Though the Dragons possess one of the premier low post players in the conference in 6-foot-9 center Sean Obi, one of GFA's trademarks is its relentless transition game -- an aspect the Bruins had difficulty dealing with the entire game.
Consistently beating Brunswick down court, Greens Farms flourished in the fastbreak, cruising to an eye-opening 66-44 victory over the host Bruins.
The talented trio from Greenwich -- Obi, Matt Tate and Hunter Eggers -- helped power Greens Farms to its sixth straight win. Tate, a junior point guard, recorded a game-high 15 points with six assists, Eggers, a senior, had 14 points and six assists, while Obi totaled nine points and 10 rebounds for the Dragons (12-2, 9-1 FAA).
"There was a lot of talk about how we lost to King (their only league loss) and how they beat King by 20, so I think this game re-establishes how good we think we are," Eggers said. "All night, we were making good passes, getting good shots and making a lot of layups."
Point guard Henry Taylor scored 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers for Brunswick, which trailed 33-22 before getting outscored 20-5 the first nine minutes of the second half.
"They played really hard and ran against us and we didn't react well to their transition game," Bruins coach Robert Taylor said. "They have a transition offense and believe it or not, we practiced against that offense. You wouldn't have seen that today though, that's for sure."
The Rice University-bound Obi, who eclipsed the 1,000 career point plateau in the team's triumph against Chase Collegiate School recently, didn't need to play much in the second half, giving him an opportunity to rest his bruised knee.
"I have a knee injury, but I wanted to play this game, these are big games for us," Obi said. "My teammates played so well today. It was amazing, the guys off the bench did a great job too. We really moved the ball well, which was great to see."
Tate scored six consecutive points off fastbreak layups, giving the Dragons an 11-3 lead and forcing Brunswick to take the game's first timeout. A Taylor 3-pointer and a free throw from Matt Gendell, brought the Bruins to within 17-15 with 6:41 remaining in the first half. That's the closest the Bruins got, as the visitors ended the opening half with a 15-7 run to seize a 33-22 advantage. Pushing the ball up court at every opportunity, Tate engineered the Dragon's fastbreak. The Bruins, who shot 25 percent from the field, were challenged throughout to set up their halfcourt man-to-man defense.
"The fastbreak has been our identity," said GFA coach Doug Scott, whose squad has a two-game lead in the FAA with four games left. "We have a lot of athletes and we try to be aggressive."
After Taylor's 3-pointer cut Greens Farms' lead to 35-25, the Dragons went on a 14-0 run to open a 49-25 cushion. Tate, Eggers, forward Zach Baines (six points, 10 rebounds) and forward Pat Ryan (nine points, six assists, seven rebounds) helped fuel the spurt.
"The way we began the second half was huge, it killed their momentum," said Tate, a Greenwich resident. "We put pressure on their guards and forced turnovers and also forced them to do things they weren't used to doing."
Forward Dylan Wadsworth had seven points and six rebounds, while guard/forward Sam Fraser had seven points for the Bruins, who struggled to hit their open shots from the perimeter.
"We have watched Brunswick play and have seen them dominate everyone else in the league," Scott said. "We didn't want them to have time to shoot and get comfortable on offense, so we tried to put some pressure on them."
Said Henry Taylor: "This game shows that we need to improve on getting back on defense and play stronger help defense," Henry Taylor said. "They had too many easy layups and kept pushing the ball down the court. We knew they were going to run, but we just didn't get back on defense."
GREENS FARMS..........................33 33 -- 66
BRUNSWICK..............................22 22 -- 44
GREENS FARMS (66)
Matt Tate 5 4-5 15; Hunter Eggers 7 0-1 14; Sean Obi 3 3-4 9; Pat Ryan 3 2-3 9; Andrew Chase 2 0-0 4; Zach Baines 3 0-0 6; Sam Hodge 2 1-2 5; Van Barnet 0 1-2 1; Brendan Bieber 1 1-2 3; Scott Deutsch 0 0-0 0. Totals: 26 12-19 66.
Henry Taylor 4 0-0 10; Nick Kono 2 0-0 5; Sam Fraser 1 4-6 7; Teddy Murphy 1 0-2 2; Dylan Wadsworth 2 3-5 7; James Robinson 0 0-0 0; Jack Sherwood 1 0-0 2; Ryan Hardin 1 0-0 2; Jimmy Knight 1 0-0 2; Alex Skolds 0 0-2 0; Billy O'Malley 2 0-0 4; Matt Gendell 1 1-2 3; Sean Forester 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 8-17 44.
3-pointers: GFA -- Tate, Ryan; B -- Taylor 2, Kono, Fraser.
Records: Greens Farms 12-2, 9-1 FAA; Brunswick 8-7, 6-2 FAA.