Wilton boys hoop gives Central scare in 70-65 loss

After his team lost its last two games by an average of 21 points, Wilton High boys basketball head coach Joel Geriak didn’t know what to expect when the Warriors hit the floor Tuesday night at home against unbeaten Bridgeport Central, the state's sixth-ranked team.

Turns out the Warriors gave Central all it could handle, forcing the Hilltoppers to work for a 70-65 victory.

Wilton (6-6), which put forth a valiant effort in hanging with the visitors, actually had a good chance for the upset win, but turnovers at key times, missed open close-range shots, and Central put-back baskets off missed foul shots were too much for the Warriors to overcome.

"We knew what we were up against. The kids came out and executed the game plan to a 'T,' " said Geriak. “Going forward the team will know if they can go out and effectively run our game plan that we will be in the game.

"Our big men played great tonight. Even though we didn’t get the win, I consider it a moral victory for the team; to come back after those two big losses showed me a lot."

Wilton got out to early 14-5 and 17-9 leads in the first quarter, mainly on three three-pointers from Eric Houska. Central hit two baskets to trail 17-13 at the end of one and then tied the game at 17-17 in the second quarter.

The Warriors answered right back with two treys in the corner from Scott Shouvlin producing a 23-19 lead. Three more three-pointers, this time from Matt Shifrin, kept Wilton on top, 32-28, but again Central finished out the period with two baskets to tie the game at 34-34 at halftime. Wilton drained eight three-pointers in the first half.

Central (12-0) outscored Wilton in the third quarter and took a 52-46 lead into the final eight minutes. The game was knotted at 54-54 with five minutes to play, but Central nailed a three-pointer the next trip down the floor en route to the win.

Houska led Wilton with 26 points, including five three-pointers. Shifrin finished with 19 points and Shouvlin had eight points.

Central’s Shaquan Bretox led all scorers with 28 points.