Katz leads Staples past Warde
Updated 10:28 am, Monday, January 20, 2014
WESTPORT -- Making use of timely baskets and continuous ball movement Staples High School was able to pick up a much-needed home victory Friday night.
The Wreckers defeated Fairfield Warde 63-48, led by David Katz's game-high 23 points. Staples improved to 3-6 with the win.
"He's our senior leader and our captain," Staples coach Colin Devine said of Katz. "He's playing really good basketball for us; I'm very happy for him."
Katz hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter and the threat of his outside game enabled him to exploit the paint and either finish inside or pass to a cutting teammate.
"I had a few threes early on and I knew they were going to come out on me," said Katz. "So that helped me get inside and dish to the big men down low who were taking it all the way. I was trying to be a little more versatile than just a spot up shooter."
With Katz able to contribute assists as well as points, the Staples offense was clicking on all cylinders.
"We really needed a total team effort tonight to get the win," Devine said of his team's unselfishness. "I thought we took very good care of the basketball for the majority of the game and it resulted in good looks."
"Ben made some big-time shots in the corner that he had to make," Swaller said. "We gambled a bit and he made them to keep the score out of reach."
For Warde (1-9), it was the inexhaustible effort of Brian Kerrigan that kept his team in the game. The senior forward contributed 17 points while continuously battling on the boards for the undersized Mustangs.
"(Kerrigan is) a true competitor and he leaves it all on the floor; he played very well around the basket today," Swaller said. "He's the leader of this team; everyone looks up to him and follows his lead. He walks out of a game as sweaty as can be with bruises all over and never complains."
Giacomo Brancato scored a team-high 20 points for the Mustangs.
"As a whole I thought we had good intensity, which is what we focused on in practice," Swaller said. "We got down at times and we could have let the game get out of hand but we didn't and we were able to get a turnover when we needed it. The energy was there but we just couldn't get those baskets."
For Staples the victory was certainly a step in the right direction.
"If we want to be a playoff basketball team we need eight wins," Katz said. "This was our third so hopefully we build off of it and keep going."
Staples 63, Warde 48
Nicholas Cotto 1 0-0 3 Brian Kerrigan 7 3-5 17 Terrance Walden 1 0-0 2 Thomas Luckner 0 1-2 1 Kavon Polk 1 0-0 3 Giacomo Brancato 6 6-8 20 Christopher Smaldone 1 0-1 2
David Katz 7 7-10 23 Darryle Wiggins 2 0-1 5 Jake Melnick 1 1-2 4 Todd Goldstein 7 1-2 15 Nick Esposito 1 1-2 3 Ben Casparius 4 0-0 11 Harry Kohn 0 2-4 2 Totals 22 12-21 63
WARDE 7 16 8 15--48
STAPLES 17 13 16 17--63
3-pointers: S; Katz 2, Wiggins, Melnick, Casparius 3; FW; Cotto, Polk, Brancato 2