Wilton boys hoop team gave Greenwich a battle in states

After mounting a late rally to send the game into overtime, the Wilton High boys basketball team couldn't pull off a major upset last Thursday night, losing to fourth-seed Greenwich, 67-61, in a Class LL state tournament second-round contest in Greenwich.

“These kids gave me everything they had in the two state games; a coach couldn't ask for anything more,” said Wilton head coach Joel Geriak, whose 20th-seeded team ended the season with a 13-10 record. “No matter if they are up by 10 [points] or down by 10, they keep giving you a great effort.”

The Cardinals entered the fourth quarter with a slim 40-38 lead, but then looked to have taken control by scoring the first six points of the final period to go ahead 46-38.

Wilton regrouped following a time-out and inched closer, finally tying the game at 58-58 on Scott Shouvlin’s three-pointer with 11 seconds left in regulation. After Greenwich’s C.J. Byrd missed a potential game-winning shot at the buzzer, the game proceeded to a four-minute overtime.

Greenwich opened a 64-59 lead with 30 seconds left, but Wilton’s Matt Shifrin scored on a layup to bring the Warriors within three points. Tommy Povinelli then made a free throw for the Cardinals, and, following a Wilton miss, Greenwich’s Alex Wolf found himself all alone for a dunk to end the scoring with three seconds to play.

The victory was Greenwich’s third over Wilton this season, following wins in the regular season and the FCIAC quarterfinals.

Shifrin had 21 points to lead Wilton. Richie Williams added 14 points, while Shouvlin had nine points and Michael Bingaman eight points.

Byrd also scored 21 points for Greenwich, which got 18 points and 14 rebounds from the 6’9” Wolf.

“These kids never quit. It's just the heart that they have,” said Geriak. “We achieved all the goals we set before season for the team and then some. I am very proud for what they accomplished as a team this year.”

Notes: Greenwich went on to defeat fifth-seed New Britain in the quarterfinals and was scheduled to meet top-seed Fairfield Prep in the Class LL semifinals last night.

Senior guard Eric Houska, a co-captain this season, was named Wilton’s Most Valuable Player during the team’s banquet on Tuesday night at Trackside.