Pickens' Perspective: Struggling Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball has reason for hope
Published 1:06 am, Friday, January 29, 2010
The Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball team could be the most dangerous team in the Class L state playoffs.
This could be a true statement if the Falcons can just find a way to get in the Class L state playoffs.
Right now Ludlowe is mired in a three-game losing streak and sits at 4--7 and just 2--6 in the FCIAC. All of the information shown above would be agony enough, if not for the fact that the Falcons have been in every game they've played.
Ludlowe has not lost a game by more than eight points so far this season. The Falcons have lost to the No. 10 team in the state, Harding, the FCIAC's third-ranked team, Bassick; and FCIAC tournament eligible, Norwalk, each by three points. Ludlowe lost to 9--2 Stamford 54--49 on Tuesday night in a game that the Falcons were in until the last 10 seconds of the game.
"We just can't seem to get over the hump," Ludlowe guard Kevin Bentivegna said.
"I think the club we played is as good as there is in the FCIAC," Stamford Head Coach Jim Moriarity said. "We were lucky to win."
Unfortunately, Ludlowe hasn't been lucky enough to win any of those games. Ludlowe's lone "close" win was a double overtime thriller with New Canaan on Jan. 12. The other three wins that the Falcons got were comfortable wins, each by more than eight points
Ludlowe is becoming terribly frustrated and it confirms Moriarity's beliefs. This is a team that, on paper, doesn't wow anyone. Yet, it competes every night and fights to the bitter end, only to find a new way to have its heart ripped from its chest at the end.
"Too many almosts," Ludlowe Head Coach Josh Marko said. "You can see the frustration on the kids' faces ... I feel like we're creating ways to lose."
"Teams come into the gym thinking they're going to win by 50," Bentivegna said. "We give every team a tough game."
Fortunately for the Falcons, there is hope in sight. Ludlowe plays Wilton today, and the Falcons' next three games after are against Greenwich, Trinity Catholic and Staples, each of which is beatable.
If Ludlowe can get some confidence rolling down the stretch it could prove to be a spoiler for the FCIAC playoffs and upstart for the state playoffs. Ludlowe is fully aware of this.
"We're right there with everyone," Marko said. "We just have to get over the hump, and if we do I think we can be very dangerous."
If you consider the teams that Ludlowe has gone face-to-face with this season, the talent that it has in center Andrew Kimberly, guards Bentivegna and Erik Krumins and the lunch pail effort that Billy Malone and Brett Krumins provide every night, there is no reason why Ludlowe couldn't be a tough team to eliminate come tournament time.
If it can find a way to get there.