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The Darien Blue Wave boys’ basketball team defeated the Fairfield Ludlowe Falcons 55-42 on Saturday afternoon in Darien.

The Blue Wave (5-9, 2-9 FCIAC) led from start to finish. They built a double digit lead late in the first half and Ludlowe (1-13, 1-9 FCIAC) was only able to get as close as nine in the second half.

“Today was a good win versus a good, well coached team,” said Darien head coach Charoy Bentley.

Darien took a 6-2 lead with 5:03 left in the first quarter. After a Christian Peterson layup gave Ludlowe a 2-0 lead, layups by Jack Tierney and two by Justin Jordan gave the Blue Wave the advantage.

Later in the quarter, with Darien ahead 8-4, Ty Stapleton drained a three-pointer for Ludlowe to cut the deficit to 8-7. The Blue Wave would finish the quarter on 7-2 run, including three-pointers by Will Rolapp and Tierney. After one quarter, Darien held a 15-9 lead. The Blue Wave were doing a good job getting offensive rebounds and converting the second chance opportunities into points.

“I kind of challenged by bigs to attack the glass,” said Bentley.

Darien built their lead up to 11 with 6:39 left in the half on a three-pointer by Rolapp and layup by Jordan. On the defensive end, the Blue Wave defense was giving Ludlowe problems as the Falcons were having trouble connecting on shots, especially from the outside.

“We always want to close out on shooters, even if they are not a shooter,” said Bentley. “Our help defense is getting there. Day-by-day we are getting better.”

Ludlowe got the deficit down to seven, 20-13, with 4:22 to play in the half on back-to-back layups by Ty Stapleton.

The Blue Wave finished the half on an 11-3 run. Henry Williams had eight of the 11 points, including two three-pointers. Two of the three came in the final minute and were sandwiched between a Jayden Tabois layup for Ludlowe. At the break, Darien held a 31-16 advantage.

“They made a lot of shots first half, we didn’t,” said Ludlowe head coach John Dailey, whose Falcons were 6-22 shooting in the first half, including 1-7 from three-point range. “Also they got a couple second chance opportunities here and there that allowed them to make some shots.”

Ludlowe came out strong to start the third quarter, and went on a 7-2 run. Jeff Meyers and Peterson converted layups and Stapleton connected on a three-pointer to cut the Darien lead to 10, 33-23, with 3:38 to play in the third quarter.

“I thought we did some good things offensively,” said Dailey. “We really stressed this week playing fast.”

A Ryan Darby floater in the lane and Rolapp three-pointer pushed the Darien lead back to 38-23 with 2:11 remaining in the quarter. Stapleton hit a three-pointer and Ian Bentley hit a mid-range jumper in between a jump shot by Rolapp and after three, The Blue Wave led the Falcons 40-28.

In the fourth, Ludlowe got their offense going, in large part due to Cooper Nielsen. Darien though, had an answer for every Falcons score. The Blue Wave outscored the Falcons 15-14 in the final frame.

“Every time we crawled back, they made a big shot, made a big play,” said Dailey. “We played hard, just didn’t get it done.”

Ludlowe had the deficit down to nine, 41-32 with 6:11 left following two layups by Nielsen.

“Cooper played a good game,” said Dailey. “I thought we played better in the second half.”

With the Darien leading 45-35 with 4:26 remaining, the Blue Wave would go on a 6-0 run to push the lead to 16 with 2:45 to play. Andrew Darby had two layups in the mini-run and Jordan had the other basket for Darien as they took a 51-35 lead.

Jordan made four free-throws down the stretch to secure the victory for the Blue Wave.

“We need three more wins for states. We are just taking it day by day,” said Bentley.

Darien 55, Ludlowe 42

Ludlowe 9-7-12-14 42

Darien 15-16-9-15 55

Ludlowe: Jeffrey Meyers 1 0-2 2, James Bourque 0 0-0 0, Justin Schiller 0 0-0 0, Jake Northrup 0 0-0 0, Ian Bentley 1 2-2 4, Patrick Kilbride 1 0-0 3, Ty Stapleton 5 1-2 14, Cooper Nielsen 5 1-2 11, Jackson Began 0 0-0 0, Jadyn Tabois 1 2-2 4, Christian Peterson 2 0-0 4. Totals 16 6-10 42

Darien: Justin Jordan 4 4-4 12, Will Rolapp 6 0-2 15, Peter Bredahl 0 1-2 1, Mitchell Pryor 0 0-0 0, Henry Williams 4 0-0 10, Jack Tierney 2 0-0 5, Ryan Darby 2 0-0 4, Andrew Darby 4 0-0 8. Totals 22 4-7 55

3-pointers: Ludlowe - Stapleton 3, Kilbride; Darien - Rolapp 3, Williams 2, Tierney