Warde boys fall to Bassick
Time is running out on the Fairfield Warde boys basketball team.
Its 68-51 loss Tuesday to FCIAC frontrunner Bassick left the Mustangs with an overall record of 5-10.
That means Fairfield Warde needs to win three of its final five games to qualify for the Class L tournament for its second-straight season.
"We've got five left and we're not where we want to be," said first-year Mustangs head coach Ryan Swaller. "But we're in a situation where we're not out of it yet. New Canaan is going to be a big one for us."
The game against New Canaan, which was played last night, matched Warde with a team that has mirrored them with eight losses in its last nine games. The Rams (4-12) and Warde both snapped eight-game losing streaks with wins last Friday.
Warde's losing streak was snapped with a 15-point win over Bridgeport Central, which turned around and defeated New Canaan by 19 on Tuesday.
But the loss to Bassick may have been good preparation for New Canaan, Swaller said.
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"New Canaan is a pretty physical team, so that's pretty similar to what we saw with Bassick," Swaller said. "But their style of play is different. New Canaan is a half-court team and plays a 1-3-1, so we're going to have to be ready for that."
Warde did put up a good fight against Bassick, which improved its record to 12-1 in the FCIAC and 12-2 overall and is in contention with Ridgefield for the top seed in the league playoffs.
The Mustangs trailed 24-16 at the half, But Bassick went on a 22-13 tear in the third quarter and began to pull away.
"They're a good team and we knew that coming in," Bassick head coach Harrison Taylor said. "They were sound, they played hard. The score didn't dictate how the game was played."
Warde did not concede the game after Bassick went on a roll, and began to mount a comeback in the fourth quarter. Looking for something to spark his team, Swaller ordered a full-court press, and Warde responded with a 9-3 run to make it a 49-38 game with 5:56 remaining.
"We needed to get something going to get our enthusiasm back," Swaller said. "When you're down double-digits, it drains you a little bit. It did bring some life back into us, but we couldn't stop them defensively."
Even fouling Bassick players to send them to the line didn't help the Mustangs. Bassick was 21-31 from the line and that helped the Lions seal the game.
"They're a great team, they have so many different types of players, and even their number five player can handle the ball real well and get to the basket," Swaller said. "They go after the boards, and I thought that hurt us. We gave up too many second-chance points."
Junior forward Sal Siciliano led the Mustangs with 12 points, and senior forward Terrell Walden added nine.