Boys basketball: Red-hot Warriors roll past Staples, 86-65
The Wilton High boys basketball team can beat you in many ways — and the Warriors had it all going in the first half of Tuesday night’s game against Staples in Westport.
Wilton’s guards annihilated the Wreckers zone in the first half, draining 13 3-pointers, and they found success driving to the basket, too.
The result was a 52-point first half, as the Warriors cruised to a convincing 86-65 win.
“We were prepared for zone and for man. For us to do well against zone, you have to shoot well. That takes teams out of it,” said head coach Joel Geriak. “If we start hitting those shots it opens up lanes for us and hopefully (we) get to the line. Our goal is to get to the lane and drive to the hoop but if they give you the open three, hopefully you make it.”
Wilton improved to 5-2 on the season, and 3-1 in the FCIAC. The Wreckers (1-6) suffered their sixth straight loss.
Scott Cunningham continued his torrid scoring pace, dropping in five 3-pointers in the first half and ending the half with 19 points. The senior guard finished the game with 25 points, including six 3-pointers. It was his fourth straight game of 20 points or more, as he’s pushed his season average to 18 points per game.
But he wasn’t the only weapon in Wilton’s arsenal. Nick Kronenberg nailed four treys and tallied 14 points in the first half, and Kyle Maatallah had three treys and 13 points in the half. When the three guards weren’t dropping in treys, they were getting to the basket for layups or setting up teammates.
Staples hung close early, thanks to Max Sussman, who had four 3-pointers and 14 points in the first quarter. But every time he hit a big 3-pointer the Warriors answered right back with a three of their own.
The score was 30-16 after one quarter
Wilton kept firing away to open the second quarter, with 3-pointers by Cunningham, Kronenberg and Maatallah pushing the lead to 39-16. Another long-range three by Kronenberg later made it 42-18.
Staples put together a 6-0 run but Wilton ended that with — you guessed it — a 3-pointer by Cunningham. Another trey, this time from Antonio Brancato, make it 50-29. The halftime lead was 52-31.
A breakaway layup by Kronenberg, after a Robbie Hermann block, gave Wilton its biggest lead yet, 59-33, about two minutes into the third quarter, and a steal and layup by Maatallah made it 67-40 late in the quarter — what proved to be the night’s biggest lead.
Wilton matched that 27-point lead early in the fourth quarter when Ryan Schriber hit a 3-pointer — one of only two treys for Wilton in the the second half.
In addition to Cunningham’s 25 points, Kronenberg finished with 16 points and Maatallah had 15 points. Hermann and Brancato had eight points each and Scriber had three points.
Scoring two points each were Kyle Phillips, Matt Shifrin, Ryan Biberon, Zayvion Eusebe and Matt Olson, while Kyle Hyzy added one point.
Wilton finished the night with 15 3-pointers.
Sussman and Stedman Van Arsdale each had 16 points to lead Staples. Luke Murphy had seven points and Dylan Honig and AJ Konstanty each had six points. Evan Vishno and Sam Maged each had three points and Tristan Hochman and Lefty Pendarakis had two points each.
Sussman had four 3-pointers for the Wreckers, while Honig and Murphy each had two. Maged and Vishno had one trey each.