If the Fairfield Prep boys basketball team plays defense the way it did in its SCC Opening Round game, there are not many teams in the state that can beat it.

The Jesuits were led by senior center Matt Daley, who scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as No. 5 Prep blasted No. 12 Hamden 61-40 on Thursday night at Alumni Hall.

"What wins all of our games for us? Defense," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "That's what we're trying to preach."

Junior Terry Tarpey tallied eight points and senior Alex Heiman chimed in with 10 points and five rebounds as the Jesuits advanced to Saturday's SCC quarterfinals in East Haven. Prep will take on No. 4 seed Lyman Hall at 1:45 p.m.

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The Jesuits overcame a loss to the Green Dragons, 71-68, in their last meeting on Jan. 28.

"It is `one and done time'," Redgate said.

The Jesuits rolled from the outset, starting with a 19-4 run to close the first quarter. Senior guard Robbie Bier scored nine of his 11 points in the first quarter as Prep led 20-7 after one.

"If we play incredible defense, I don't think there is a team in the state that can beat us," Redgate said.

Prep maintained its 13 point lead into halftime, but then rolled coming out of the second half, outscoring the Green Dragons 13-4 to put the game out of reach. Prep led 43-21 after three periods of play.

"The goal was to punch them out," Redgate said. "You can't be up 20 and think you're fine."

Redgate was especially pleased with his team's defense, holding the Green Dragons to just the 21 points through three quarters.

"I believe that defense is one of the most unselfish things you can do," Redgate said. "It's a mindset to play incredible defense."