lack of execution at this time of year.”

Schriber had a huge second half off the bench, hitting three treys and finishing with 10 points, along with an assist. Brancato led the scoring with 14 points and also had six rebounds, two assists. and two assists.

Kronenberg had eight points and an assist, and Kyle Shifrin five points and an assist.

Kyle Maatallah scored four points and pulled down eight rebounds, and Robbie Hermann had four points and five rebounds. Kyle Phillips had two points, two rebounds, two steals and one assist, and Kyle Hyzy also had two points. Scott Cunningham had two assists.

Jaden Bell led Stamford with 21 points, including three 3-pointers. St. John had 16 points and Josh Thervil 10 points. Jackson added eight points.