For the Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball team, Erik Krumins has been the straw that stirs the drink so far.

Thus far, through two games, Krumins has averaged 22 points for the Falcons, as the Falcons have started 1-1. Krumins had 26 points and nine rebounds in Ludlowe's 54-52, upset win over Bridgeport Central in the team's home opener on Friday.

"This is big," Krumins said. "We came out with enthusiasm."

Krumins is battling through each game, but not just because of the physical nature of the FCIAC. The senior guard and co-captain is playing with pain, caused by an ailing back, which requires treatment before games and rest during the contests.

"He's a rock out there," Ludlowe head coach Brian Silvestro said. "He's in pain with his back out there, but he didn't want to come out. Now we've got to get him healthy for next week."

In Ludlowe's win over the Hilltoppers, Krumins had to overcome an off shooting night from his backcourt mate, Kevin Bentivegna, who recorded just nine points.

"When his shot is off, I've got to take over," Krumins said.

Despite Bentivegna's down night shooting, Krumins is still confident and comfortable with the chemistry that the duo has and will continue to exhibit.

"We have a lot of chemistry together," Krumins said. "We work well together, he'll come back strong."

If Ludlowe is going to continue to progress positively toward the state and FCIAC playoffs, it is going to need more of the same from Krumins. He's aware of it, too and is looking forward to leading the team's defense and hard work ethic.

"Coach [Silvestro] has been talking about how we want to outwork the other team," Krumins said.

Krumins also benefited from the experience of losing close games in 2009-10. The Falcons lost eight games by five points or less a year ago.

"We used the experience from last year," Krumins said. "We didn't want to lose another close game."