Darien boys basketball can't corral Mustangs in 68-60 loss
The Fairfield Warde boys’ basketball team defeated the Darien Blue Wave 68-60 on Tuesday night in Fairfield.
The Mustangs (9-4, 8-1 FCIAC) got out to a strong start taking a 6-0 lead just 1:42 into the game.
Will Rolapp hit back to back three-pointers for Blue Wave (3-9, 1-9 FCIAC) to tie the game at six with 5:30 left in the first quarter.
After the teams went back and forth, Jack Tierney’s layup with 1:23 left in the first quarter gave Darien a 13-12 lead. The Blue Wave would hold a lead for the remainder of the first half. After one quarter, Darien held a two-point advantage, 18-16.
“We were playing great team basketball, great defense, a few calls didn’t go our way so we have to learn to play through that,” said Darien head coach Charoy Bentley.
The second quarter saw minimal scoring.
After Peter Bredahl connected on two free throws to give Darien a four-point lead, 20-16 with 51 seconds into the second quarter, Matt Becker connected on a three pointer to cut the Mustangs deficit to 21-19.
“We came out with a quick lead and then they hit a couple shots from the outside,” said Warde head coach Ryan Swaller
Justin Jordan converted a layup with 6:20 left in the half to put the Blue Wave ahead 22-19. Neither team would score again until Rollap made a layup with 2:02 remaining in the half. Rolapp’s layup would give Darien a five-point lead, the largest of the game for the Blue Wave.
“They are going to play you physical and then within the physical play if you slow down within the transition, they are going to get out and run,” said Swaller.
Warde would score six of the final eight points of the quarter. At the half, Darien held a one point lead 26-25.
“We battled in the first (half). We easily could have been down by more in the first,” said Swaller. “They (Darien) had I think 22 rebounds in the first half, 12 or so offensive rebounds. We were fortunate to be where we were.”
The Mustangs came on red hot in the second half. After Rolapp hit a jump shot to give Darien a 28-25 lead, Dan Fitzpatrick connected on a three-pointer to tie the game at 28, 1:24 into the quarter. Henry Williams gave Darien the lead back on a layup with 6:08 to play in the third quarter.
“We trust in what we do. Making that extra pass and the guys started knocking down shots,” said Swaller.
With Darien leading 30-28 after the Williams layup, Warde would go on a 16-0 run to take a 44-30 lead with 1:51 left in the first quarter. The run started with four straight three pointers by Jeff Seganos Jr., Becker, Sean Conway, and Fitzpatrick.
“Sean (Conway) had a wonderful game passing the ball and finding those open guys,” said Swaller. “He played, in my mind, a perfect all-around game. Between assists, scoring when you need to score, the shots you need to take, rebounding the ball.”
The Mustangs run was stopped by a jump-shot by Rolapp to cut the Darien deficit to 44-32 with 1:26 left in the quarter.
The Blue Wave trimmed Warde lead to single digits as Jordan made back-to-back layups with 13 seconds remaining in the quarter to cut the score to 46-38. Conway connected on a free throw to give the Mustangs a 47-38 lead after three.
Warde went on a 9-0 run to open up the final frame. Conway hit a jump shot and three-pointer and Chris Bogan and Seganos Jr. followed up with a layup apiece to put the Mustangs up 56-38 with 5:49 remaining. The 18 point lead would be tied for the largest of the game for Warde.
“He works hard, he trusts his teammates, and he again carried us to another win. It’s nice to have him.” said Swaller of Conway.
With Warde ahead 64-50 with 2:28 remaining in the game, Darien would fight back. Jordan and Rolapp would each knock down three-pointers and Jordan would add a layup to cut the deficit to 64-58 with 38.9 left.
Conway was able to go four of four from the foul line down the stretch to seal the win for the Mustangs.
In the win, Warde was led by Conway’s 32 points, 19 of which came in the second half. Conway converted all nine of his free throw attempts.
“It wasn’t an easy one, it was a physical one. We needed this one,” said Swaller.
Darien was led by Jordan’s 22 and Rolapp’s 15 in defeat.
“We just need to take it day by day in practice. It’s got to start in practice and we have to carry it over to the games,” said Bentley. “Hopefully we will get better. Our captains’ think we will get better, our coaching staff thinks we will get better. We have to get better if we want to think about going to another postseason.”
Warde 68, Darien 60
Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Fairfield-Warde HS
Darien 18-8-12-22 60
Warde 16-9-22-21 68
Darien: Justin Jordan 9 3-3 22, Will Rolapp 6 0-0 15, Peter Bredahl 0 2-2 2, Henry Williams 3 1-2 6, Jack Tierney 3 0-1 6, Ryan Darby 2 1-2 5, Andrew Darby 2 0-0 4. Totals 25 7-9 60
Warde: Dan Fitzpatrick 2 0-0 6, Jeff Seganos Jr. 4 0-0 9, Matt Becker 3 2-3 11, Sean Conway 10 9-9 32, Chris Bogan 3 0-1 6, Ethan Wolf 1 2-2 4. Totals 13 13-15 68