WESTPORT — The Staples boys basketball team got an opportunity to take on one of the best teams in the FCIAC without its best player on Tuesday, and took full advantage.
Lifted by another strong performance from point guard Justin Seideman, the Wreckers downed Danbury 58-44 to even their record at 3-3. The Hatters were without the services of All FCIAC first teamer Marcus Fox, who missed the game with an injury.
Coming off a game in which Staples yielded 81 points to Wilton, the loud echo of exhilaration from the locker was well understood as the playoff hopeful Wreckers avenged their state tournament loss from a year ago.
“We’re going to be in a lot of these games that are close against good teams,” Seideman said. “If we want to be an FCIAC team these are the type of games we need to pull out like we did tonight.”
Seideman once again paced the Wreckers offense, pouring in 23 points as the hosts used a 24-point second quarter to roar to life.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the kids,” Staples coach Colin Devine said. “The first quarter adjustment was finish around the basket. Justin and our guards did a great job of breaking pressure, and we kicked to the corner for some 3s.”
Missed layups hurt Staples early as it fell behind 14-7 after a quarter, but stormed to life offensively behind a combination of shot-making and finishing at the rim. Max Sussman (15 points) knocked down three 3-pointers in the period to help erase the deficit before Seideman relentlessly attacked the rim for layups.
“I just don’t think we brought enough intensity or didn’t do a good job on the defensive end and attacking the zone to get a win,” Danbury coach Casey Bock said. “We didn’t play well defensively tonight.”
A 20-6 run to start the second by the Wreckers gave them a 27-20 advantage, and without Fox and an aggressive defense from Staples, offense was hard to come by for Danbury (5-2).
The Wreckers offense continued to execute to increase the lead to 46-34 heading into the fourth quarter, but the job wasn’t quite done yet. The Hatters pulled to within six on a layup by Jordan Alleyene (12 points) with 4 minutes left to cap an 8-2 run.
Seideman immediately responded with a 3-point play, and three more free throws pushed the lead back up to 12 points. Ice cold shooting late also hurt the Hatters.
“We’re a very deep team; not having Marcus and being able to give him the ball inside hurts a little,” Bock said. “I thought we were deep enough to where we could have come in here and got a win.”
Staples hopes to be one of the many teams vying for a FCIAC playoff spot and lifted its game with an opportunity to secure a quality win.
“When we play from ahead I think we’re a really good team,” Seideman said.
STAPLES 58, DANBURY 44
Chris Torres 1 0-0 3 Cameron Snow 2 0-0 5 Massiah Crandell 0 0-0 0 Tyler Scalzo 3 0-0 9 Diante Vines 0 0-0 0 Javon Hernandez 1 2-2 4 John Andrew Mollenthiel 0 2-2 2 Jordan Alleyne 5 2-5 12 Denali Burton 2 1-2 5 Keyon Moore 1 0-0 2. Totals: 15 7-11 44.
Sean Pritchett 3 6-8 12 Justin Seideman 7 9-12 23 Brendan Massoud 0 1-2 1 Max Sussman 5 0-0 15 Matt Fair 1 0-0 2 Evan Vishno 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 15-20 58.
DANBURY 14 10 10 10—44
STAPLES 7 24 14 13—58
3-pointers: D—Torres, Scalzo 3.