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Norwalk boys hold off Ludlowe

Updated 2:56 pm, Tuesday, January 22, 2013
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Fairfield Ludlowe coach Brian Silvestro had scouted Norwalk in advance of Friday's home game and he knew it'd be difficult to contain Norwalk's leading scorer, Roy Kane.

What Silvestro didn't expect was that Norwalk senior guard Nick Boccanfuso would be such a matchup problem for the Falcons.

Boccanfuso scored 10 points, including nine in the first quarter, as the Bears opened to an early lead and held off a late rally from the Falcons, winning 58-51.

Norwalk ran its record to 8-3, while Ludlowe dropped to 5-6.

"We started out in man and (Boccanfuso) was beating our guy on the dribble and killing us with assists and shots. And coming in he wasn't necessarily the one we were worried about," Silvestro said.

Kane, who had eight points in the first half and finished with 25, scored Norwalk's first six points of the second half. Norwalk had the momentum, but Ludlowe didn't fold and the beginning of the fourth quarter belonged to the Falcons.

Senior forward Patrick Gutierrez (team-high 18 points) scored five points and Ludlowe scored the quarter's first seven points to close the deficit to just, 46-42. Later when Gutierrez hit one of his four 3-pointers, the Falcons trailed by three, 48-45, with 3:38 left.

Silvestro felt confident about his team's comeback chances.

"I had a really good feeling about the end of this one," Silvestro said. "Our strategy changed. We were attacking. We're not an attacking team. I thought this was the night where we'd get over the hump. We were right there with St. Joseph, in their gym, and I didn't have that feeling. We were right there with Central. Same thing. Here I thought it could happen."

When Ludlowe junior guard Mark Malone hit two free throws with under a minute left in the game, Ludlowe again trailed by just three points. But Norwalk hit clutch free throws on their end -- two by Kane and two by sophomore guard Jeremy Linton -- and averted the comeback.

Norwalk swarmed Ludlowe with a profitable press in the first quarter, converting several turnovers into easy buckets to go ahead 10-2 before Silvestro called a timeout at 5:48.

"They run a different press than a lot of teams where they have a guy in the middle," Silvestro said. "So we just had to adjust to getting it to the side and over the top a little bit."

Ludlowe, whic surrendered more than 60 points just once all season (to Fairfield Prep in a 65-35 loss) gave up 22 points to Norwalk in the first quarter and trailed by eight points.

But Ludlowe found a solution, defensively, in the second quarter, as both teams scored 10 points.

cmartin@bcnnew.com

Norwalk 58, Ludlowe 51

NORWALK (8-3)

SaeedSoulemane 2 0-2 4 Roy Kane 11 3-5 25Jabari Dear 3 0-0 7 Nick Boccanfuso 4 1-4 10 Jeremy Linton 2 3-5 8 Luke Sweeney 1 0-0 2Sean Butler 1 0-0 2 Steven Enoch 0 0-0 0 Totals: 24 7-16 58

FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE (5-6)

Dan Santella0 0-0 0 Matt Doyle 4 1-1 11 Mark Malone 2 7-8 12 Darren Lee 0 0-0 0 Patrick Gutierrez 7 0-2 18 Stephen Scholz2 0-0 4 Connor Peterson 2 2-4 6 Brent Peiffer0 0-0 0 Chad Peterson 0 0-0 0 Totals: 17 10-15 51

NORWALK 22 10 14 12--58

FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 14 10 11 16--51

3-pointers: N- Nick Boccanfuso, Jeremy Linton, Jabari Dear; FL- Patrick Gutierrez 4, Matt Doyle 2, Mark Malone

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