Boys basketball: Wilton dominates Wreckers to stay perfect

The Wilton High boys basketball team ran its season record to a perfect 7-0 by completely dominating the Staples Wreckers on Tuesday night, 77-41, at Zeoli Fieldhouse.

The Warriors have won their last three games by 30 or more points. It was the second time the Warriors beat the Wreckers this year. Wilton defeated Staples in a non-conference game 81-62 in the Staples 2016 Holiday Classic championship game on Dec. 29.

The Warriors, playing their first home game in over two and a half weeks, hit their home floor running and firing on all cylinders, and put up a big first quarter and never looked back.

The Warriors used 13 3-pointers from six different players to fuel the win.

Sophomore Nick Kronenberg led the way with five 3-pointers, followed by Scott Cunningham with three and Joe Pozzi with two.

The Warriors won the tip but couldn’t connect with three shots on that possession. The Wreckers came down the floor and got a 3-pointer from Max Sussman for the 3-0 lead. Staples, looking to revenge its earlier season loss to the Warriors, quickly saw their lead and hopes washed away as the home team took advantage of six Staples turnovers and closed out the first period on a 21-4 run.

Senior co-captain Matt Kronenberg fueled the Warriors first quarter lead with nine points. Nick Kronenberg’s reverse layup on a feed from senior co-captain Jack Williams put the lead at 18-7 and Cunningham’s 3-pointer, the team’s third of the period, gave Wilton a 21-7 lead at the end of one.

Wilton opened the second quarter by draining three consecutive 3-pointers to grow the lead to 30-9. The Wreckers went on a mini 6-0 run to cut the lead to 34-17, but the home team answered right back with two buckets to take a 39-17 lead into the halftime break.

Cunningham again closed out the period, hitting on his third 3-pointer.

“The first time we played them they played man-to-man defense on us and we scored most of our points in the paint, so when they came out tonight in a zone setup, we were expecting it and we were ready for it,” said Wilton head coach Joel Geriak.

Just about every night a different Warrior shows up on the stat sheet as a leading scorer, and with Wilton going out to big leads, some of the starters’ playing time has been limited.

“It’s not a problem as long as we keep winning,” Geriak said. “They’re not focusing on individual stats. They’re just working hard and looking to achieve our team goals and the goals they set for themselves. We have more depth on this team than I expected, which is great. We know we still have a lot of basketball ahead of us and these kids are up to the challenge.”

Second-half action saw more of the same, as the Warriors outscored Staples 23-10 in the third quarter to take a 62-27 lead into the final quarter. Williams and Kyle Maatallah led the way for Wilton with seven points each that included a 3-pointer for both.

Staples was able to keep pace with Wilton in the fourth quarter, but the game had long been decided.

Nick Kronenberg picked up his final two 3-pointer in the fourth period to end the game as the leading scorer with 19 points. Matt Kronenberg and Maatallah finished with 12 points each, while Cunningham and Williams each had 11 points. Justin Seideman led the Wreckers with 17 points.

Matt Kronenberg, who was the team’s leading scorer last season, welcomes the help with the scoring duties.

“It’s great that everybody gets into the game and contributes the way they do. I live to see this. It takes a lot of pressure off me knowing that we have so many scorers on the team. I have confidence in looking for the open man that they can knock down the shot and not have to worry about looking for one teammate,” he said. “We have three guys on the bench that can lead us in scoring on any given night. We have great chemistry on the team and right now we’re all shooting the ball well.”

Wilton will look for its eighth win of the season, and also to qualify for states, on Monday when the team will play St. Joseph at 11 a.m. at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport as part of the third annual MLK Basketball Classic.