Westhill routs Ludlowe to secure No. 1 seed in FCIAC playoffs
STAMFORD -- The Westhill boys basketball team has played solid defense in spurts this season, but never completely smothered a team from start to finish.
What better time to turn in the best defensive performance of the season with the FCIAC's No. 2 team coming to town with aspirations of handing the Vikings their first league loss.
The Vikings (18-1, 17-0 FCIAC) held visiting Ludlowe to just nine first-half points en route to a 61-38 victory.
The win secures the No. 1 seed in next week's FCIAC tournament for the Vikings.
The Falcons (13-5, 12-4) can still lock up the No. 2 seed with victories next week.
Westhill quickly closed on every shooter, darting in to passing lanes and generally disrupting the Falcons offense all night.
"We just wanted to play some defense, man," Westhill guard CJ Donaldson said. "We knew they were shooters and we just had to play defense and stop them from shooting uncontested jump shots."
Donaldson scored 13 points, many of those in transition after steals, Tyrell Alexander had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds and Jeremiah Livingston scored nine points while dishing out 11 assists.
The offense came easily with the defense on fire as Westhill led 29-9 at halftime
"That's what we talked about, picking up the intensity on defense," Westhill coach Howard White said. "At times this year we have been lacking on the defensive end but tonight they picked up the intensity and we can't pick a better time to do that. We had to close in on shooters and we had to move our feet."
The Vikings led by as many as 29 in the second half with Ludlowe having to come out of its zone, chasing the Vikings in a man-to-man.
Playing man against the backcourt of Donaldson and Livingston was not ideal for the Falcons but they were able to trim the final margin by a bit.
"Hats off to Westhill they came in ready and shot the lights out and played at another level and we did not," Ludlowe coach John Dailey said. "When you are down like that you have to take some chances but CJ and Jeremiah are the best backcourt in the league and they make you pay when you do take those chances. My kids played hard and went right to the horn. It's a learning lesson tonight but we will be back."
Chad Peterson led the Falcons with 11 points with Matt Doyle adding 10.
Westhill 61, Ludlowe 38
WESTHILL (18-1, 17-0 FCIAC)
Jeremiah Livingston 4 1-1 9; Tyrell Alexander 7 2-2 16; Brendon Thomas 1 0-0 2; Juan De La Cruz 2 1-2 5; CJ Donaldson 6 1-2 13; Samir Johnson 2 0-0 5; Leonold Auguste 4 0-0 8; Ross Levenson 1 0-0 3. Totals: 27 5-7 61
LUDLOWE (13-5, 12-4 FCIAC)
WESTHILL 14 15 18 14--61
LUDLOWE 5 4 11 18--38
3-point field goals: W -- Johnson; Levenson. L -- Peterson; Prewitt Smith
Fouled out: None