Boys hoop: Staples cools off Ridgefield, 69-55

After pulling within one point early in the fourth quarter, the Ridgefield High boys basketball team was unable to get any closer Saturday afternoon, falling to Staples, 69-55, in Westport.

The setback ended a four-game winning streak for the Tigers, who are now 10-6 overall and 7-5 in the FCIAC.

"I just think Staples played a lot better than us," said Ridgefield head coach Andrew McClellan. "They executed what they did perfectly. We didn't adapt to what they were doing. We didn't start out executing our defense. We never got to the point where we even adapted to what we tried to adapt to. We were on our heels the whole game."

Ridgefield was down 49-40 with 2:25 remaining in the third period before scoring six unanswered points on three straight layups from Nick Laudati, Zach Esemplare, and Laudati again.

Brenden McNamara's fadeaway jumper took the Tigers within one point, 49-48, early in the fourth quarter, but Max Sussman answered with a three-pointer to put Staples on top, 52-48, with seven minutes remaining. The Wreckers then went on a 9-4 run to go ahead 61-52 with two minutes left and put the game away.

One key for Staples was its outside shooting: The hosts hit five three-pointers in the second quarter and four more in the third quarter.

"[Three-point shooting] is their game," said McClellan about the Wreckers (8-9, 6-7 FCIAC). "We did not take that away from them. I'm a little bit lost as to why we didn't adjust to that, but I'm the coach and it's my job to figure that out. It's something we have to figure out before the next game."

Esemplare had 12 points to lead Ridgefield. Freshman Luke McGarrity added 11 points, while Chris Longo also reached double figures with 10 points. Laudati finished with nine points and McNamara had eight points.