Wilton boys hoop falls to Ridgefield but clinches FCIAC berth

The Wilton High boys basketball team was over-matched by Ridgefield on Monday night, as the visiting Tigers won going away, 65-37, at the Zeoli Field House.

There was, however, a silver lining.

With Darien and Trinity Catholic also losing Monday, the Warriors earned a spot in the eight-team FCIAC playoffs that begin this weekend at Fairfield Ludlowe. Wilton, which is now 11-8 overall and 9-8 in the conference, finishes the regular season at home against Danbury on Wednesday night.

In Monday night's game, the Warriors couldn’t feed off the energy of the huge home crowd that packed the field house. Extra bleachers were rolled out as the crowd was estimated to be well over 800 people.

The Warriors got off to a great start, taking an early 12-3 lead. But the advantage was whittled away, as Ridgefield closed the gap to 12-8 by the end of the period. The score was tied at 15-15 with 6:04 to play in the first half, but Ridgefield went on a 7-0 run and opened a 30-25 lead at halftime.

After the break things got only worse for the Warriors. The Tigers outscored them, 19-7, in the third quarter and 17- 5 in the final eight minutes of the game. Ridgefield picked up its play on the defensive end in the second half, holding the Warriors to mostly one-shot possessions.

Trying to catch up, Wilton started launching off-the-mark three-point attempts and pressing the ball, both of which aided the Tigers' final margin of victory. Ridgefield's ball movement and balanced attack were just too much for the Warriors to handle.

“They’re a good team and they are balanced across the board. They are a blue-collar team that works you hard and physical," said Wilton head coach Joel Geriak. “We got out to a good start, but they came right back at us and we didn’t have an answer for them."

"I’m pleased that we qualified for the FCIACs, but I was hoping we could have made a better showing tonight in front of the huge hometown crowd."

Matt Shifrin led the scoring for the Warriors with 11 points, all in the first half. Scott Shouvlin had nine points on three treys, and Eric Houska finished with seven points.

Patrick Racy had 16 points for Ridgefield, which improved to 15-4 overall.