Ridgefield tops Trumbull, advances to FCIAC finals
The Ridgefield High boys basketball team has had a string of success the last few seasons, including winning a first-ever FCIAC championship in 2017. But the run to reach this year’s final is a little more special for senior James St. Pierre and his classmates.
“I think this is the sweetest year,” St. Pierre said. “We have had some great teams the last few years but this year, the guys are so fun to be with and the camaraderie is so great and hopefully it will translate to a win Thursday. I am really proud of how my teammates came out. None of them were afraid, at all.”
Fifth-seed Ridgefield started on fire and held on down the stretch, beating top-seed Trumbull, 73-66, in the second game of a semifinal doubleheader at the Zeoli Field House in Wilton.
The Tigers will take on third-seed Danbury, the defending FCIAC champion, in the title game Thursday at 7 p.m. at Wilton High.
Ridgefield used a 15-2 run in the first quarter, opening an eight-point lead after the opening period.
Trumbull clawed back but never get closer than six points.
The Ridgefield defense locked down Trumbull’s two leading scorers, with St. Pierre guarding Timmond Williams and Chris Knachel covering Chris Brown. Brown finished with 14 points and Williams had 17 points on just three field goals, as both were held below their season averages.
Knachel also knocked down four big free throws in the fourth quarter as Trumbull was attempting its comeback. The junior forward finished with 20 points.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
James St. Pierre, Ridgefield. St. Pierre scored a game-high 23 points while also locking up Williams on defense.
“We have had some injuries this year and we had some up and down spotty play but we have just gotten better,” Ridgefield coach Andrew McClellan said. “James (St. Pierre) has had an amazing season and he makes everyone’s job a little easier. (Luke) McGarrity was super tonight, Knachel was good tonight and (Matt) DeLuca was really good tonight. We are more than James St. Pierre and the Tigers, but he’s been our captain and the leader of the bunch. Our defense was amazing tonight.”
FCIAC Semifinals at Wilton
RIDGEFIELD 73 TRUMBULL 66
RIDGEFIELD 19 13 14 27 - 73
TRUMBULL 11 13 16 26 - 66
RIDGEFIELD – James St. Pierre 7 5-5 23; Chris Knachel 7 6-8 20; Cameron Andry 0 0-0 0; Nick Hall 0 0-0 0; John Briody 3 0-0 9; Matt DeLuca 6 2-2 14; Luke McGarrity 2 2-2 7; Matt Misurelli 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 15-17 73
TRUMBULL – Mileeq Green 5 2-2 14; Chris Brown 7 0-0 14; Timmond Williams 2 11-14 15; Evan Gutowski 4 2-4 10; Quentar Taylor 4 1-2 9; Jack Therriault 0 0-0 0; Lance Walsh 1 0-0 2. Totals: 24 16-21 66
3-Point field goals: R - St. Pierre 3, McGarrity, Briody 3; T - Green 2
Fouled out: R - DeLuca; T - Williams, Taylor