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Fairfield Prep boys basketball beats Amity, 61-46

Updated 3:18 pm, Thursday, February 21, 2013
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For three quarters on Tuesday night, the Amity High School boys basketball team gave Fairfield Prep fits.

But in the fourth, the Jesuits looked like one of the state's top teams.

The Jesuits capped a 19-1 regular season with a 61-46 win over Amity on Tuesday night in Woodbridge.

"It's good," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "But I still don't think we're playing the way we're capable. I'm hoping we get there."

Prep sophomore guard Thomas Nolan scored a game-high 18, Keith Pettway had 11, and Ryan Murphy scored 13. Prep will likely be the Class LL state tournament's top seed.

"It feels really awesome to be the No. 1 team in the state," Nolan said. "We worked hard to get 19-1, and I'm really proud."

Junior center Paschal Chukwu also scored 14 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and blocking three shots.

Senior center Remi Farrell led Amity with 17 points and five rebounds. The Spartans fell to 14-5.

Amity fought tooth and nail with Prep for three quarters. A 6-0 Spartans run put them ahead 41-40 with 24 seconds left in the frame.

"For three quarters, we were right there," Amity assistant Mike Cofrancesco said. "Our guys played their hearts out."

Murphy's layup gave the Jesuits a one-point advantage, then Chuwku stole an errant pass and slung it ahead to Pettway, who finished a layup as the third-quarter buzzer sounded, giving the Jesuits a 44-41 lead after three.

"It gave us a lot of momentum going into the fourth quarter, which I don't think we had throughout the whole game," Nolan said. "It really boosted us up."

Prep then outscored Amity 17-5 in the fourth. Nolan scored 14 of his 18 in the second half.

"I don't think I could've played any worse than I did in the first half," Nolan said. "I just tried to take it to the basket, and it worked."

The Spartans were just 1-for-8 from the field in the fourth quarter.

"Legs get tired," Cofrancesco said. "We're playing so hard trying to rebound on the other end. They did what good teams do, they finished us up."

Prep was ice cold in the first half, shooting just 33 percent. Thanks to that, and Farrell's 11 first-half points, the Spartans built a six-point lead 1:58 before halftime.

"Amity is a tough team," Redgate said. "I expected this."

But a 6-0 Prep run, capped by Dave Zielinski's buzzer-beating 3-pointer, drew Prep even at the break.

"Our intensity was down," Murphy said. "When (Zielinski) hit that shot, it kind of boosted all of our intensity."

ppickens@bcnnew.com; twitter.com/Pat_Pickens

Fairfield Prep 61, Amity 46

FAIRFIELD PREP (19-1, 17-1 SCC)

Tim Butala 1 0-2 2 Paschal Chukwu 6 2-4 14 Tom Nolan 9 0-0 18 Dave Zielinski 1 0-0 3 Keith Pettway 5 0-2 11 Ryan Murphy 4 5-8 13 Quinn Lincoln 0 0-0 0 Christopher Kelly 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 7-16 61.

AMITY (14-5, 12-5)

Ben LeVine 0 3-3 3 Alex Tumeniuk 2 0-0 4 Zac Campbell 1 1-6 3 Dave Ryan 3 0-0 7 Matt Lettick 4 0-0 8 Gardner Broderick 2 0-0 4 Remy Farrell 7 3-4 17. Totals: 19 7-13 46.

FAIRFIELD PREP 11 13 20 17--61

AMITY 13 11 17 5--46

3-pointers: FP-- Zielinski, Pettway; A­-- Ryan.

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