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Bassick pulls away from Warde boys

Updated 3:12 pm, Thursday, February 6, 2014

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  • Fairfield Warde sophomore Giacomo Brancato at the foul line on Tuesday, Feb. 4 in the Mustangs' 76-54 loss at Bassick in Bridgeport. Brancato was one of two players to score a game-high 18 points. Photo: Reid L. Walmark / Fairfield Citizen
    Fairfield Warde sophomore Giacomo Brancato at the foul line on Tuesday, Feb. 4 in the Mustangs' 76-54 loss at Bassick in Bridgeport. Brancato was one of two players to score a game-high 18 points. Photo: Reid L. Walmark

 

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Fairfield Warde's attempt to end its nine-game losing streak in boys basketball appeared reasonably strong through the first half of its FCIAC game Tuesday night at Bassick. The Mustangs' deficit was a single point.

But the second half was a different story. The Lions snapped their losing streak at five games by getting to the backboards for a series of baskets from the lane and pulled away from Warde for a 76-54 victory in Bridgeport.

The Mustangs' bid to rally was hampered by cold shooting and losing the battle for rebounds in the second half by a wide margin.

"Their second-chance points killed us," said Warde coach Ryan Swaller after his team's records fell to 1-13 overall and 0-12 in the conference. "We got pushed. We couldn't go get the ball. We weren't going to outjump them, and we weren't going to push them.

"We came out (for the second half) and thought we were going to do what we did in the first half but without the effort," said Swaller, whose team trailed 32-31 at halftime.

Bassick outscored Warde in the third quarter by 23-12. The Mustangs' 55-43 deficit entering the fourth quarter only grew and a 10th loss in a row was the consequence.

Kobe Ancrum scored a game-high 18 points for the Lions, who opened the season at 5-2 before their slide began. Curhone Baldwin added 17 points for Bassick and Carl Brown added nine. Warde was paced by Giacomo Brancato's 18 points and 10 each from Brian Kerrigan and Nick Cotto.

The Mustangs' last win -- 10 games ago -- was a 60-50 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe on Dec. 28. The Falcons are their next opponent on Feb. 11 at Warde.

Bassick coach Bernie Lofton said the turning point from the Lions' perspective was starting the second half without the sluggishness that was characteristic of their play in the first two quarters.

"We started to play as a team in the second half, and we started to run our offense," Lofton said. "There was a lot of individual play in the first half. In the second half, we played a much different game.

"We're a team that has to work. We cannot afford to take anyone lightly," Lofton said.

Swaller credited Bassick with raising its level of play, something, he said, his young Warde team has been unable to learn how to do.

"We stay constant," Swaller said. "We're at the same level for 32 minutes. We don't raise our level when the other team does. Other teams know how to raise their level as the game gets tighter and later. We do not.

"We have got to be able to play up a level," he said.

Warde played without senior captain Mike Pehota, junior Brandon Bissack and sophomore Chris Smaldone, who start or are in the first rotation off the bench. Pehota and Bissack are recovering from shoulder injuries -- Pehota's is persistent, though he has played in most of Warde's games -- and Smaldone is nursing a sore back.

rwalmark@bcnnew.com; 203-255-4561 ext. 113; twitter.com/ReidWalmark

Bassick 76, Warde 54

WARDE (1-13, 0-12 FCIAC)

Kavon Polk 1 1-2 3 JJ Conway 0 0-0 0 Giacomo Brancato 7 2-4 18 Dylan Reilly 1 0-0 2 Terrance Walden 2 0-0 4 John Natoli 0 0-0 0 Hawkins French 0 0-0 0 Thomas Luckner 2 1-3 5 Mark Schwartz 0 0-0 0 Jared Collier 0 2-2 2 Jackson Longley 0 0-0 0 Nick Cotto 4 1-1 10 Brian Kerrigan 4 2-7 10. Totals: 21 9-19 54.

BASSICK (6-7, 5-6)

Curhone Baldwin 6 3-3 17 Kobe Ancrum 8 2-3 18 Brandon Hilario 0 0-0 0 Malik Massey 0 0-0 0 Rajohn James 3 0-0 7 Ted Colas 0 0-0 0 Carl Brown 3 3-4 9 Gerod Hamilton 2 0-0 5 Dlier Hassan 0 0-0 0 Keante Smith 1 0-0 2 Mykell Stinson 0 1-4 1 Andrew Stephenson 1 1-3 3 Jose Martinez 1 0-0 2 Keon Evans 3 1-1 7 Davonte Whitehurst 1 2-2 5. Totals: 29 13-20 76.

FAIRFIELD WARDE 11 20 12 11--54

BASSICK 13 19 23 21--76

3-pointers: FW--Brancato 2, Cotto; B--Baldwin 2, James, Whitehurst.

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