Ridgefield boys hoop team tops Greenwich

After a clumsy start that featured turnovers and fouls, Greenwich finally scored the first basket midway through the opening quarter of Tuesday night's boys basketball game with host Ridgefield.

The bucket prompted Ridgefield head coach Andrew McClellan to call an early timeout. When the players returned to the court, it became clear that the reset had done its job.

The Tigers scored 20 of the next 28 points in the period to go ahead, 20-10, at the end of the first eight minutes. Ridgefield then used a 17-0 run over the final 5:30 of the second quarter to stretch its lead to 42-19 at halftime.

Greenwich played better in the second half — especially during the final quarter — but was unable to catch the Tigers, who came away with a 63-55 victory.

The triumph ended a two-game slide for Ridgefield, which won for the first time since losing leading scorer Brenden McNamara to a broken foot. The Tigers are now 6-4 at the midpoint of their regular season.

"It was absolutely crucial [to win tonight]," said senior center Nick Laudati, who finished with a team-high 15 points. "This was kind of a must-win game, both for our morale and for our FCIAC standing. Now this kind of puts us back in the middle of the pack. The goal is to make FCIACs, and hopefully get B-Mac (McNamara) back and be a contender."

"I just said, 'let's do what we do,' " said McClellan when asked what he told at his players during that early timeout. "We've talked about that a lot. Let's do what we do. Let's get the ball inside to Nick (Laudati) and work inside-out. I thought that worked great. I thought they executed. I thought we ran well; I thought we defended. We rebounded well and we were able to get out and run and get some easy baskets and everyone kind of played with a ton of confidence."

Chris Longo added 14 points for the Tigers, while James St. Pierre contributed 10 points and Joe Newborn had nine points. St. Pierre and Newborn did al their scoring in the first half.

Making his first varsity start, freshman Luke McGarrity scored nine points for Ridgefield. Senior point guard Zach Esemplare also finished with five points.

Press Sports Reporter Rich Kaufman contributed reporting to this story.