Greenwich High School’s boys basketball team certainly begins the new year with a lot of momentum, after recently winning the Prince Tech Holiday Tournament with two victories, one of which snapped the longest winning streak in the state.
The Cardinals won the Prince Tech Holiday Tournament by defeating host Prince Tech in the opening game, then Achievement First in the finals in games held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Hartford.
With a record of 3-1 so far this season, Greenwich began the tournament with an impressive 61-46 win over Prince Tech, halting the Falcons’ 40-game winning streak, which began during the 2019-2020 season. Coached by Kendall May, Prince Tech entered the game with a record of 2-0.
Senior 6-foot-5 center Chason Barber recorded 19 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots to help power the Cardinals. Barber was a tough matchup in the low post throughout and also flourished in transition, as he threw down a dunk off an alley-oop against Prince Tech.
“Chason was a machine,” Greenwich coach Todd Trimmer said. “We executed offensively and finished our shots.”
While Barber paced the Cardinals in the paint, senior guard/captain James Pilc led the team from the perimeter. Pilc, the Cards’ leading scorer through four games, scored a team-high 22 points and had seven steals to key the winning effort.
“Our first couple of games we got behind early, but against Prince Tech we came out aggressive,” Trimmer said. “They were incredibly athletic and big, so we knew it was going to be a really good test for us.”
Greenwich’s strong first-quarter start against Prince Tech was sparked by Pilc, who scored 11 points in the opening quarter, while converting several 3-pointers.
“We came out really aggressive on defense and we were hitting our shots and finishing,” Trimmer said. “We set the tone for the game.”
The Cardinals and Falcons entered halftime with GHS holding a 30-24 advantage, a score the remained the same for a while.
“For 6:13 we didn’t score and they didn’t score,” Trimmer said. “The game got sloppy late in the first half and the score stayed 30-24.”
Guard Jordan Jackson converted three straight 3-pointers late in the third quarter, giving Prince Tech a one-point edge entering the final quarter. The Cardinals, however, overtook the Falcons by going on a decisive run in the fourth quarter, behind Pilc and Barber.
Junior guard Logan Galletta added nine points and senior forward/captain Flynn Milledge had five points for Greenwich.
“They hadn’t lost a game in that building in six seasons, so it was a great win for our team,” Trimmer said.
In the tournament’s championship game against Achievement First on Wednesday, Greenwich posted a 58-53 overtime triumph. Pilc and Galletta each poured in 15 points, senior guard/captain Dean Brown scored 11 and Barber had eight in the winning effort.
“Their guards were quick,” Trimmer said of Achievement First. “They were really scrappy. The kids just grinded it out and will themselves to win.”
Barber made two foul shots during the final 10 seconds of regulation to help send the game into overtime. In overtime, Brown made a clutch 3-pointer and Galletta shot 4-for-4 from the foul line to seal the win.
“It was one of those wins you love, because when you don’t have your ‘A’ game and still win by getting those 50/50 loose balls and hustling, it’s great,” Trimmer said. “Both Prince Tech and Achievement First are going to be right up there with some of the best teams in the state. We’ve had four really good tests to start the season.”
Greenwich plays its first FCIAC game on Jan. 8, when it hosts Brien McMahon at 12 p.m.