The Fairfield Warde boys basketball team is now beginning to realize how difficult the FCIAC actually is.

The Mustangs lost their third game in a row to undefeated Bridgeport Central on Friday night, 73-48 at Bridgeport Central High School.

"That was an awful good basketball team," Warde Head Coach Walter Fitzgerald said. "They can do everything very well and they have plenty of kids who can do it. That's what we ran into."

The Mustangs were led by senior center Mersim Markovic who scored 11 points in defeat. Markovic was the only player in double figures for Warde. Andrew Tracey, Ryan Swedberg and Tyler Bisack each had eight points for Warde.

Warde managed to control the tempo of the game from the outset. Swedberg and Bisack each scored five of their eight points in the first quarter as the Mustangs built a 16-12 lead at the end of one.

Despite an 8-0 run to start the second, Warde also withstood a flurry from Central, staying within striking distance at 24-21. The halftime score was 26-21 in favor of the Hilltoppers.

"We'd like to have some success," Fitzgerald said. "I don't think any member of this team is content with being good. We want to win."

But Central dominated in the second half, running out to an 8-0 run that boosted the Hilltoppers' lead to 34-21. Central's run eventually became 21-5, and the Hilltoppers led after three quarters of play, 52-32.

"That's a hard team to beat," Fitzgerald said. "That's a team that can make you look bad."

Fitzgerald praised Central's style of play, and was complimentary of how good of a team the Hilltoppers are.

"I haven't seen a small team that good in our league in a long, long time," Fitzgerald said. "I don't know who is going to beat them."

The Mustangs looked to get back on the winning track yesterday against Brien McMahon too late for press time. Warde will play again tomorrow at Westhill High School at 7 p.m.

"We need to practice our rebounding, and work on our defense," Fitzgerald said. "We've got to be better if we're going to make noise in this league."