St. Joseph goes downtown to defeat Westhill
TRUMBULL — St. Joseph and Westhill each featured quick guards and aggressive big men willing to go at it when the Vikings visited the Cadets at Vito Montelli Court in an FCIAC matchup on Tuesday night.
What gave St. Joseph the edge was its ability to score on the deep ball.
Coach Kevin Wielk’s Cadets made seven 3-pointers and that helped distance them from coach Howard White’s Vikings, 78-49.
St. Joseph upped its mark to 4-2. Westhill is 3-4.
Paul Fabbri was the main architect of the blitzkreig from downtown.
“We have a lot of kids, not the same one every night,” said Fabbri, a senior guard and co-captain who scored 19 points. “(It is a) new person stepping up. Team first mentality, not just one kid. (I’m) really excited about how many (players) can come in and make a difference.”
The Cadets’ Jason James scored 15 points with 3 assists and 2 steals. Jared Grindrod had 12 points, 3 assists and 2 steals.
“Our guys have been going after it,” Wielk said. “This is the second year with my defensive system and the guys have learned it. We have different presses, and we want to go up tempo. We are two deep at every position. I have confidence in them...I tell them that’s why they are on the team, that’s why they get reps every day in practice.”
The Cadets’ Jason James and Westhill’s Jeyson Slade (13 points) are electric with the basketball and the sophomores led a free-for-all of a first period that ended with St. Joe’s in front 20-16.
The frontcourt players mixed it up with St. Joseph, led by Will Diamantis, Brian Robertson, Carson Arkay and Hadyn Gourley, getting after it with the Vikings’ Tim McKeithan, Ryder Kurtz, Nick Lappis, Odin Cordero and Adam Lamothe.
James scored 7 points in the second quarter, and Fabbri had 6 to propel the Cadets to a 38-28 advantage. Ben Pennella scored 5 points, including a 3-pointer, and Cordero had two buckets.
Stalling the Vikings bid to rally back was a 2 for 12 performance from the foul line in the first two quarters. St. Joseph made 8 of 13 from the stripe.
Westhill scored on 3 of 4 possessions midway through the third quarter, but Fabbri hit a pair of treys flanking that stretch to keep the Cadet lead at 12.
St. Joseph made baskets on 4 of 5 trips to end the frame and took a 61-40 lead into the fourth period.
Westhill coach White said: “My main thing is that they keep the line of communication open on the court. Overall we are a sound team on defense. We are a young team. I feel the best is ahead of them. What I like is that when our best player went down (Jack Schlachtenhaufen), the kids had to find their identity. Overall they did that.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
St. Joseph’s Paul Fabbri scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
“Last year we got a taste of success (14-10 record, trip to Division IV semifinals). We have a couple of wins in in a row. This year we are really looking to make a run late into FCIACs.” — St. Joseph’s Paul Fabbri
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ST. JOSEPH 78, WESTHILL 49
WESTHILL16 12 12 9—49
ST. JOSEPH20 18 23 17—78
WESTHILL (3-4, 1-4 FCIAC)
Jeyson Slade 5 2-6 13, Aiden Lamothe 1 0-0 2, Ben Pennella 4 0-0 9, Tim McKeithan 1 0-0 2, Nick Lappas 2 0-0 5, Greyson Miller 1 1-2 3, Odin Cordero 2 0-0 4, Chris Gage 1 0-0 3. Totals: 20 5-12 49
ST. JOSEPH (4-2, 3-1 FCIAC)
Jared Grindrod 5 1-2 12, Will Diamantis 2 4-5 8, Tommy Shannon 2 0-0 6, Paul Fabbri 7 3-4 19, Jason James 6 3-5 15, Anthony Rainey 1 0-0 3, Nate Ortiz 0 0-0 0, Brandon Hutchinson 1 0-0 2, Patrick Dineen 0 0-0 0, Tim Gavrish 0 0-0 0, Derrick Midy 0 0-0 0, Carson Arkay-Leliever 0 2-2 2, Brian Robertson 2 0-0 4, Derek Long 2 0-0 4, Hayden Gorley 1 0-0 3. Totals: 29 13-18 78
3-Pointers: WH-Slade, Pennella, Lappas, Gage; SJ-Shannon 2, Fabbri 2, Grindrod, Rainey, Gorley.