No. 2 Fairfield Prep knocks off No. 1 Hillhouse in boys basketball
In round two of No. 1 vs. No. 2, the road team won again.
Fairfield Prep, the state's second-ranked team, improved to 7-0 on the road, knocking off No. 1 Hillhouse, 57-52, at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven Tuesday night.
"I'm really proud of the boys," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "I thought we played terrific."
Prep avenged its lone-loss, a Jan. 15 home defeat to the Academics. Paschal Chukwu led Prep with 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, Tim Butala scored 13 and freshman Ryan Murphy added 14 as the Jesuits improved to 15-1 overall.
"We're trying to reach our goal and be the best team in the state," Murphy said. "As a team it was a great win."
Andre Anderson led Hillhouse with 18 points and Bobby Bynum Jr. added 12 as the Academics fell for the first time.
"They came out with a game plan, they executed their stuff," Hillhouse coach Renard Sutton said. "We came out flat ... with the attitude that we're Hillhouse, and we don't have to play the game. As good as we are, we still have to play the game."
Prep never trailed, and led by as many as 15 in the fourth quarter. The Jesuits played tough, patient defense, and Murphy scored eight in the third quarter, as Prep outscored Hillhouse 13-6.
Butala's jumper closed Prep's 15-3 run, which lifted the Jesuits' lead to 46-31 with 7:18 remaining.
"We did good," Redgate said. "We had a game plan, and we stuck to it."
But the Academics quickly cut into that lead using an aggressive zone press to generate steals. Hillhouse forced Prep into 12 second-half turnovers, which keyed the Academics' 15-4 run. Hillhouse got as close as 52-51 with 2:23 to play.
"They're an aggressive, athletic team," Redgate said. "Even when we were up ... it didn't matter, I knew they were going to come back."
But Raiquan Clark missed a game-tying free throw attempt, and Dave Zielinski's 3-pointer from the left wing boosted Prep's advantage back to four, 55-51, with two minutes left.
"That shot was huge," Sutton said. "We knew we were going to have to foul after he hit that shot."
"It really put the game away," Zielinski said.
Chukwu scored 11 of his 16 in the first half, nine of which came in the Jesuits' 16-3 game-opening run.
The Academics closed the first with a 7-2 run, cutting Prep's lead to 18-10 after one. Murphy and Butala keyed an 8-1 run that boosted the Jesuits advantage back to 13 at 26-13.
But Hillhouse cut into Prep's lead when Chukwu picked up his third foul at 5:36 of the second. Anderson keyed Hillhouse's 12-5 spurt, which allowed the Academics to close Prep's halftime lead to 31-25.
"Your big guy is going to get in foul trouble," Murphy said. "They're a very aggressive team."
FAIRFIELD PREP (15-1, 13-1 SCC)
HILLHOUSE (15-1, 13-1)
Andre Anderson 5 5-6 18 Bobby Bynum 5 0-0 12 Chaise Daniels 0 4-6 4 Corey Staggers 0 1-2 1 Shane Christie 3 3-4 9 Raiquan Clark 3 0-3 6 Christopher Leak Jr. 1 0-0 2 Marcus Brown 0 0-0 0 Quiaun Sturges 0 0-0 0 Dion Allick Boyd 0 0-0 0 Derrell Lee 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 13-21 52.
FAIRFIELD PREP 18 13 13 23--57
HILLHOUSE 10 15 6 21--52
3-pointers: FP--Zielinski 2, Butala; H--Anderson 3, Bynum 2.