Overcoming a 37-point performance from the opposition’s standout player isn’t easy, but the Brunswick School basketball team did so Tuesday against Greenwich Country Day School.
Two 20-plus point performances enabled the Bruins to start the new year with an FAA road victory and improve their overall record to 6-3.
Senior guard Tristan Joseph scored a team-high 27 points, while junior forward Wyatt Triestman added 20 points for Brunswick, which recorded an impressive 81-57 victory over Greenwich Country Day School in an FAA matchup.
While the Bruins have competed in the FAA for many seasons and are a well-established team in the league, the Wildcats are a young squad playing their first full season in the FAA. Powered by sophomore guard Reggie Grodin, Greenwich Country Day flashed its potential. Grodin netted a game-high 37 points for the Tigers (2-3).
“They have a bunch of shooters, particularly Reggie Grodin, and if they get open for shots it’s going to be tough to play them,” said Brunswick coach Steve Juricek said of Greenwich Country Day. “We were able to pull away a couple of times there. They’re going to be tough to deal with, they have a great, young foundation. Those kids are getting the experience now too. They are already tough to deal with and they’re going to get tougher.”
Brunswick upped its mark to 2-0 in the FAA with the triumph.
The Bruins were paced by offensively by Joseph and Triestman, who scored on the perimeter, in the post and in transition.
“We have a lot to improve on, but I think overall, we played well, but we also need to stay composed, which will bode well for us,” Joseph said. “We definitely have a lot of shooters on this team, but we have a lot of size down low, so we try to get the ball into the middle every possession and once it’s in the middle we can kick it outside to the shooters.”
Joseph tallied 14 first-half points for the Bruins, who jumped out to a 31-13 lead, but saw the Wildcats close to within 36-28 at halftime. Triestman (6-foot-7) used his size and strength to drive to the basket in traffic and scored a number of points off layups and putbacks inside.
“It was a good win coming into the new year,” Triestman said. “We executed our stuff and did a good job with that and we just have to keep it up going forward.”
Guard Malik Samms added eight points, while efficiently helping to run the offense at his point guard position for Brunswick and teammate Jon Sigurdsson, a 6-10 center, had 10 points in the victory.”
“Offensively, we moved the ball well,” Samms said. “We started off a little slow defensively, but we picked it up at the end. Guys were hitting shots and we were getting in the paint and that’s what helped.”
Grodin displayed his shooting range and ability to get to the basket on his way to pouring in 37 points for GCDS (2-3). He scored 20 of the Wildcats’ 28 first-half points.
“Reggie Grodin, he was terrific, he made some great plays,” GCDS coach Patrick Scanlon said. “Our kids fed off that and we were able to get our hands on a few basketballs and we got out in transition a bit, which is key to do against a big team like that. I think those runs we went on were too few and far between.”
A layup by Wildcats guard Lemar Fulmore evened the score at 10-10 with 10:56 remaining in the first half, then the Bruins went on an 11-2 spurt to open a 21-12 advantage. Sigurdsson scored down low, Joseph drove hard to the basket and converted a layup, Sigurdsson made a shot from close in off a pass from Samms and Triestman swished a 3-pointer, making it 21-12. Three-pointers from Triestman and Joseph stretched Brunswick’s lead to 27-13 a little bit later in the opening half.
Joseph and Triestman capped the Bruins’ run with fastbreak layups, putting their team on top, 31-13 late in the first half.
“We’re doing a great job of pushing it in transition, which leads to easy dunks and easy baskets and it’s just easier when you play that way,” Joseph said.
Grodin brought the Wildcats back into the game. He scored 13 points of his team’s final 15 first half points, including two 3-pointers. Grodin’s layup off a well-executed spin move cut Brunswick’s lead to 36-28 at the halftime.
“Those kids are getting the experience now too,” said Juricek, whose team built up its lead again in the second half.
After a basket by Greenwich Country Day’s Zach Powell brought the Wildcats to within 40-33 early in the second half, the Bruins began to pull away again with a decisive 12-0 burst. Triestman had four points and 6-6 sophomore forward Matty Augustine scored three points during the Bruins’ run, which made the score 52-33. The Bruins used their size and inside game to their benefit against the Wildcats, who only have two seniors on their roster.
“We look to rebound and run every chance we get,” Juricek said. “We obviously had a size advantage here, so we wanted to get the ball inside, get it to our post guys, let them go to work and I thought we did a nice job of executing that, which was part of our game plan too.”
Said Scanlon: “They’re a good program, very physical and very athletic. I thought they did a good job of imposing their will on us. We did not play the way I think we are capable of playing for long stretches of the game and I think they took advantage of that.”
Augustine had seven points, Sigurdsson added solid rebounding along with his 10 points and senior guard Charlie Johnson had four points off the bench and helped spark Brunswick’s solid man-to-man defense.
“They’re a young team with good talent, No. 11 is a good player, he definitely caused problems for us and there were a lot of other players that did very well on the team,” Samms said. “We’ll see them again and it should be a fun one. I like the way we’re playing and we’re only going to get better. In FAA play, I think we’re definitely going to pick it up.”
Fulmore scored eight points for the Wildcats, who received four points apiece from Calder Truesdale and Powell.
“Hopefully we can keep it up and keep a strong FAA record and keep the momentum going,” Triestman said. “We did a good job of moving without the ball and keeping everyone involved and moving the ball.”
Said Joseph, who threw down a couple of dunks during the game: “We’re off to a great start and hopefully, we can keep the ball rolling.”