Wilton drives its way to 93-60 rout of Central
The Wilton High boys basketball team was wise to follow head coach Joel Geriak's pre-game advice Friday night.
"I told my team to attack the rim,"said Geriak, "and that gave us early easy baskets and opened up a lead.”
Taking advantage of Bridgeport Central's weak interior defense, Wilton romped to a 93-60 win over the visiting Hilltoppers at the Zeoli Field House.
Geriak knew that Central had surrendered 91 points in each of its first two losses this season, so pushing the ball up the court and getting the ball down low was the game plan — and one that his team executed perfectly. When the Wilton guards penetrated the lane they found themselves getting to the rim for baskets or dishing off to James Maloney and Jack Williams for more baskets.
The Warriors (4-1) opened the game with a 5-0 run, but Central got within 7-4. That’s when the Wilton offense and defense went into high gear, leading to a 24-0 run that produced a 31-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Eight Warriors found the bottom of the net in the first eight minutes of play, capitalizing on 11 Central turnovers. Williams and Jack Wood (two three-pointers) led the way with six points and Maloney added five points.
Wilton began the second quarter on a 5-0 run to go ahead 36-4 before the Hilltoppers finally broke through with a basket at the 6:18 mark of the period. The Warriors kept on driving the ball into the lane with success, giving the home team a 52-23 advantage at the half.
Wilton kept up its intensity in the second half, even with Geriak shuffling players in and out. The Warriors' 33-point margin of victory came with Central scoring the game's final 13 points.
“We played to our strength tonight and it paid off with a win," said Geriak, whose team has now won four straight. "We are a better team when we push the ball up the floor.”
In his fifth year as Wilton's head coach, Geriak always seems to get the most out of his under-sized squad.
“This team is another bunch of blue-collar workers who come to practice and work hard, knowing if they don’t they're not going to get playing time," said Geriak. "The coaching staff pushes them hard and they expect nothing less.
"The players know the team has had success over the last few years and they drive themselves to continue that success," added Geriak. "The team is still learning, but they are gaining confidence each time out and they believe in themselves.”
Williams led all scorers with 16 points, followed by Matt Kronenberg and freshman Nick Kronenberg (four three-pointers) with 14 points apiece. Drew Connolly had 11 points, while Maloney finished with 10 points and Michael Brown, Sean Breslin, Kyle Shifrin and Wood all added six points.