Stamford takes down Wilton boys hoop team

The Stamford Black Knights came into the Zeoli Field House Tuesday night and gave host Wilton a dose of what usually works for the home team: push the ball up the court to create offense.

The visitors had their running shoes on and out-paced the Warriors to come away with a 77-61 triumph.

Going into the game, Wilton head coach Joel Geriak thought his team would have its hands full.

“I knew they were going to be a tough match for us,” said Geriak.“They showed us we have some things we have to work on. Stamford played hard, physical defense and did a good job in transition on both ends of the floor.

"We did our best to try to stop their top players, but, as our team does, someone else picks up the slack. We were a little lazy in the first half and we didn’t drive the lane like we usually do."

That’s because Stamford’s Kweshon Askew was a force in the paint. Askew was credited with several blocked shots and caused Wilton to alter other attempts, as he was a force in the paint for the Black Knights.

“The kids were afraid to get their shots blocked and Stamford did a good job guarding the three-point line," said Geriak, whose team is now 7-2.

In the first quarter, the game was tied at 7-7 with just over five minutes to play in the period. Stamford (7-3) then went on an 11-0 run before Wilton's Matt Shifrin stopped the bleeding with a basket with 3:04 to play. The Black Knights had a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The scoring pace slowed in the second quarter, with Wilton going cold from the field and unable to cut into Stamford's lead, which stood at 37-21 at halftime.

With Wilton down 48-30 midway through the third quarter, the Warriors showed their heart and pride by refusing to go quietly on their home court.  The hosts finished the third quarter on a 21-8 run to get within five points, at 56-51.  Michael Bingaman fueled the run with eight points for the Warriors.

The final eight minutes saw the Warriors battle to the end, but their comeback try ran out of steam and the Black Knights put the game away from the line, hitting nine of 10 foul shots in the closing minutes.

Shifrin led Wilton with 21 points, followed by Richie Williams with 13 points and Bingaman with 12 points.