Kronenberg's 31 points lead Wilton past McMahon
One night after falling off the horse, the Wilton High boys basketball team dusted itself off and rode to an important victory.
Leading wire to wire, the Warriors defeated visiting Brien McMahon, 65-48, on Friday night at the Zeoli Field House.
With the win, Wilton, which had lost to Trumbull, 66-58, on Thursday night, moved its record to 10-5 overall and 7-4 in the conference, improving its chances of earning a spot in the upcoming eight-team FCIAC playoffs.
“They didn’t have time to sulk over the Trumbull loss, because they knew we were back on the court the next night,” said Wilton head coach Joel Geriak about his players. “So sometimes the best medicine after a loss is to get back on the court and come away with a victory."
Once again, the Warriors were led by an outstanding performance from junior guard Matt Kronenberg, who hit for a career-high 31 points. Kronenberg, who had 13 points in the first half, was basically the Wilton offense through the entire third quarter and the start of the final quarter, accounting for 14 of the team’s first 16 points in the second half.
Friday marked the fifth straight game in which Kronenberg has scored 20 or more points to lead the Warriors.
"I feel that early in the season I was a little unsure and hesitating with my shots," said Kronenberg, "but now when I get the open looks the shots are falling.”
The Warriors came out and jumped all over McMahon, putting up 25 points in the first eight minutes for a 25-11 lead after one quarter. Six Wilton players scored in the first period, with Kronenberg (eight points) and Jack Williams (seven points) leading the way.
Wilton started the second quarter with a 9-2 run that ended on a Kronenberg three-pointer, giving the home team its biggest lead of the game, 21 points, at 34-13.
With several Wilton starters getting a breather, McMahon showed some mettle and battled back, finishing the second quarter on a 13-3 run to pull within 37-26 at halftime.
The scoring pace slowed in the third quarter, but the Warriors didn’t relinquish their double-digit advantage, taking a 49-35 lead into the final period. Although McMahon kept working hard, Wilton stayed comfortably ahead by hitting free throws, finishing the game 17-of-23 from the line, including a 10-of-12 effort from Kronenberg.
Notes: Williams and Drew Connolly chipped in with 10 points apiece for Wilton.
McMahon fell to 11-6 overall and 7-6 in the FCIAC. The Senators have gone 3-6 since opening the season with eight straight victories.