Needing a win to keep its FCIAC playoff hopes alive, the Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball team just could not make enough crunch time plays.

Trumbull's Travis Fonseca scored a game-high 22 and Mike Yerina scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Eagles beat Ludlowe 46-36 on Monday at Trumbull High School.

"We've been in playoff mode for two weeks," Trumbull coach Buddy Bray said. "We did some nice things against a disciplined team."

Nine of Yerina's 11 boards came in the second half. Trumbull closed the game with a 9-0 run after Ludlowe had gotten to within a point, 37-36.

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"I don't see that we gave them anything easy," Ludlowe coach Brian Silvestro said. "They made shots and they contested us better because we didn't ... I can't fault the effort, but nothing seemed to go our way."

Justin Berardino led Ludlowe with 12 points and six rebounds. The Falcons will close their regular season at home against Darien on Wednesday, needing a win and significant help to reach the FCIAC tournament.

"This was big for both teams," Silvestro said. "I'm sure a lot of people were happy we lost because it clears the way for all the teams we have tiebreakers over."

Trumbull must beat Trinity Catholic, have Bridgeport Central lose to Brien McMahon and Warde fall to St. Joseph on Wednesday night to make FCIACs.

"Whatever is going to be meant to be is meant to be," Bray said. "I can't control all that."

However, playing for its FCIAC tournament life, Trumbull, and specifically Fonseca, made the plays when it mattered. He and Yerina combined to score all 16 of Trumbull's fourth quarter points, including a 3-pointer with 6:47 left that put Trumbull up 33-30. The Eagles never trailed after that.

"That was a big shot," Silvestro said. "They got the shots when they needed them."

Fonseca also went 5-6 from the foul line in the final minute, salting the game away.

"Their point guard is a very good player," Silvestro said of Fonseca. "He had a lot of points."

The troica of David Kinsley, Mark Cerulli and Justin Berardino helped Ludlowe build a first-half lead. Cerulli scored six, Berardino six and Kinsley four as the Falcons took an 18-16 advantage midway through the second.

But a 12-1 run helped the Eagles take a 28-19 advantage. Yerina's rebounding and a patient offense helped Trumbull take its largest lead in the game.

"I felt like it was an uphill battle the whole game," Silvestro said. "I never felt like we had any control of the game."

Ludlowe countered with nine straight points, aided by 3-pointers by Berardino and Patrick Gutierrez. Connor Peterson's layup with 1:40 left tied the score at 28.

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