Ridgefield trounces Trumbull, 65-32, for first win

A pair of Christmas presents arrived two days early for the Ridgefield High boys basketball team.

After a brief ceremony for the unveiling of the program's first-ever FCIAC championship banner, the Tigers routed Trumbull, 65-32, on Saturday afternoon at RHS.

With the victory, Ridgefield evened its record at 1-1.

Ridgefield’s defense was the dominant factor, as the hosts allowed just 11 points in the first half and then kept Trumbull scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter.

“We have good defensive players that buy into our system," said Ridgefield head coach Andrew McClellan. "They were flying around and we took away what Trumbull wanted to do, and we were successful with that. We executed very well on defense."

Ridgefield’s depth showed on the offensive side, as 10 different players scored points. Three Tigers made it into double digits, with James St. Pierre providing 15 points and Brenden McNamara and Alex Price adding 14 and 11 points, respectively.

The tone was set on the opening tip. McNamara won the jump ball and Jackson Mitchell scored to put the Tigers ahead 2-0. The lead grew to 15-8 by the end of the quarter, as rebounding and defense were the difference makers for Ridgefield.

Early defensive highlights included McNamara blocking a shot and going coast-to-coast to score a layup with three minutes left in the quarter and Ryan Malley drawing a charging foul on Trumbull with 1:51 left.

Ridgefield was even more impressive in the second quarter, outscoring the Eagles, 16-3, to open a 31-11 halftime lead. McNamara and Price hit three-pointers for the Tigers, and Trumbull struggled mightily to score — even Shaquille O’Neal would have cringed at the Eagles' performance at the free-throw line. Trumbull's frustration climaxed with 4.9 seconds left in the half when its head coach was given a technical foul after arguing a call.

“I think we played really great as a team ... we started getting stop after stop on defense and moved the ball around on offense, hitting a bunch of shots," said Malley.

Trumbull opened the second half with a 7-2 run to close within 15 points with 5:16 left in the third quarter. Price temporarily halted Trumbull’s momentum with a basket to steer Ridgefield back on track, but the Eagles used a 7-0 run to trim the Tigers' lead to 40-27 with under 30 seconds remaining the period. McNamara then hit a clutch basket to put Ridgefield ahead by 15 points entering the fourth quarter.

After being outscored, 16-11, in the third quarter, the Tigers responded by holding Trumbull scoreless for the first six minutes of the final period. Ridgefield's offense also began clicking again, and a soaring dunk by McNamara put the exclamation point on the victory.

“We’re just trying to play hard for 32 minutes," said McNamara. "With the caliber of players we have, we know that over time we can grind other teams down and get easy points.”

"One of the things we talk about all the time is having long stretches of really good play," said McClellan. "I thought we had some of those and we need to get more ... especially on offense. Sometimes when we’re ahead we tend to take quicker shots. I thought every single time we ran a full play or we shared the ball we got a really good shot, and that’s what we’re all about.”

Notes: Mitchell finished with eight points for Ridgefield. Luke McGarrity had four points, while Matthew DeLuca, Chris Knachel and Matt Misurelli added three points apiece and Weston Carpenter and Ryan Garson scored two points each.

Timmond Williams led Trumbull with 11 points.