Ridgefield rebounds with win over McMahon
Coming off its worst effort of the season, the Ridgefield boys basketball team gave a more customary performance on Friday night.
The Tigers made 29 of 38 free throws and played steady defense to beat Brien McMahon, 67-56, at Ridgefield High School.
“McMahon had been tied with us in the FCIAC [standings], so coming in tonight and rebounding from a messier game against Trinity Catholic [a 68-39 road loss Tuesday] was key,” said Ridgefield coach Andrew McClellan. “In the third and fourth quarters we shared the ball better and the openings came ...”
After taking a 27-25 halftime lead on Johnny Briody’s layup off a pass from Chris Knachel, Ridgefield widened its advantage during the final two quarters. James Rush sank six free throws in the third period and carefully timed a long pass to Amos Grey, who hit a three-pointer to put the Tigers ahead 46-39 entering the final quarter.
“We had been working pretty consistently on our free throws and that paid off tonight,” said Rush who finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and three assists. “We had a good game plan going into the game — no FCIAC game is an easy one, but down the stretch, especially, we came together as a unit and got the win.”
Luke McGarrity scored 11 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as Ridgefield created more separation.
“We knew they were going to be a great team and we had a tough one last game so we had to come out strong,” McGarrity said. “We had to execute, play our game, and we were all able to do that.”
“We had a bad taste in our mouth from Tuesday night,” said McClellan, whose team improved to 8-2 at the midpoint of the regular season. “We didn’t play well ... Trinity really outplayed us, so when that happens you want to get back on the court as soon as possible.”
McMahon, meanwhile, had its three-game winning streak end and fell to 6-3.
“I think at the end of the first half is really when we kind of planted a seed of negativity,” McMahon coach Joe LaPrad said. “We had the ball at the end of the quarter, turned it over, ran the clock down 15 seconds, turned it over again. They got the ball and scored; we turned it over on the inbound and it turned into a six-point swing quickly. During halftime, it kind of festered and blossomed into something that we didn’t quite want ... I think more we lost it today than they won it.”
Notes: Knachel and Matthew Eiben each added eight points for Ridgefield.
Jermayne Daniels led McMahon with 14 points, followed by Jajuan Wiggins with 12 points.
Hearst Connecticut Media sports reporter Will Aldam contributed to this story.