UNCASVILLE -- For as long as it has taken the Fairfield Prep basketball team to get over the hump in the Class LL championship there was no way it was going to be easy when it finally got to raise the trophy.

After a missed free throw by Prep, Westhill's 3-point attempt at the buzzer by Voshon Natteal hit off the rim, giving the Jesuits their first state championship since 1997 after being runner-up in 2014, 2013 and 2011, knocking off the Vikings 51-50 in front of a lively crowd at Mohegan Sun.

"The whole year we have been working hard. I don't think we were even ranked at the start of the season but we are family and we just couldn't let our family down," Prep guard Rich Kelly said. "I thought we could win a state championship since the first day of practice."

The loss snapped a 22-game win streak for the Vikings (25-2), who won the FCIAC championship.

"It was unfortunate the way it went down but they have nothing to hold their heads down about," Westhill coach Howard White said. "What they did this season, words can't even explain what this group of kids brought to the table."

Kelly gave Prep a 3-point cushion connecting on two free throws with 40 seconds left, but missed one later, keeping the lead at three before Westhill's CJ Donaldson made a circus layup with 16 seconds left, cutting the lead to one.

After another missed front end of a one-and-one the Vikings could not get the ball into the hands of standout guard Jeremiah Livingston as the Jesuits locked him up as they had all game, forcing the final shot to come from somewhere else in the final seconds.

Prep held Livingston to just one field goal and 12 points by getting in his face and blocking his path to the basket with solid help defense.

"We wanted to make his life miserable, to be frank, and I thought we did a really good job of that," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "Anytime he had the ball in the open floor we jumped him. He's a phenomenal player but I saw he likes to take it to the hoop in the second half and we wanted to make sure we cut off all the lanes to the hoop. Our help `D' was phenomenal."

Prep was led by 13 points from Patrick Harding with Kelly and Thomas Nolan adding 12 apiece. Nolan also had nine rebounds and plenty of floor burns after getting after loose balls all night.

White said the idea was to get the ball to Livingston at the end but Prep shut that down, forcing the ball away from him.

"We had a good look, a good shot but it just didn't fall," White said. "The idea was to put the ball in (Livingston's) hands but they came at CJ and you can't just rely on that one player and everyone else stepped up."

With Livingston held in check it was Tyrell Alexander (14 points) and Donaldson (14 points) stepping up and keeping the Vikings in the game all night.

"I don't want to pick and choose as far as my teams are concerned," White said. "But as far as the family aspect and togetherness -- this group was one of the best," White said. "That's what basketball is all about, stepping up."

Redgate said this group of players earned their title after letting an 18-point lead get away in last year's final against Central.

"These kids have been fighting all year," Redgate said. "Last year left a tough taste in our mouths but they really stuck together. But it is a fitting end for a team that has had a terrific record the last five years. They deserve it."

scott.ericson@scni.com; @EricsonSports

FAIRFIELD PREP (25-2 )

Thomas Nolan 3 3-7 12; Ryan Foley 3 0-0 8; Rich Kelly 3 5-7 12; Joe DiGennaro 2 2-2 6; Patrick Harding 5 3-4 13 Totals: 17 11-15 51

WESTHILL (25-2 )

Tyrell Alexander 6 2-4 14; Juan De La Cruz 1 0-0 2; CJ Donaldson 7 0-0 14; Jeremiah Livingston 1 9-11 12; Brendon Thomas 0 0-0 0; Voshon Natteal 2 0-0 6. Totals: 17 11-15 50

FAIRFIELD PREP 13 13 16 9--51

WESTHILL 13 16 15 6--50

3-point field goals: FP--Nolan 3; Kelly; Foley 2. W--Natteal 2; Livingston

Fouled out: W--Alexander