FAIRFIELD -- Notre Dame-Fairfield learned on Tuesday that the best way to neutralize Weston's Matt Folger was to force the 6-foot-8 center into foul trouble. Folger sat for more than four minutes in the third quarter, and the Lancers pulled out to their largest lead at the time.

Unfortunately for the Lancers, Folger returned in the fourth quarter to help Weston rally for a 62-59 win at Sister Marion Rielly Auditorium.

Weston (6-2) made up a nine-point deficit over the final six minutes, hitting nine of its 11 free throws in the fourth quarter.

"Let's give Weston credit," Notre Dame coach Vin Laczkoski said. "They made their free throws down the stretch. I'm really at a loss for words right now."

Folger scored 19 points, including 12 in the fourth quarter, and contributed seven rebounds and six blocks. After tying it 54-54 at the free-throw line with 1:22 left, Folger hit a jumper in the final minute to give Weston the lead for good.

"He's our best player, so we want the ball in his hands," Weston coach Mike Hvizdo said. "He wants the ball in his hands. ... It says a lot about the kid."

Guard Nikholas Parker led Weston with 23 points, and CJ Davidson scored 22 for the Lancers, who were burned by too many empty possessions down the stretch.

Leading 54-52, Notre Dame settled into clock-killing mode and ran off roughly 90 seconds by passing the ball around the perimeter. Ultimately, the possession ended with a missed shot and a Folger rebound.

"We shot a floater which we should've never shot," Laczkoski said. "If we had just held the ball, we probably would've gotten fouled -- but we didn't."

The possession surprised Hvizdo, but in a different way.

"I was actually shocked that they pulled it out and wanted to waste time with so much time left," he said. "That says a lot about our program."

Jesse McIntosh (15 points) hit a 3-pointer to pull Notre Dame within 58-57 with 34.1 seconds left, but Folger put Weston back up three with a pair of free throws on the next possession. After Hamilton Forsythe made one free throw with 12.9 seconds remaining to give Weston a 62-59 lead, Clay Westerman's last-chance 3-pointer bounced off the rim.

The Lancers have now lost twice in the last three games with matchups against Brookfield (6-1) and defending Class S champion Sacred Heart, the state's top-ranked team at 6-0, upcoming.

"We self-destructed," Laczkoski said. "Usually when we have a lead here at Notre Dame ... we don't lose the game."

Except against Weston, they did.

Parker hit a fadeway 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to get Weston within 34-32. Folger, who was saddled with three fouls, sat for the first 4:28 of the third quarter.

Notre Dame was up 43-36 late in the third, but the Trojans trimmed the lead to four heading into the fourth quarter.

"These kids just faced adversity," Hvizdo said, "and they never gave up."

dbonjour@ctpost.com; twitter.com/DougBonjour

WESTON (6-2)

Zach Spencer 0 0-2 0 Matthew Gurman 0 1-2 1 Chris Hover 0 0-0 0 Julian Bombart 1 0-0 2 Zach Clevenger 2 3-4 9 Andrew Manion 1 0-1 2 Nikholas Parker 10 2-3 23 Andrew Folger 0 0-0 0 Hamilton Forsythe 2 2-4 6 Reed Monges 0 0-0 0 Matt Folger 5 8-8 19. Totals 21 16-23 62.


Jesse McIntosh 5 2-2 15 Woodley Monnexant 1 0-0 2 Garnell Bell 0 0-0 0 Jake Heaton 2 0-1 4 Jordan Pettway 3 5-6 12 Clay Westerman 0 0-0 0 Ryan Keeley 1 0-0 2 Noreaga Davis 0 0-0 0 Colin Burke 1 0-0 2 CJ Davidson 7 7-8 22 Justin Federici 0 0-0 0 Jordan Genias 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 14-17 59.

WESTON 19 13 7 23 -- 62

ND-FAIRFIELD 15 19 9 16 -- 59

3-pointers: W -- Clevenger 2, Parker, Folger; NDF -- McIntosh 3, Pettway, Davidson.

Fouled out: NDF -- McIntosh, Burke.