Strong start powers Ridgefield past Rams in FCIAC opener
Two years ago, the Ridgefield boys basketball team came into the FCIAC tournament as the top seed and lost in the quarterfinals.
This time around the Tigers made sure that wouldn’t happen, defeating eighth-seed New Canaan, 60-37, at Fairfield Warde.
The Tigers opened with a 17-0 run and continued to run the rest of the way.
“I thought we were amped up for the FCIACs. New Canaan is a really good team and I thought our boys really responded at the beginning of the game,” Ridgefield coach Andrew McClellan said. “We knew they wouldn’t quit; they’re a well-coached, hard-playing team, so we just kind of grinded through the rest of the game. I just loved our start and we went on enough runs to keep them at an arm’s reach.”
Ridgefield will now play fourth-seed Fairfield Ludlowe in the second semifinal Tuesday night (7:45) at Wilton High School. Second-seed Trinity Catholic and third-seed Fairfield Warde meet in the opener at 6 p.m.
Chris Knachel led the way for the Tigers against New Canaan, driving to the basket all evening and scoring a game-high18 points.
“It always helps to get off to a good start,” Knachel said. “We’re all about stacking our possessions together, so to come out with a big start like that gave us a huge advantage to put them away.”
Luke McGarrity added 15 points for Ridgefield, and Emmett O’Malley had nine points.
Alex Gibbens scored 17 points to pace New Canaan.