FAIRFIELD -- Ludlowe stumbled through its worst shooting stretch of the season, hitting just one field goal over the first eight minutes of Thursday's showdown with Trumbull.

Fortunately, the FCIAC upstart had a backup plan.

Stepping up their aggressiveness on both ends of the floor, the Falcons rallied to pick up an imperfect yet crucial 46-36 win over Trumbull.

"This was kind of our first real test," said Ludlowe coach John Dailey, whose team won for the fifth time in six games to improve to 7-3. "I felt like Trumbull's a really good basketball team, and we have a really tough game Tuesday at McMahon."

As much as the Falcons struggled early from the floor, falling behind 12-4 after the first quarter, the slow start didn't cost them. That's because Trumbull (5-4) suffered through a dismal stretch of its own.

The Eagles shot 14-for-51 from the floor, including just 5-for-26 in the second half, en route to a second straight gut-wrenching defeat. They blew a 16-point lead in Tuesday's loss to McMahon.

"We just did not shoot the basketball," coach Buddy Bray said. "I thought we had good looks, I thought the kids ran their stuff, we just didn't finish."

The Falcons took advantage of those struggles and finished the game on a commanding 16-0 run. They outscored Trumbull 29-19 in the second half, including 17-5 in the fourth quarter.

Senior forward Chad Peterson led Ludlowe with 14 points, thanks to a 10-for-16 effort from the free-throw line, and Matt Doyle added 11 points.

"We definitely thought we needed to get the ball inside more," Peterson said. "The first half we missed a lot of outside shots. We didn't really want to rely on that in the second half."

Trailing 36-30 in the fourth quarter, the Falcons parlayed their stops on defense into a pair of layups by Doyle and Peterson on the other end. Peterson put the Falcons ahead 37-36 at the free-throw line with 3:51 left.

Guard Rashard Rodriguez led Trumbull with 13 points, eight of which came in the first half. Bennett McCullough had seven points and two players finished with six apiece.

"They beat us at their game," Bray said, "because we didn't knock down shots. Poor shooting will do that. They ran their stuff.

"I thought defensively, a 40-point basketball game, that's a pretty good job."

Ludlowe iced the game at the free-throw line, where it shot 11-of-17 in the fourth quarter and 23-of-31 for the game.

Trumbull took its largest lead of the game at 12-2 in the first quarter, but Ludlowe warmed up from the floor and pulled within 22-17 at the half. The Falcons took its first lead of the game, 27-24, on a conventional 3-point play by Owen Mockler in the third quarter.

"The first quarter was tough. We were just lost on offense," Peterson said. "We weren't running our offense. We were just rushing shots and taking bad shots."

dbonjour@ctpost.com; twitter.com/DougBonjour


Brandon Owen 0 0-0 0 Chris Lyons 2 2-2 6 Rashard Rodriguez 6 0-0 13 Michael Miller 0 0-0 0 Eddie McElroy 2 1-2 6 Billy Brown 1 2-2 4 Bennett McCullough 3 1-2 7 Jason Micalizzi 0 0-0 0 Frank Puglia 0 0-0 0 Jack Moore 0 0-0 0 JJ Pfohl 0 0-0 0 Eddie Giovannini 0 0-0 0 Joe Nemcheck 0 0-0 0 Justin Appleby 0 0-0 0 Alex Recker 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 6-8 36.


Owen Mockler 1 1-1 3 Matt Doyle 4 3-5 11 Darren Lee 2 0-0 5 Tom Duffy 0 0-0 0 Greg Lawrence 0 2-2 2 Tim Berardino 0 0-0 0 Brendan Mockler 0 0-0 0 Mason Rush 0 0-0 0 Cole Prowitt-Smith 0 2-2 2 Chad Peterson 2 10-16 14 Steven Zembruski 0 0-0 0 Hayes Kelchner 2 4-4 8 Frank Lumaj 0 0-0 0 Aidan Kudzy 0 0-0 0 Chris Howell 0 1-1 1. Totals 11 23-31 46.

TRUMBULL 12 10 9 5 -- 36

LUDLOWE 4 13 12 17 -- 46

3-pointers: T -- Rodriguez, McElroy; L -- Lee. Fouled out: T -- McElroy; L -- Kelchner.