Roundup: Ridgefield boys basketball team tops Greenwich in FCIAC matchup
GREENWICH — Seeing its 13-point halftime lead on Greenwich get cut to seven points midway through the third quarter, the Ridgefield boys basketball team, methodically widened its advantage and toward the end of the fourth quarter, was on its way to notching an impressive road win.
“That is the word that we use in the locker room,” Tigers coach Andrew McClellan said, following Friday’s matchup against host Greenwich. “We needed to methodically stack possessions together. That is the goal, when you coach high school boys basketball, you want to get them to be as consistent as possible.”
Forwards Christopher Knachel and Matthew DeLuca helped the Tigers pull away from the Cardinals in the fourth quarter.
Knachel scored a game-high 24 points, while DeLuca added six points and solid rebounding in Ridgefield’s 64-45 win over Greenwich in an FCIAC game.
The victory upped the Tigers’ record to 3-1. Greenwich dropped to 1-3 with its second straight loss. Knachel scored 15 of his 24 points during the second half for the Tigers, who received 10 points from senior guard James Rush, eight from senior guard John Briody and seven from junior guard Amos Grey.
Ridgefield led 11-10 after the first quarter, before building a 31-18 halftime advantage. Greenwich was paced by 22 points from senior guard Christopher Genaro, who made two 3-pointers.
“It was a step forward,” GHS coach Chris Lovermi said. “Ridgefield is a good team, a well-disciplined team and has seen success in past seasons. Effort-wise, we were right there. It comes down to discipline and limiting mistakes and they were a little more disciplined and that was the difference.”
Senior guard Max Steinman and junior guard AJ Barber added six points apiece for the Cardinals. A free throw and layup from Genaro cut the Tigers’ lead to 37-29 with 3:56 remaining in the third quarter.
A pair of foul shots by DeLuca, followed by a layup off a steal from guard Matthew Knachel put Ridgefield ahead, 42-31, with 1:25 to go in the third quarter. Christopher Knachel gave the Tigers a 44-31 lead with 1.9 seconds remaining in the third quarter, scoring off a layup.
In the fourth quarter, Christopher Knachel scored eight points for the victors, who played a solid man-to-man defense throughout.
“It really starts on the defensive end for us,” said Christopher Knachel, a senior. “Getting stops and when we get stops, we can run out on the break. That is where the energy comes from and once we get going, we are hard to stop. Overall, it was a great defensive effort for our team.”
Said McClellan: “We talk about 32 minutes of defense and making it hard on them. Road FCIAC games are always tough to play. Greenwich always plays really hard and we were worried about their offensive rebounding and aggressiveness. I thought we stayed with the game plan and received multiple efforts on defense.”
Genaro scored 13 second-half points for the Cardinals, who host New Canaan on Tuesday at 7 p.m. Manny Cuellar and Carson Bylciw had three points apiece for the Cards. Grey chipped in five points for the victors.
“I loved our tenacity in the third quarter,” Lovermi said. “When we were down double digits and cut it to five, or six points. Our guard play was good, we just need to make a few more shots and use what assets we have, best.”