FAIRFIELD -- Opening night presents the opportunity for a variety of players to emerge out of nowhere and make an immediate impact. Staples sophomore Sean Pritchett took advantage of such a situation on Friday night.

Making his first varsity appearance, Pritchett converted a layup with 38 seconds left, helping send Staples to a 52-49 road win over Ludlowe on Friday night. The Falcons dropped to 1-1 while the Wreckers (1-0) were idle Wednesday.

The shot capped a wild fourth quarter that kept the gap between the two teams at two points or less. After Nick Esposito sank a free throw with 12 seconds remaining, the Falcons took possession and had a few chances at the tying bucket, but none fell and the Wreckers celebrated the win.

"We played great man-to-man defense all game," Wreckers coach Colin Devine said. "As coaches we wanted to change it up but we thought our guys would do their jobs. We got a few great stops, a couple of offensive rebounds."

After hitting the shot on a nice feed by fellow sophomore Justin Seideman, Pritchett, who scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth, turned right around to defend Falcons' top scorer Matt Doyle (14 points) and forced a contested shot.

"Sean's had a nice 10-12 days of practice," Devine said. "He came in and made some big plays on both ends of the floor. He's a confident kid; I knew he would get the job done."

Staples immediately turned the ball over after securing the rebound, but Ludlowe missed a layup and the Wreckers retook possession. After Esposito's free throw, one more defensive stop secured victory.

"We looked for a little handoff, we were going to try to get it to (Doyle) in the corner," Ludlowe coach John Dailey said. "We got a contested look, missed it, and that was that."

The Falcons led 40-34 near the end of the third quarter, but a layup by Connor Whelan and a 3-pointer by Ben Casparius (13 points) got the Wreckers to within three points to start the quarter. The teams went back-and-forth for the entire final eight minutes.

"We didn't close the door with a six-point lead when we probably needed to," Dailey said. "(Staples is) a well-coached team, they ran a lot of good stuff and made shots."

Pritchett hit a 3-pointer to give Staples a 47-46 lead. Owen Mockler hit a triple to answer for Ludlowe, and Esposito's putback made it 49-49 with 2:13 left.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first quarter. Ludlowe quickly took a 10-5 lead three minutes into the game, only for the Wreckers to storm back and close the period on a 16-7 run.

"We're trying to get the ball down the floor and get some good looks early," Devine said. "We've got a great senior big man in (Esposito), we have great shooters in (Whelan and Casparius); we're spacing the floor well."

Whelan tied the game early in the fourth quarter with a dunk off a steal.

"I have to be honest, I didn't know he had it in him," Devine joked. "But I'm happy for him."

Staples 52, Fairfield Ludlowe 49


Nick Esposito 4 2-4 10 Connor Whelan 5 0-0 11 Ben Casparius 5 0-0 13 Harry Kohn 1 0-0 3 Justin Seideman 1 0-0 2 Sean Pritchett 5 2-3 13. Totals: 21 4-7 52.


Matt Doyle 6 1-4 14 Thomas Duffy 4 0-0 10 Hayes Kelchner 2 1-1 5 Darren Lee 2 0-0 5 Owen Mockler 2 0-0 6 Chris Howell 4 1-2 9. Totals: 20 3-7 49.

STAPLES 21 6 12 13--52

LUDLOWE 17 6 19 7--49

3-pointers: S--Whelan, Casparius 3, Kohn, Pritchett; L--Duffy 2, Doyle, Lee, Mockler 2.