Learning and developing chemistry are the primary concerns for summer basketball.

Considering the aforementioned statement, the Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball team accomplished its mission Sunday in a 31-28 loss to the CSA Velocity AAU basketball team of New Milford in the DeSantis Basketball Academy Summer Basketball League at Christian Heritage School in Trumbull.

CSA was a last-minute replacement for Staples, Ludlowe's scheduled opponent, however Staples had a few of its players at basketball tournaments. The Falcons dropped to 2-2.

All 10 players contributed for Ludlowe, who forced 18 CSA turnovers and played solid defense. However, the Falcons struggled on offense and scored only 14 points in each half and finished the game with 17 turnovers. Ludlowe led 14-11 at the half.

Senior Mark Cerulli (six points, one 3-pointer, three rebounds, four assists) was a defensive force for the Falcons and his ability to knock it away or force a bad play led for scoring opportunities on the other end.

However, many of those chances didn't come to fruition because Ludlowe missed its share of layups. Seniors David Kinsley (eight points, six rebounds, two blocked shots) and Tyler Bulkley (seven rebounds, three steals) along with junior Connor Peterson (four rebounds) gave the Falcons an inside presence.

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Kinsley hit three layups in the first half, one on a putback off the offensive glass, and the third one came off a feed from junior Steve Scholz right before the half.

"It was a good game to work on our offense and defense," Kinsley said. "We were missing two of our starters and everyone stepped it up in their absence. I look forward to having a good season."

Bulkley said, "We played very hard and our defense played well. We had good help defense and we had players step up."

However, Ludlowe made only 10 field goals all game. Four of those shots were 3-pointers and after senior Jake Sullivan (nine points, one rebound) hit a trey to give the Falcons a 23-19 lead, they started to get cold from the field.

CSA then went on a 10-0 run and took a 29-23 lead before Cerulli broke the surge with two free throws. Sullivan drilled his second 3-pointer with 1:28 remaining to pull Ludlowe within one, 29-28. Bulkley then stole the ball and gave the Falcons a chance to pull it out with a steal but they followed up with a turnover.

Sophomore Mark Malone (three points) also hit a trey for Ludlowe. Juniors Danny Santella (two points, two rebounds, one steal) also contributed for the Falcons.

"Every week, we look to improve," Kinsley said. "It's summer league and if you make a mistake, you make a mistake. It helps get us ready for the season."