RHS roundup: Van Wees, Curnal lead Ridgefield wins

Two of three Ridgefield High teams were winners Tuesday night.

The RHS boys hockey team defeated reigning conference champion Greenwich, 5-1, at the Winter Garden; the RHS girls basketball team downed Danbury, 59-43, at Ridgefield High; and the RHS boys basketball team fell to Danbury, 63-49, at Danbury High.

Senior forward Matteo van Wees had the best individual effort of the night, scoring four of the Ridgefield boys hockey team's five goals in the win over Greenwich.

The victory was the fourth straight for the Tigers, who are now 5-1 overall and ranked first in the state.

Van Wees' first goal put the Tigers ahead, 1-0, early in the first period. Greenwich got the tying goal later in the opening period before Ridgefield scored four unanswered goals, two in the second period and two in the third period.

Harrison Chuma got the go-ahead goal on assists from Jeff Pracella and Jack McGeary with 4:54 left in the second period. Van Wees added his second goal with a slap shot less than two minutes later.

Van Wees then supplied both of Ridgefield's goals in the final period to end the scoring.

On its home court, the Ridgefield girls basketball team raised its record to 7-1 with a 16-point triumph over Danbury.

The Tigers led 22-9 at the end of the first quarter, but Danbury closed within 28-22 at halftime. Ridgefield then outscored the Hatters, 22-8, in the third quarter to open a 50-30 advantage going into the final period.

"We played two great quarters — the first and the third," said Ridgefield head coach Tom DiMarzo. "We moved the ball very well, passing the ball and feeding the post."

Junior forward Caroline Curnal had a career-best 21 points for the Tigers and grabbed 12 rebounds. Meaghan O'Hara added 12 points, while Grace Goodwin contributed eight points and seven rebounds.

Sisters Julia, Elizabeth and Claire Middlebrook combined for another 16 points, scoring seven, six and three points, respectively.

In a game of scoring spurts, the Danbury boys basketball team snapped Ridgefield's five-game winning streak with a 63-49 victory over the Tigers.

The Hatters led 43-36 entering the fourth quarter and then pulled away over the final eight minutes.

Chris Longo had a team-high 10 points for Ridgefield, which played without leading scorer Brenden McNamara (foot injury). Zach Esemplare added nine points, while Joe Newborn scored eight points and Nick Laudati had seven points.

"We just didn't have enough tonight," said Ridgefield head coach Andrew McClellan, whose team is now 5-3. "They outplayed us. We didn't execute enough.

"I think Danbury does a nice job playing hard, making you work for your baskets," added McClellan. "We have to give them some credit for why we weren't sharp or didn't execute as much. I think it was a little bit of a lack of poise from us, but certainly you have to give Danbury some credit."

Press Sports Reporters Chris Sacchi, Jimmy Green and Rich Kaufman contributed reporting to this story.