GFA pulls away from Brunswick to win first FAA boys basketball title
Updated 4:06 pm, Monday, February 25, 2013
On Saturday, for the first time in program history, GFA finally got to experience what life is like on the other end of the spectrum.
Led by a game-high 24 points from senior forward Sean Obi, the top-seeded Dragons roared past Brunswick 67-42 at home to win the school's first FAA boys basketball title.
"It hadn't sunk in, to be honest," said Scott, the Dragons' third-year coach, just moments after cutting down the net at Coyle Gym. "It was all set up to end this way. The coach's job is just to avoid that it didn't end this way."
Leading by six points, GFA opened the second half with a commanding 18-2 run and outscored Brunswick 35-16 over the final 16 minutes to secure its 15 straight win.
The Dragons (21-2) got 17 points in the first half from the Rice University-bound Obi and took the lead for good with a 6-0 run right before halftime. The Dragons, whose last loss came back on Jan. 10, led 32-26 at the break.
"He's just a really high-I.Q. kid," Scott said of Obi. "He scored more tonight because that's what the defense was giving us. I think he's got incredible judgement for a kid his age. He just knows when he's supposed to do it, and when to feed his teammates."
"This is basically a dream come true," Obi said of the title.
After a shaky start, one that included nine first-half turnovers, the Dragons settled down in the second half and attacked the cold-shooting Bruins from all areas of the floor. The Dragons scored the first 12 points of the second half to go ahead 44-26, and the lead later ballooned to 28 points.
Brunswick (15-10), which needed double overtime to beat Hopkins 58-56 in the semifinals on Friday, went scoreless for the first 3:38 of the second half.
"They got it inside to Obi in the first half and they continued to do so in the second half," Brunswick coach Robert Taylor said. "They played good defense on us in the second half and we just couldn't get any offense going."
"We had a lot of turnovers in the first half and we were trying to push it," Eggers said. "All season we've been a team that can score in transition. So we decided, let's throw the ball down, let's break their press ... we just kept at it. We worked the ball inside, worked it outside and we put the ball in the basket."
Brunswick fell behind 50-28 in the second half before putting together a 7-0 run to get within 15 points. However, the Bruins failed to get any closer as GFA used a 10-2 spurt to build its largest lead at the time, 23 points.
After the win was complete and GFA was able to raise the FAA championship trophy for the first time, Scott reflected on his team's rise from the bottom up. The Dragons got close to the top last year, but had their 15-game win streak snapped in the quarterfinals by King.
The Dragons will open the Class C New England Tournament at home on Wednesday as top seed, Scott said.
"When I took the team over it was 1-14 in FAA play, three seasons ago," Scott said. "Then we got to .500, last year we were close and this year we did it."
Afterward, Eggers reflected on the win and the bond he shares with his teammates, especially Tate. The two Greenwich residents have played basketball together for the last six years, dating back to their days with the Greenwich Flames travel team in fifth grade.
"It's definitely special," Eggers said. "It's funny to think about, just thinking back to playing in Greenwich and just how long it's been. ... It's ironic that that would happen. When I was a freshman, I would have never pictured that happening."
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GREENS FARMS ACADEMY 67, BRUNSWICK 42
James Robinson 1 0-0 3 Jack Sherwood 0 0-0 0 Henry Taylor 4 2-3 12 Ryan Hardin 0 0-0 0 Addison Pierce 0 0-0 0 Nick Kono 2 0-0 6 Sean Forester 0 0-0 0 Jimmy Knight 0 0-0 0 Alex Skolds 0 0-2 0 Sam Fraser 1 0-0 2 Teddy Murphy 3 0-0 6 Dylan Wadsworth 5 1-2 11 Matt Gendell 0 0-0 0 Billy O'Malley 1 0-0 2. Totals 17 3-7 42.
Van Barnet 0 1-2 1 Brendan Bieder 0 0-0 0 Matt Tate 3 0-0 9 Hunter Eggers 6 0-0 13 Pat Ryan 3 2-3 10 Andrew Chase 0 2-2 2 Sam Hodge 1 0-0 2 Scott Deutsch 1 0-0 2 Zach Baines 2 0-0 4 Sean Obi 9 6-9 24. Totals 24 11-16 67.
BRUNSWICK 26 16 -- 42
GFA 32 35 -- 67
3-pointers: B -- Taylor 2, Kono 2, Robinson; GFA -- Tate 3, Ryan 2, Eggers.