The Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball team can not shake the bugaboo of starting games these days.

The Falcons fell behind 14-2 in the first quarter, fought back, but ultimately fell 50-31 to Ridgefield on Wednesday night at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.

"I thought that if we could keep teams in the 40s, we'd be successful and in essence we did that tonight," Ludlowe coach Brian Silvestro said. "But we missed a lot of opportunities inside offensively."

Ludlowe was led by senior Erik Krumins, who scored nine points. Junior forward David Kinsley recorded six points, and had five blocks as the Falcons fell for the fourth straight game.

Ludlowe's Justin Beradino added seven points, including a pair of 3-pointers. The Falcons' leading scorer, senior Kevin Bentivegna, was held to just five points for the second consecutive game.

"He couldn't get into a rhythm," Silvestro said. "Everybody is keyed in on him."

Ridgefield's Chris Esemplare led the team with 19 points, 13 of which came in the first half. The Tigers will now be the No. 2 seed and will play Stamford in the upcoming FCIAC playoffs on Saturday.

"I love their pattern offense," Silvestro said. "You can't take a possession off."

Ludlowe's inability to start games strongly came out and bit it again against the Tigers. Ridgefield scored the first nine points of the game, and a 16-5 advantage at the end of a quarter of play.

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"That's very disappointing," Silvestro said. "We knew where it was coming from."

In the second and third quarters, however, the Falcons proved that they could compete with Ridgefield. Ludlowe outscored the Tigers 12-10 in the second, and then opened the third quarter on a 9-3 spurt which cut Ridgefield's advantage to 29-26.

"I thought, for 16 minutes, we proved we could play defense with an offense that executes that well," Silvestro said. "But I think it exhausted us offensively."

However, Ridgefield closed the game on a 21-5 run, and held the Falcons to just two fourth quarter points. Ludlowe went the final 10:48 without a field goal.

"They're solid," Silvestro said of Ridgefield. "You don't have the margin for error against them that you have against other teams."

The Falcons will now have to wait 13 days to play their next game. Ludlowe will play a Class L state playoff game on March 8. Silvestro is hopeful that his team will grow from the break and come out raring to go in the state playoffs.

"We have a whole week and a half to see what we can do to perfect that defense and get some more offensive opportunities," Silvestro said. "I hope we see someone that we haven't seen."

Despite the four straight losses, Silvestro believes that his team is still improving.

"I really do believe that we've gotten better," he said.