TRUMBULL — Sean Conway had a career night for Fairfield Warde with 44 points, while Trumbull’s Timmond Williams dropped in 30. But even LeBron James needs help.
Conway didn’t quite get enough.
Williams had Cape Holden, Evan Gutowski, Chris Brown and Quentar Taylor making major contributions while Conway outscored the rest of his team by 19 points. The balanced effort helped Trumbull earn a potentially pivotal 76-69 victory.
“This one was a big one for us,” Trumbull coach Buddy Bray said. Trumbull and Warde entered play today in a five-way tie for fourth place in the FCIAC, just one game ahead of ninth-place Wilton. The top eight make the FCIAC Tournament later this month. “We got contributions from a lot of kids and that was the difference.”
The junior Williams had one of the best games of his career and scored 11 of his 30 in the final quarter after Warde had taken a 52-50 lead. The hot-shooting Holden made four 3-pointers and finished with 20 points while Gutowski pulled down 13 rebounds. Brown had 15 points and Taylor had 6 of his 8 points in the final quarter, added 5 assists and, believe it or not, did a decent job defensively on Conway.
Trumbull (13-3, 9-3 FCIAC) made 9 of 11 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter and held the Mustangs (9-7, 8-4) to 3-for-17 shooting.
“The fourth quarter decided it,” Bray said. “I knew it would be one of those games.”
Bray also knew what to expect from Conway.
“He’s got my vote for (FCIAC) Player of the Year,” the coach said.
Matt Becker did add 15 points for Warde, but he got in foul trouble early in the second half and spent considerable time on the bench. He had just two points after halftime, both on free throws. With the rest of the Mustangs scoring just 10 points, that left it mostly up to Conway, who had 15 of their 17 fourth-quarter points and all three of their field goals.
“Yeah, it was a career high but winning is most important,” said Conway, who also pulled down 7 rebounds. “Trumbull just had too much for us in the last quarter. They made their shots and the bounces went their way.”
Conway went to the line 21 times (10 in the fourth quarter, when he tried to take over), and made 17. But he couldn’t do it all by himself. Williams, meanwhile, didn’t have to.
“We just ran our offense in the fourth quarter and got whatever we wanted,” Williams said. “Defensively we knew who to key on. (Conway) is a great player but we put (Brown) on him and he did a good job in the fourth quarter.”
The fourth quarter was the antithesis of the third, when Trumbull struggled offensively.
“We did a good job defensively on them in the third quarter (Warde outscored Trumbull 15-9 in the third period),” Warde coach Ryan Swaller said. “But then Trumbull had (26) in the fourth quarter. Good teams play 32 minutes and we didn’t.
Conway took 14 of the Mustangs’ 17 shots in the final eight minutes but made just three.
“Conway did all that he could,” Swaller added, “but losing Becker hurt us, and for them Timmons played like the all-league player that he is.”
After Warde took a 12-6 lead, Trumbull outscored the Mustangs 25-7 to take a seemingly commanding 31-19 lead midway through the second quarter. But four minutes later Warde led 37-36 after an 18-5 spurt. In the final 10 seconds, however, Trumbull scored five points to take the lead.
After an Eagles basket, Williams stole the ball near midcourt and threw in a 40-footer at the buzzer to give Trumbull a 41-37 halftime lead.
“I shoot that every day in practice,” Williams said.
After Warde’s strong third quarter, the Eagles opened the final period on a 9-0 run to take a seven-point lead and, Conway or no Conway, weren’t going to give it up.
NOTES: Chris Bogan had 12 rebounds for Warde, which outrebounded Trumbull 31-27. … Warde was 21 for 59 from the field and 19 for 28 from the line. Trumbull was 26 for 48 shooting and 17 of 21 at the line. … Trumbull finished with 10 turnovers compared to just seven for Warde.