Loss to Bassick drops Wilton to seventh seed for FCIACs

The Wilton High boys basketball team closed its regular season with a 69-62 loss to Bassick on Wednesday night at the Zeoli Field House.

The defeat drops Wilton to the seventh seed for the FCIAC playoffs that begin Saturday. The Warriors will face second-seed Fairfield Ludlowe at 2 p.m. at Fairfield Ludlowe. The Falcons just beat Wilton, 56-40, on Monday night in Fairfield.

In Wednesday's contest — which was Senior Night for the Warriors — Bassick never trailed. After Richie Williams’s first basket of the night tied the score at 2-2, the Lions went ahead to stay. Throughout the game, Wilton could not get the stop it needed and was unable to string several baskets together to overcome the Bassick lead.

Wilton got as close as 16-15 in the closing seconds of the first quarter, but Bassick connected on a three-pointer as the clock expired for a 19-15 lead after one. A Matt Shifrin three-pointer again got the Warriors to within one at 21-20, but the Lions went on a 10-0 run to take a 31-20 lead. The first half ended with Bassick ahead, 36-25.

Two quick baskets by Michael Bingaman to start the third quarter closed the gap to 36-29. Bassick was doing a good job on the boards, though, and when the Warriors missed shots the next two times down the floor the Lions released a player early for the two fast-break layups.

Bassick pushed its lead to 15 points, 46-31, and the third quarter ended with the visitors up 53-43, after another three-pointer at the buzzer.

The senior-laden Wilton team showed no sign of packing it in and gave it one more try. A Scott Shouvlin basket with 3:40 to play got the Warriors to within four, at 61-57, but four consecutive free throws for Bassick put the Lions ahead for good.

“My biggest concern about tonight’s loss is the team feels like it backed into the playoffs and they feel that they're not ready for the playoffs,” said Wilton head coach Joel Geriak. “I think Senior Night was a little distraction, but the real reason we got beat tonight was that we haven’t learned how to respond to the physical play by our opponent. The same thing happened Monday night against Ludlowe.

As for playing Ludlowe in the first round of the FCIAC playoffs, Geriak said: "The slate is wiped clean; it's a new game. If you follow this conference you know any of the teams in the playoffs could win it all."

Shifrin led Wilton with 17 points and Richie Williams added 12 points. Shouvlin and Bingaman had 10 points apiece and Lucas Savoie had eight points.

Malik Massey led Bassick with 16 points. Curhone Baldwin added 14 points and Kobe Ancrum finished with 12 points.

Notes: Before the game, Wilton honored its eight seniors: Shifrin, Shouvlin, Richie Williams, Savoie, Bingaman, TJ Savvaides, Ryan Curtis, and Miles Elmasry.

Also prior to the opening tip, Wilton High Athletic Director Chris McDougal and Geriak presented Shifrin with a basketball honoring him for becoming the program's all-time leading scorer.