Greenwich High

Greenwich boys basketball team outlasts Fairfield Ludlowe in overtime, 47-43

Photo by David Fierro: Xavion Faison of Greenwich gets ready to shoot a foul shot during a game against Fairfield Ludlowe on Jan. 10, 2023, at Greenwich High School. The Cardinals pulled out an overtime win.

Greenwich High School’s boys basketball team didn’t mind working overtime Tuesday night against Fairfield Ludlowe, because the extra effort, indeed, paid off.

Winning close games was an aspect the Cardinals struggled with a bit last winter, but early into their 2022-2023 campaign they have already gotten a pair of tight matchups to go their way, including Tuesday’s duel against FCIAC foe Fairfield Ludlowe.

Playing sound defense throughout, while making key plays on offense during overtime, Greenwich posted a hard-fought 47-43 win over visiting Ludlowe. The victory marked the Cardinals’ fourth straight win and improved its early-season record to 4-1.

Greenwich’s Connor Parkes looks to pass the ball while being defended by Jake Medor of Fairfield Ludlowe during an FCIAC basketball game on January 10, 2023 at Greenwich High School.

“It was definitely a good win, it was definitely an ugly win like we were talking about in the locker room,” Greenwich senior power forward/captain Dominic DeLuca said. “Not every win is going to be pretty, but we grinded that one out and we got the win, which is all that matters.”

Junior forward Xavion Faison scored a team-high 10 points for the Cardinals, who led 9-6 following the first quarter and 16-9 at halftime. Points, were obviously, tough to come by in this FCIAC matchup, especially during the opening half.

“Ludlowe was a very tough opponent,” Cardinals coach Todd Trimmer said. “They were undermanned, they had four guys who were in the rotation, who were sick. They all have the flu, so they weren’t here. I knew they were going to come out with nothing to lose.”

Like Trimmer did with the Cards, Falcons coach John Dailey had his squad playing tenacious, aggressive man-to-man defense each quarter.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Ybarra: Aidan Karson scored nine points in Greenwich’s OT triumph against Ludlowe.

“They took us out what we are comfortable doing and that’s getting up and down the floor and getting it inside/out,” Trimmer noted. “They forced us to play a game that we don’t really like. We grinded out a win, there were three or four times when it looked like we were not going to pull it out.”

Junior guard/captain Aidan Karson added nine points, including a 3-pointer, while DeLuca ignited the Cardinals off the bench with six points and strong defense in the low post.

“We held them to nine points in the first half, that shows that we’re a solid defensive team and we just have to keep that up,” DeLuca said. “We just have to keep on stacking good games and good practices.”

Junior guard Tate Mahoney paced Ludlowe (3-3) with 12 points. Mahoney made two 3-pointers and Falcons teammate Owen Lay, a senior, totaled 11 points with one 3-pointer.

Greenwich boys basketball coach Todd Trimmer addresses his team during a timeout against Fairfield Ludlowe.

After the score was tied 38-38 following four quarters of action, Ludlowe converted the first basket of the four-minute overtime session. Greenwich tied the score at 40-40 when Faison drove down the right side of the lane for a layup with 3:36 remaining in overtime.

Foul shots by senior guard James Wailgum and sophomore guard Matt Maloney gave the Cardinals a 42-20 edge at the 2:27 mark of overtime. Trailing 44-40 after junior guard Connor Parkes swished a foul shot, the Falcons closed to within 44-43 when senior guard Chris Gervasi nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key with just less than two minutes to go in overtime.

Wailgum made two clutch free throws in the final minute to seal Greenwich’s triumph in its home-opener.

Greenwich’s Dominic DeLuca lines up a foul shot against Fairfield Ludlowe. The Cardinals won in overtime.

Faison made a 3-pointer and junior guard Jonathan Brennan converted a shot from beyond the arc for GHS, which received four points from senior forward Jack Quinn.

“Coach Trimmer was telling us we had to stay focused and work hard, because it was going to be a battle until the end,” Faison said.

Karson and Faison had 3-pointers during a low scoring first quarter in which Greenwich outscored Ludlowe, 9-6. The second quarter saw the Cards limit the Falcons to three points, while the home team scored just six.

Photo courtesy of Maggie Ybarra: Greenwich’s Xavion Faison (No. 34) guards Fairfield Ludlowe’s Jake Medor.

“Our starting five is very offensively focused,” Karson noted. “Once we brought in our defensive subs, we started picking up the intensity on defense, which is why we held them to nine points in the first half.”

Greenwich topped Fairfield Ludlowe in boys FCIAC basketball action.

Both teams had to work hard to get open looks at the basket, as they each played tight man-to-man/help defense.

“Ludlowe didn’t apply that much pressure, so we didn’t have to force everything,” Karson said. “The first quarter, we were pretty poised, but once we got to the fourth quarter, we really stepped up the intensity and overtime.”

Jake Medor, a junior forward, totaled nine points for the visitors.

“As I told the guys last year, this game we probably would have lost last year – low scoring games that we couldn’t pull out,” Trimmer said. “This was a great win, a great character-type of win for the boys.”

Greenwich High School’s varsity cheerleaders were on hand to root for the Cardinals’ boys basketball team.

Besides beating Ludlowe, Greenwich has defeated Masuk, Brien McMahon and Newtown so far this season. They have a 2-0 FCIAC record heading into Friday’s conference game against visiting Staples, which is 6-0 on the season. The Wreckers edged New Canaan in OT, 68-67 on Tuesday.

“We can’t come out like we did today, we have to come ready to play and play better against Staples,” Faison said.

DeLuca and Wailgum (also a basketball captain) were members of Greenwich’s football team, which captured the CIAC Class LL Tournament Championship this past December.

“James and Dom have that football state championship mentality, where they don’t want lose,” Trimmer noted.

Photo by Maggie Ybarra: James Wailgum of Greenwich, left, plays defense against Fairfield Ludlowe.

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