Boys Basketball

FCIAC Boys Quarterfinals: Westhill And Trumbull Use Late Pushes To Reach Semifinals

FAIRFIELD — The annals of FCIAC boys basketball tournament history is replete with chapters of No. 1 seeds — even of the undefeated variety — being felled in the opening round and getting unwanted breaks before the state playoffs.

Just ask Mike Walsh and Vito Montelli, whose respective Trinity Catholic and St. Joseph powerhouses met that fate.

Westhill was in unchartered territory Saturday night — a top seed with players who had never made it past the first day.

And at times against No. 8 Danbury, the Vikings seemed primed to meet a similar fate, the Hatters sticking around like gum that won’t come off the sole of a shoe.

Boys Basketball

FCIAC Boys Quarterfinals: Norwalk, Wilton Overcome Slow Starts To Reach Final Four

FAIRFIELD – There were 103 field goal attempts and 72 free throws taken during Saturday’s Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference quarterfinal opener at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. But perhaps the biggest one of them all — the shortest shot of them all — helped Norwalk advance past Bassick.

“After that dunk everything changed,” Norwalk’s Roy Kane Jr., said about his resounding slam dunk in the final minute of the first quarter. Norwalk, which had fallen behind by 10 points in the first seven minutes, would eventually emerge with a 72-63 victory.

“After that everyone started playing hard,” Kane continued. “The crowd and the bench came alive and, you know, players play off intensity.”

Boys Hockey

FCIAC Boys Hockey Preview: Prospects Strong For A Memorable Final Four

Unless St. Joseph High School or Fairfield pulls off a major upset in Saturday’s opening round, fans of Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference boys ice hockey will be in for a special treat when the tournament semifinals unfold next Wednesday at Terry Conners Rink in Stamford.

Ridgefield first must get past St. Joseph in the opener Saturday at 2:20 p.m. at Conners, and defending champion New Canaan will have to do the same against the Fairfield Warde/Ludlowe co-op team in the nightcap at 4:20. If both favorites advance, the league would showcase four of the state’s top 10 teams in the semifinals.

“If we and Ridgefield can take of business Saturday,” New Canaan coach Pat Gore said, “well, it would set up a couple of great matchups in the semifinals. I can’t remember a better FCIAC semifinal doubleheader than that.”

Greenwich (17-1-2, 10-0-2 FCIAC), the state’s top ranked team according to the New Haven Register Division 1 poll, is the top seed, and the Cardinals along with No. 2 seed Darien (18-2-1, 10-1-1) earned first-round byes. Third-place New Canaan (11-6-3, 9-1-2) beat Fairfield (14-6, 7-5) 6-2 on Jan. 5, while No. 4 Ridgefield (14-5, 10-2) cruised past St. Joseph (9-8-1, 8-4) 5-2 on Jan. 31.

FCIAC

Ridgefield 48, Greenwich 47: Three Months Of Hard Work Earns Tigers First League Title In 19 Years

FAIRFIELD — Jess Camarda can remember the first day of practice three months ago, when the man with the bald head and earring who they were vaguely familiar with started talking about winning championships and the work rate that would be needed to fuel the goal.

And then the Ridgefield High School girls basketball season officially began.

“It was hard,” Camarda recalled as she glanced at her coach, Tom DiMarzo. “We would run all the time. We were exhausted after practice the first week. Now we are used to working hard.

Fast forward to Thursday night at Fairfield Ludlowe High School. The Tigers were locked in a struggle with third-seeded Greenwich in the FCIAC championship game, holding a slender 36-33 lead.

Boys Basketball

Second-Chance Points: Mike Walsh Breaks Down The FCIAC Boys Basketball Tournament

A rollercoaster-ride of a regular season takes us to the FCIAC boys basketball tournament, which kicks off with four quarterfinal games at Fairfield Ludlowe on Saturday afternoon.

Unbeaten Westhill is the favorite, but don’t discount some lower seeds, considering the parity, from making their way though the bracket.

Trinity Catholic coach Mike Walsh, who has some experience coaching championship teams, agreed to break down the opening-round games for The Ruden Report.

FCIAC

FCIAC Girls Basketball Final Preview: Ridgefield And Greenwich Similar Teams Looking To End Long Droughts

It has been a long time since a No. 5 seed in any FCIAC sport has been given the same level of respect as the Ridgefield High School girls basketball team was on the eve of the league playoffs.

While Wilton entered the conference tournament as a heavy favorite, with a senior-laden roster that lost in the final a year ago and was riding a 19-game winning streak, many coaches believed if any team was going to derail its plans, it would be the Tigers.

Ridgefield had the personnel to counter Wilton’s strengths, and even possessed some matchup problems.

Most importantly, the Tigers did not recognize their underdog status, scoring 23 points in the first quarter, leading by as many 16 and then withstanding a furious comeback for a 49-47 victory that was not decided until Haley English’s potential game-tying shot for Wilton at the buzzer missed its mark.

FCIAC

On Night For Underdogs, Ridgefield And Greenwich Reach FCIAC Girls Basketball Final

FAIRFIELD — Ridgefield High School point guard Jess Camarda said one of her team’s best qualities is its resiliency.

“We have a lot of poise and that helps us hold things together,” Camarda said after the Tigers pulled off the biggest surprise of the FCIAC girls basketball tournament on Tuesday night, upsetting top-seeded Wilton in the second semifinal, 49-47.

It ended a 20-game winning streak for the Warriors (20-2), who saw their conference season start with a loss to Fairfield Ludlowe and end on the Falcons’ court.

The Tigers bend-but-don’t break commodity was tested throughout.

Ridgefield will meet No. 3 Greenwich, which rallied late in the first semifinal to defeat Fairfield Warde, 47-44, for the title.