Wilton boys hoop pulls away to beat Warde

The Wilton High boys basketball team used an 11-0 run at the end of the first half to break open up a close game en route to a 66-48 victory over Fairfield Warde on Friday afternoon at the Zeoli Field House.

The scrappy Mustangs (2-14) hung tough with the home team until midway through the second quarter, as the teams traded baskets up until that point.

Eric Houska hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Warriors an 18-15 lead after the first quarter. Warde tied the game at 22-22 with 3:44 left in the first half before Wilton finished the half with its 11-0 run, which included three buckets by Matt Shifrin.

A time-out for an injured Warde player with the score tied gave Wilton head coach Joel Geriak a chance to refocus his team. “We were not doing a good job on the offensive boards or setting screens on offense early in the game," he said. "I told the kids they (Warde) are working hard as a team and I wanted to be up by seven going into the half. You can’t give a team like this hope or you could be in for a long night."

Wilton responded, taking a 33-22 lead into the break. The Warriors then capitalized on seven Mustang turnovers in the third quarter and put together another 11-0 run to go ahead 58-35 entering the fourth quarter. Wilton drained five three-pointers — three by Scott Shouvlin and one apiece by Shifrin and Houska — to outscore the Mustangs, 25-13, in the third.

Geriak subbed out all of his starters in the fourth quarter, as Wilton cruised to victory. Houska and Shifrin led the Warriors with 18 points each, Shouvlin had nine points and Michael Bingaman finished with eight points.

Wilton is now 9-7 overall and 7-7 in the conference. The Warriors are currently seventh in the overall conference standings. They are tied with two other teams, however the Warriors hold the head-to-head tiebreakers over both.