ND-Fairfield basketball blasts Bethel in SWC quarterfinals
Beating the Notre Dame-Fairfield boys basketball in the 2010-11 season has not proven easy for anyone.
Beating the Lancers twice is being proven even tougher.
ND got 16 points, four rebounds, four assists and five steals from sophomore Danny Upchurch as the top-seeded Lancers blasted No. 8 Bethel, 73-49 in the SWC quarterfinals on Saturday night at Pomperaug Regional High School.
"The whole team was very active," ND head coach Vin Laczkoski said.
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"Everybody was motivated," McPherson said. "We never forget losses."
The Lancers reached the SWC semifinals for the second time in three years. ND played Kolbe Cathedral last night in a game that was completed too late for press time.
ND admitted that it was more excited to take on the Wildcats in the first round because of the revenge factor. The Lancers held Bethel's top-scorer Alex Barry to just one point on Saturday night.
"We had our legs," Laczkoski said. "The first time we played them, we didn't have our legs."
"We had to show them that that's not the real Notre Dame," McPherson said.
The Lancers took control of the contest midway through the first quarter. ND closed the first quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 19-9 advantage after a quarter. Upchurch led the way with seven of his 16 in the first frame.
"The kids were unselfish," Laczkoski said.
ND opened its lead in the second quarter, taking a 38-24 advantage into the break. The Lancers grabbed the game by the throat in the third, opening up the second half on a 12-0 run.
"We try to play scrappy," Upchurch said. "Our defense gets the offense going."
Notre Dame's guards: Upchurch, McPherson, Ortiz and Earl Coleman each committed to the Lancers' effort on the glass, as well. Those four guards combined for 15 of ND's 28 rebounds for the game.
"We've got to gang-rebound," McPherson said. "We can't let Arkel [Miles, ND junior center] do all the work."
"It's a brotherhood down there," Upchurch said.
The Lancers' lead peaked midway through the fourth quarter at 67-35 when ND went on an 11-0 run that spanned
2:30 between the third and fourth quarters.
"When we're clicking, we're pretty good," Laczkoski said. "It was fun to watch."