Wilton pulls away in second half, beats Stamford
An 18-6 run to start the second half sent the Wilton High boys basketball team on its way to an 81-62 victory over Stamford on Monday night at the Zeoli Fieldhouse.
Senior co-captain Nick Kronenberg and junior Kyle Hyzy powered the second-half offense that a turned a 41-38 halftime lead into a convincing 19-point win. Kronenberg and Hyzy each scored 11 points in the second half for the Warriors.
Kronenberg finished with a game-high 24 points, while Hyzy chipped in with 17 points for Wilton.
“In my first three years on the team I was labeled a shooter and mainly from long range,” said Kronenberg, who has modified his game this winter. “Prior to this year we had several good ball-handling guards, but this season those duties fell to me, so I have to look to set the offense and look for my open teammates in the corner ... I was the benefactor of those passes in the past.”
Kronenberg knocked down four three-pointers in the game, but also had great success driving to the basket for his other 12 points.
“[Stamford] is a quick team, but not very big,” said Kronenberg. “I was able to get a step on my defender, and with the defense they were running I was able to get to the basket and finish my shots.”
In the first quarter the Warriors found themselves down 13-8 before they went on a 10-0 run and took a 20-17 lead after one period. The Black Knights started the second quarter with two buckets by Jay Jaudon and a 3-pointer by Josh Thervil to regain a 24-20 lead.
But with the period winding down, Wilton's Tucker Walden drove to the basket for a basket. And right before the halftime buzzer sounded, Andrew Smith launched a shot from just past mid-court that hit nothing but net, giving Wilton a 41-38 lead.
The Warriors outscored Stamford, 22-14, in the third quarter and 18-10 in the final period to close out the victory and improve their record to 15-4 ahead of Wednesday night's regular-season finale against Fairfield Ludlowe.
Depending on Wednesday's outcome, Wilton will be either the second or third seed in the FCIAC playoffs, which begin with quarterfinal games Saturday at Fairfield Warde. There is a chance that the Warriors will meet Stamford in the opening round.
“Knowing that we may see them again later in the week was in the back of my mind, but the goal was to win tonight’s game and win again on Wednesday,” Geriak said. “Our up-tempo style of play resulted in 81 points tonight and we had 90 last Friday against Brien McMahon. We just have to stay focused, do what we do best, and play our style of basketball going into the playoffs.”
Notes: Five players scored in double figures in Wilton's 90-80 victory over McMahon on Friday night in Norwalk.
Smith led the way with 22 points, followed by Walden (15 points), Hyzy (14 points), Zayvion Eusebe (14 points), and Ryan Biberon (10 points). Smith hit six 3-pointers and Eusebe and Walden each added two treys.