Ridgefield boys hoop team stays unbeaten in FCIAC play

As the regular season reaches its midpoint, the Ridgefield High boys basketball team finds itself in an unusual situation.

Unbeaten in conference play and atop the FCIAC standings.

With a 54-33 road win over Greenwich on Tuesday night, Ridgefield raised its record to 6-0 in the FCIAC and 7-2 overall. The Tigers are one-half game ahead of Fairfield Warde (5-0) in the FCIAC overall standings.

"I'm not sure if Ridgefield has ever been unbeaten through six FCIAC games and in first place in the conference," said head coach Andrew McClellan, whose team won a first-ever FCIAC title last season. "We are now the ones that other teams are trying to knock off."

One way they are trying is by slowing the pace.

"Teams are taking 45 seconds or a minute on some possessions in order to work the ball around and get a better shot," said McClellan. "We need to figure out some ways to speed up the game."

Greenwich's deliberate approach led to a low-scoring first half on Tuesday night, as the Tigers led 12-8 through one quarter and 26-17 at halftime.

"They made some tough shots that we didn't think they would make," said McClellan. "In the second quarter we went to a press to try and speed things up and play at the pace we wanted."

Ridgefield outscored the Cardinals, 18-10, in the third quarter to open a 44-27 lead going into the final period. The Tigers then kept Greenwich at bay during a low-scoring (16 points total) fourth quarter.

"Some of the shots they made in the first half they didn't make in the second half," said McClellan. "As long as our defense is exerting its will like that we'll be in good shape."

James St. Pierre finished with 16 points and eight rebounds for Ridgefield. Brenden McNamara added 15 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks, and three assists.

Alex Price contributed seven points, and Chris Knachel and Jackson Mitchell each had five points. Mitchell also grabbed seven rebounds and had three assists.

Weston Carpenter, Cameron Andry and Ryan Malley added two points apiece for the Tigers. Malley, a senior guard, returned to the lineup after missing several games with a wrist injury.

Notes: Greenwich dropped to 4-5 overall with the loss.

Entering today's games, Ridgefield and Warde are the only teams unbeaten in conference play.