Greenwich High

Behind a big first half, Greenwich boys basketball team upends New Canaan

Photo by David Fierro: Chason Barber takes a shot during the second half of the Greenwich High School boys basketball team’s game against host New Canaan on Feb. 23, 2022. The Cardinals rolled to a 63-41 victory.

After suffering three straight losses against conference opponents, Greenwich’s boys basketball team entered Wednesday night’s game against host New Canaan intent on closing its regular season with a victory to gain much-needed momentum heading into the FCIAC Tournament.

The Cardinals did just that and they wasted little time in doing so against the Rams.

Seizing a 11-point first-quarter lead and 16-point halftime advantage, Greenwich ended its regular season on a winning note, downing New Canaan, 63-41, in an FCIAC matchup.

Greenwich, which led from start to finish, ended its regular season with a record of 12-8 with the win. Now the Cardinals turn their attention to the FCIAC Tournament, which begins on Saturday. Seeded eighth, Greenwich will play No. 1-seeded Ridgefield on Saturday.

“We’ve had a few losses to some of the top teams in the league, so this is definitely great to have before the playoffs – a nice win, everyone got in too, ” Greenwich senior center Chason Barber said.

Photo by David Fierro: Greenwich forward Dominic DeLuca goes in for a layup against New Canaan.

Barber scored 10 points and was a force on the defensive and offensive backboards, for Greenwich, which received 11 points from junior guard Logan Galletta and 10 points from senior guard James Pilc. All of Pilc’s points came in the first half for the Cardinals, who held leads of 20-5 and 28-12 following the first quarter and halftime, respectively.

Coached by Danny Melzer, the Rams, who held their Senior Night, concluded their regular season with a record of 9-11.

“Danny’s a great coach and even though it was Senior Night, we knew that they were still going to have a lot of emotion, so we wanted to get out on them early and set the tone,” GHS coach Todd Trimmer said. “We did that early tonight. They’re always a tough, resilient team. They played good defense, they move the ball, move without the ball, so any time you come here and get a win, I don’t’ care what the standings are, it’s good.”

Junior center Jack Quinn scored all eight of his points in the second half Xavion Faison finished with seven points off the bench for the Cardinals. Faison converted a 3-pointer, while Galletta and Pilc each swished two 3-point shots.

Greenwich forward Xavion Faison follows through on a foul shot against host New Canaan on Feb. 23, 2022.

Faison has seen increased minutes lately and has helped the Cards with perimeter shooting off the bench.

“I am more so a shooting type player,” Faison said. “I am there for good energy off the bench.”

The Cardinals, who struggled offensively in some of its recent losses, have shown improvement on the offensive end its past two games.

“We played good defense and we finished on transition plays,” Faison said of the squad’s performance against New Canaan.

Pilc’s layup off a drive along the baseline and Faison’s 3-pointer gave Greenwich a 12-2 lead on the Rams with 2:59 to go in the first quarter. Another basket by Faison, followed by a runner in the lane, made it 16-5 at the end of the opening quarter.

Galletta’s layup and Barber’s basket in the low post upped Greenwich’s advantage to 20-5. Pilc and Gallett added second-quarter 3-pointers, making it 26-8 in favor of the visitors.

Greenwich’s Flynn Milledge, right, defends Brendan Tiscornia of New Canaan.

Sophomore guard Griffin Bramwit scored 12 points, while junior guard Jack Hladick added nine points for New Canaan, which also trailed by double digits throughout the second half. Barber’s basket gave Greenwich its biggest lead at 40-16 late in the third quarter.

“It was great, we hit a lot of shots, especially from the line, we’ve seemed to be struggling from the line, but I think this was a great game to get our confidence up for Ridgefield on Saturday,” Barber said.

“Everyone contributed and hopefully, this puts us in a position to work Thursday, Friday and get ready for Saturday,” Trimmer said.

Logan Galletta of Greenwich looks to make a move while being defended in the team’s game against New Canaan.

Senior guard Andrew Kahn scored five points, junior power forward Dominic DeLuca had four points and Aidan Karson (sophomore) and Julian Espano (senior) had three points apiece in the winning effort.

Greenwich’s FCIAC Tournament quarterfinal-round game against Ridgefield is scheduled to take place at Fairfield Warde High School on Saturday at 7 p.m.

The Tigers defeated the Cardinals, 51-36, this past Saturday.

“It’s nice that we just optically saw Ridgefield,” Trimmer said. “We know what we’re getting. They’re a great team, so it’s a huge challenge. You have to beat the best to get to where you want to go and we’re playing the best.”

Flynn Milledge of Greenwich gets into a defensive stance during the team’s game against New Canaan.

Said Barber: “We held them (Ridgefield) to 20 points in the first half. We missed a lot of shots in the first half, but we’ve been working on our offense.”

“It’s going to be a tough one, but we’re going to work hard the next two days and get ready for this big game,” Faison added.

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