James Pilc, top left, Chason Barber, top right, Flynn Milledge, bottom left and Andrew O’Donnell are senior captains of the Greenwich High School boys basketball team. The Cardinals celebrated honored their seniors on Senior Night on Feb. 8, 2022.
The stands were packed at Greenwich High School’s gymnasium for the first time since early 2020 on Tuesday night, as the school’s student section, ‘The Cardinal Crazies’ were out in full force, along with plenty of spectators, to cheer for the boys basketball team on its special Senior Night.
Greenwich’s cheerleaders and dance team were also present to lend support to the Cardinals, who gave their large home crowd plenty to cheer about.
Playing all of its seniors, Greenwich celebrated its Senior Night in style, coasting to a 62-26 victory over visiting Bridgeport Central in an FCIAC matchup. The decisive win improved the Cards’ record to 10-4 overall and 7-2 in FCIAC play. Currently, Greenwich is in fourth place in the FCIAC, so if the season ended today, it would earn the fourth seed in the eight-team FCIAC Tournament.
Senior guard/quad captain James Pilc scored a game-high 15 points for the Cardinals, who received scoring from 10 different players and substituted freely throughout the one-sided game.
“We were able to get all the seniors in, all the guys who have worked hard in practice and have been a part of the program for so long,” Pilc said. “We got to get them minutes and a couple of buckets.”
The Cardinals appreciated the support of their home crowd on their Senior Night, which marked the first time the Cardinal Crazies were allowed to attend an indoor sporting event since the COVID-19 restrictions were put in place during the winter of 2020. The school’s student cheering section attended football games in the fall, but crowd size has been limited at indoor sporting events.
“The energy in the crowd was great too, our first game with fans,” Pilc said. It’s awesome, they give us so much energy.”
Senior center/quad captain Chason Barber posted nine points, while senior guard Andrew Kahn, junior guard Dean Brown and senior center Jack Quinn added seven points apiece for the victors.
Barber, who has been a mainstay on the varsity squad for several seasons, enjoyed his Senior Night.
“It’s a pretty big deal,” who will play football at Brown University. “It’s kind of a send-off for our seniors and to get that big of a crowd there to support us – it felt like we had the whole town behind our back and it was awesome. This was the first game with the fans back, I loved the energy here and I can’t wait for some bigger games on our home court.”
Julian Espano, a senior guard, had five points, junior guard James Wailgum scored four points, while senior forward/quad-captain Flynn Milledge (three points), sophomore guard/forward Jonathan Brennan (three points) and junior guard Logan Galletta (two points) rounded out the scoring for GHS.
Greenwich went on a 13-3 run to end the first quarter with a 13-3 lead. Pilc made three layups, Barber scored off two offensive rebounds and Galletta made a basket in transition during the early spurt that gave Greenwich a double-digit lead for good.
Brown began the second quarter by swishing a 3-pointer from the right corner and late in the quarter, Quinn scored off a strong low post move, putting the Cards comfortably ahead, 24-6. The opening half ended with Greenwich holding a commanding 33-10 advantage.
“We knew that we had good matchups and the kids played great defense,” GHS coach Todd Trimmer said. “We said ‘let’s just play defense,’ and our seniors were great. It’s a good win, any FCIAC win is a great win, especially on Senior Night for these seniors.”
Andrew O’Donnell, a senior forward, who is also one of the captains, made sure to enjoy the Senior Night ceremony prior to the game and, of course, the game.
“It’s really fun to be out there with all my friends,” said O’Donnell, who will compete on the track and field team at the University of Pennsylvania next year. “It’s probably the last time we’re going to be out there, together, so we had a goal to get everyone involved.”
Milledge has enjoyed his role as one of the Cardinals’ captains.
“Being a captain is such an honor, especially under coach Trimmer,” Milledge said. “He is building such a strong program here. He’s making such an impact from the youth program to where we are.”
Junior Isaiah Hemmings scored nine points for a young Bridgeport Central team, which is 1-14 on the season. Winners of four of their last five games, Greenwich hosts Danbury on Friday at 7 p.m. The FCIAC Tournament commences in two weeks and the Cardinals are looking primed for the postseason.
“Coming into this season, people didn’t have high expectations for us, but that didn’t bother anyone,” O’Donnell said. “We all know our worth and what we’re capable of and it’s nice to see that we’re getting some wins.”
“We have really high expectations and our main goal is to get to the end, to win an FCIAC championship and state championship,” Milledge said.
Indeed, the Cardinals appreciate their coaching staff and the effort they have put in with the team.
“It’s awesome, coach Trimmer changed the culture,” Pilc said. “Since coach Trimmer came here, we’ve been a lot more competitive and especially this season, we’ve been getting a lot more wins.”