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Greenwich boys hold off Harding

Updated 11:30 pm, Friday, January 25, 2013
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BRIDGEPORT -- It looked as if it was all happening again.

Up by as many as nine points in the third quarter, the Greenwich boys basketball team saw its lead evaporate in the fourth quarter, but unlike games past where the lead would be lost for good, the Cardinals gathered themselves and came out of a hostile Harding gym with a 70-66 win over the Presidents.

Greenwich (7-6) was without starting guard Jimmy Djema and reserve Thomas Baietto, who were sick, and starting guard Alex McMurray was limited dealing with an illness of his own, leaving the Cardinals shorthanded against the relentless pressure defense of the Presidents.

Greenwich coach Bill Brehm thought his team responded well.

"This is a very tough place to play," Brehm said. "They just come at you for 32 solid minutes and never stop and our kids never wavered and we had the lead for a lot of the game. Danny Guise made an unbelievable play on the ground and Alex Wolf came through with the big slam late, and I am just proud of all of our guys."

Wolf led the Cardinals with a game-high 25 points with CJ Byrd scoring 16, Guise 15 and McMurray coming off the bench for 10 points.

Harding (2-9) was led by Reggie Stewart's 19, including three 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to help keep his team in the game.

The Presidents trailed by as much as 50-41 in the third quarter but came back to take the lead with 5:10 after Donte Derris knocked down the second of two long 3s, making the score 56-54 Presidents.

Harding coach Charles Clemons liked the fight he saw from his team, but felt they hurt themselves too many times before the late rally.

"It was fun coaching today," Clemons said. "We may not be the best, but we are not giving up. It hurts, but you have to go through this. We fought back, but we did some stupid stuff too and that's where we are fighting ourselves at the same time. We are playing them, but then we do something immature so it's like a double whammy."

Harding was within 65-63 with 48 seconds left but got caught trying for steals in the backcourt, leaving Wolf open for a dunk.

On the next possession Harding left Guise open for a layup that iced the win.

The Presidents opened the game hot from outside, leading 18-13 after one quarter, but Greenwich extended its 2-3 zone and the Presidents only mustered eight points in the second quarter, trailing 33-26 at halftime.

With two guards out and another limited, Greenwich's Tommy Povinelli came up from the JV to make the start and handled the Harding pressure all night.

Brehm said he had confidence in Povinelli, despite his inexperience.

"I had full faith in Tommy Povinelli," Brehm said. "The only reason he does not start all games is because he has some seniors in front of him. It was nice because it shows how deep we really are. These kids really came together tonight after some adversity."

scott.ericson@scni.com

Greenwich 70, Harding 66

GREENWICH (7-6)

CJ Byrd 6 4-4 16; Jon Palmer 1 0-0 2; Toomy Povinelli 1 0-0 2; Alex Wolf 9 7-14 25; Leonel Hyatt 0 0-0 0; Alex McMurray 5 0-1 10; Dan Guise 6 1-2 15; Kyle Foote 0 0-0 0. Totals 28 12-19 70

HARDING (2-9)

Terrance Rogers 3 1-3 8; Reggie Stewart 7 0-0 19; Tyrique Mcneil 0 0-0 0; Dennis Hinds 1 1-4 3; Davon McCallister 4 0-1 9; Jaymar Gaynor 3 2-2 8; Donte Derris 3 0-0 8; Javon Smalls 1 0-0 2; Kin'Shawn Pettway 3 1-3 9. Totals 25 6-14 66

GREENWICH 13 20 18 19--70

HARDING 18 8 18 22--66

3-point field goals: H -- Rogers, Stewart 5, McCallister, Derris 2, Pettway; G -- Guise 2

Fouled out: None

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