The Fairfield Ludlowe boys basketball team continues to win with defense.


The Falcons stymied arch-rival Warde at every turn, gaining a wire-to-wire 42-30 win over the Mustangs on Tuesday at Ludlowe.

Mark Malone scored a game-high 19 points, as the Falcons improved to 6-7. Ludlowe held its opposition below 40 points for the fourth time this year -- improving to 4-0 in such contests.

"I thought our defense was for real tonight," Ludlowe coach Brian Silvestro said. "We challenged every shot, and we didn't overplay ... there is something to that that's a good thing."

Mark Byrne led Warde with 11 points, and Max Garrett scored 10, grabbing four rebounds. The Mustangs fell to 4-10.

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"Their defense definitely slowed us down," Warde coach Ryan Swaller said. "Those guys had 21 of our 30 ... you're not going to win with two guys scoring 21, and the rest scoring nine points."

Ludlowe held Warde to just 12 field goals, using an aggressive man-to-man defense. The Falcons also outrebounded the Mustangs 28-25.

"It was working enough for us," Silvestro said of his defense.

Ludlowe also gained significant contributions from role-players. Matthew Doyle hit a pair of 3-pointers, Dan Santella scored three points and grabbed seven rebounds.

"We've developed a couple of them now," Silvestro said. "We don't drop off at all when those guys are in the game."

After trailing 23-12 at halftime, the Mustangs opened the third with an 8-2 run, getting within 25-20. Byrne and Garrett combined for all eight points, and Warde's defense frazzled the Falcons.

"I loved our intesity coming out," Swaller said.

But Ludlowe closed the third with a 7-0 run. Alex Gorusch's layup with just two seconds left capped the third-quarter scoring. Malone's 3-pointer-- his fifth of the game-- boosted that run to 10-0, as Ludlowe built its largest lead, 35-20.

"I felt (Malone) played an amazing game," Swaller said. "It seemed like every shot he took went in."

Malone hit four of his 3-pointers in the first half as Ludlowe led by as many as 12, 20-8.

"I knew I wanted to come out and get my shot going early," Malone said. "I was shooting with confidence and was feeling composed."

"He played a really solid game," Silvestro said.

The Falcons' staunch defense also kept Warde to just four first-half field goals-- three of which came from Byrne.

"Everyone contributed so hard," Malone said. "I'm looking forward to playing that kind of defense the next couple of games.";

Fairfield Ludlowe 42, Fairfield Warde 30

Warde (4-10, 4-8 FCIAC)

Max Garrett 4 2-2 10 Nick Cotto 0 2-2 2 Michael Pehota 1 0-0 2 Brian Kerrigan 0 0-0 0 T.J. Gallagher 0 0-0 0 T.J. Tracey 1 0-0 3 Hunter Smaldone 1 0-0 2 Terrance Walden 0 0-0 0 Mark Byrne 5 0-0 11 Totals 12 4-4 30

Ludlowe (6-7, 5-6)

Dan Santella 1 1-5 3 Owen Mockler 0 0-0 0 Matthew Doyle 2 0-0 6 Darren Lee 0 0-0 0 Chad Peterson 0 0-0 0 Mark Malone 6 2-3 19 Jonah Rosner 0 0-0 0 Patrick Gutierrez 1 2-4 4 Kiran Prakash 0 0-2 0 Stephen Scholz 1 0-0 2 Connor Peterson 3 0-0 6 Alex Gorusch 1 0-0 2 Totals 15 5-14 42.

WARDE 5 7 8 10-- 30

LUDLOWE 12 11 9 10-- 42

3-pointers: Warde 2 (Byrne, Tracey); Ludlowe 7 (Malone 5, Doyle 2).