WESTPORT--With the Staples basketball team searching for an offensive spark, it turned to the youngest player on the court.
It wasn't completely a surprise, as the freshman has emerged as one of the Wreckers' top threats from beyond the arc.
Ben Casparius scored a team-high 15 points, including a trio of 3-pointers and David Katz scored all eight of his points in the fourth quarter as the Wreckers improved to 2-2 on the season with a 50-42 win over New Canaan on Monday afternoon.
Casparius, who hit two triples in the Wreckers 65-59 defeat to Darien Friday in the opening game of a three-team round robin holiday series, scored 10 points in a low-scoring first half against the Rams.
"It's great to see that; (Casparius) works hard every day in practice," Katz said. "He's hit some big shots for us throughout the season and today he was making everything so we were trying to feed him the ball."
The Wreckers survived a 22-point effort from New Canaan junior Claude Chandonnet, who went 6-of-12 from long range in the defeat. Andrew Penchuck, who had 20 in the Rams' defeat to New Canaan Saturday, was held scoreless while being saddled in foul trouble.
"(Chandonnet) hit a lot of big shots but we were able to get a hand in his face a lot of the time," Staples coach Colin Devine said. "It was a total defensive effort from every position. We had great leadership."
Scoring wasn't easy for most of the 32 minutes as the score was 31-29 heading into the final period. Defenses were on top until that point as neither team managed to sustain quality offensive possession. The Rams had a particularly cold stretch to begin the second half, not scoring until 2:53 remaining in the third quarter.
A number of Wreckers had a hand in outscoring New Canaan 19-13 in the final period. Katz hit a 3-pointer with 6:29 left to extend the lead to 36-29, Darryle Wiggins sunk a pair of free throws -- that made the score 47-40 with 1:15 left and took two charges down the stretch to preserve the win.
"(Katz) came through with a big 3 at the end, (Andrew Felman) hit some big free throws, (Wiggins) took two big charges," Devine said.
Devine called for an improved defensive effort against the Rams after giving up 21 points in the fourth quarter against the Blue Wave and was pleased with the improvement. Katz agreed.
"Defensively we knew we had to lock up the 3-point shooters and force the ball to their left side," Katz said. "In the last two minutes we did a good job sticking in, we had some clutch 3's but we really won the game on the defensive end."
The Rams, who went 1-of-5 from the line and didn't reach the charity stripe until the third period, attempted 21 3-pointers while making seven. Felman scored 11 points for the Wreckers.
STAPLES 50, NEW CANAAN 42
NEW CANAAN (1-2)
Tyler Sweeney 1 0-0 2 Claude Chardonnet 9 0-1 22 Kyle Smith 3 0-0 6 Paul Hagopian 2 1-2 5 Andrew Penchuck 0 0-0 0 Erik Jager 2 0-0 5 Beau Santero 1 0-2 2. Totals: 19 1-5 42
NEW CANAAN 10 12 7 13--42
STAPLES 12 9 10 19--50
3-pointers: NC--Chardonnet 6, Jager; S-- Casparius 3, Felman 2, Katz.