Fairfield Prep boys basketball falls to West Haven
The Fairfield Prep boys basketball team finally got some consistency going this season.
Unfortunately for the Jesuits, it came in a losing effort.
Prep broke its streak of alternating wins and losses by dropping its second game in a row in a 59-56 loss to West Haven on Friday night at West Haven High School.
"This would've been a great game to get on the road here," Prep Head Coach Rich Lee said.
Prep and West Haven battled tooth and nail for the entire game. The game featured 13 lead changes and the two squads were tied 10 different times over the course of the contests. Prep's lead never was greater than six points and the Blue Devils lead peaked at five in the fourth.
Prep's six point lead came in the second quarter when the Jesuits went on an 8-0 run behind baskets by Terry Tarpey, Nick Hoin, Matt Daley and Kirk Brody. Daley led the Jesuits with eight rebounds and also chipped in 12 points in the game. Tarpey scored five points and added five rebounds and two blocks.
But West Haven cut into the Jesuits' lead in the second and Prep led by just three at halftime, 27-24.
"We got their best effort tonight," Lee said of West Haven. "They've been a little scattered, but this is as good as I've seen them."
Prep got out to a five point advantage in the third quarter with a basket from Gulish and Tarpey making three of four free throws after West Haven had clawed even at 34. The Blue Devils scored the last five points of the
period and the teams
went into the fourth tied at 39.
Prep opened up a four point lead with a 6-2 run to open the fourth, but West Haven answered with a 7-0 run that gave the Blue Devils a three-point advantage, 48-45.
West Haven opened that lead to 53-48, but the Jesuits then outscored the Blue Devils 6-1 to get back even.
Prep had trouble breaking the Blue Devils' zone defense down the stretch and struggled to get good looks at the basket in the fourth.
"They see the end of the game is near and they get a little more tight," Lee said of his team. "We got to get better in those situations. We've got to relax more and know what we've got to do there."
After West Haven hit a free throw to go up by one, Bier hit a runner that gave the Jesuits a one-point advantage with 1:22 left.
West Haven answered with a layup with 25 seconds left and went ahead, 57-56.
Prep got the shot it wanted when Gulish got a jumper opportunity with four seconds left, but the shot hit the back iron and went out and the Jesuits fell to 5-6 on the year.
"We got the shot we wanted in the end there," Lee said. "It didn't go down."
That game started a three game road swing for the Jesuits that included a game last night with Law too late for press time. Prep will play again Friday at Xavier in a game that Lee knows won't come easy.
"We've got to get back to work here," he said. "It's not getting any easier."