After losing a lead late in its opener at Greenwich, then blowing a 12-point advantage against Trumbull High on Monday, the Fairfield Warde boys basketball team easily could have packed it in.

Instead, the Mustangs' offense -- and Max Garrett in particular -- finished off their first win.

Warde outscored Trumbull 14-6 in the final 3:18, as the Mustangs picked up a 61-54 win on Monday at Trumbull High.

"I think it was a good win," Garrett said. "We bounced back from that Greenwich game. We learned from that, we didn't sulk ... and we were in a similar situation and we closed it out."

Garrett led all scorers with 27 points, going 15-for-15 at the foul line as the Mustangs improved to 1-1.

Trumbull was just 3-for-13 from the line the first half and finished 9-for-19 for the game. Sophomore Rashard Rodriguez led the Eagles with 17 points and freshman Matt Turner scored 16 points with four 3-pointers.

After watching a five-point lead evaporate in the last 2:10 in an opening-night loss to Greenwich, the Mustangs watched a 33-21 third-quarter lead disappear on Monday. Turner's four 3-pointers all came in the second half.

"We know (Turner) is going to be a special player," Trumbull coach Buddy Bray said. "He played very well for a freshman. He hit some big shots that got us back into the game."

An 8-0 fourth-quarter run -- capped by Ryan McCabe's two free throws -- gave Trumbull a 48-47 lead with 3:18 left.

But Mike Pehota's drive to the basket helped Warde re-gain the lead. After a Warde stop, Garrett's fall-away jumper helped the Mustangs build their advantage to 51-48.

"(Pehota) had a great drive to the basket," Warde coach Ryan Swaller said. "From that point on, I felt like we knew we had to control it."

"We used a lot of energy trying to get back into the game," Bray said.

Garrett scored eight of Warde's final 12 points.

"It's just leadership," Swaller said. "He's the only guy that's gotten varsity minutes the last few years, and he wants the ball ... that's what I expect from him."

Warde outscored Trumbull 18-9 in the second quarter, using a 7-0 run to close the half with a 30-21 halftime advantage. Garrett's 3-pointer to start the half lifted that edge to 33-21.

"The kid Garrett really hurt us," Bray said. "He played well.";


Max Garrett 5 15-15 27 Terrance Walden 3 2-5 9 Mark Byrne 1 0-2 2 Nick Cotto 3 2-6 8 Brian Kerrigan 1 2-4 4 Michael Pehota 3 0-0 6 Hunter Smaldone 2 0-0 5. Totals 18 21-32 61.


Matt Turner 4 4-4 16 Jake Levison 5 1-2 12 Rashard Rodriguez 5 2-3 17 Kevin Mott 0 0-0 0 Luke Waldek 2 0-4 4 Ryan McCabe 1 2-2 5 John Watts 0 0-4 0 Billy Stickle 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 9-19 54.

FAIRFIELD WARDE 12 18 9 22--6

TRUMBULL 12 914 19--54

3-pointers: T--Turner 4, Rodriguez 3, McCabe, Levison; FW--Garrett 2, Walden, Smaldone.