Greenwich High

Torrid 3-point shooting lifts Greenwich boys basketball team past Harding

Greenwich senior guard A.J. Barber connects on a 3-point shot against Warren Harding on Saturday, March 13. 2021.

Converting 14 shots from beyond the arc, Greenwich put on quite a 3-point shooting clinic against FCIAC boys basketball foe Warren Harding on Saturday.

And the dazzling shooting display made the Cardinals pass their first test in the FCIAC Tournament.

Junior point guard James Pilc scored a team-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers to power No. 15 Greenwich to a decisive 56-43 victory over No. 18 Harding in the first round of the FCIAC tournament. The Cardinals (3-8) advance to the FCIAC Tournament’s Round of 16, where they will visit second-seeded St. Joseph (11-1) on Tuesday.

The Cardinals received points from nine players and scored 42 of their 56 points off 14 3-pointers.

“The reason we were knocking down shots is because we were moving the ball well, which is what we worked on the past couple of days – getting the ball around the perimeter,” Greenwich coach Todd Trimmer said. “Snapping it around, so guys could get open looks, that’s what we did today and we knocked a lot down.”

Greenwich led 18-10 after the first quarter, went into halftime with a 29-15 advantage and took a 44-16 lead into the fourth quarter. Senior guard A.J. Barber swished a pair of 3-pointers for six points, sophomore guard Dean Brown made three shots from beyond the arc for nine points and junior forward Chason Barber totaled six points in the win.

“We had a really good day at practice yesterday (Friday),” A.J. Barber said. “We put in a good install for the defense they were going to run and that gave us a lot of confidence coming into this game.”

Greenwich will play St. Joseph in the Round of 16 of the FCIAC Tournament on Tuesday, after beating Harding on March 13.

Senior guard Shawn Allen scored a game-high 18 points for Harding, which mostly played a 2-3 defense. Freshman Eric Upchurch contributed six points for Harding, which had trouble closing out on Greenwich’s perimeter shooters. The Cardinals, meanwhile, played effective defense throughout.

“We wanted to speed up the game defensively, which I think forced them to be a bit uncomfortable,” Trimmer said.

Pilc poured in 12 first-half points, all of which came off 3-point shots. Senior guard Dan Arnold made a 3-pointer, as did senior guard Tommy Harford, junior forward Roy Knutson and junior guard Julian Espano for the victors.

Greenwich junior forward Chason Barber looks to pass out of a double -team against Warren Harding on March 13, 2021.

Senior forward Mason Muir added five points and solid defensive play in the winning effort.

“The bench helped us so much to prepare for this game,” Muir said. “They were pushing us in practice and encouraging us from the sidelines. It really makes a big difference. We had great energy to start, there was no unselfishness. It’s good to have a win going into the next game.”

The next game is a rematch with St. Joseph in the Round of 16 of the FCIAC Tournament. The Cadets edged the Cardinals, 66-58, in a triple overtime thriller last week.

“We know we can run with them and we are going to take that mentality into Tuesday’s game,” A.J. Barber said.

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