eschickler@bcnnew.com

Sometimes, a team is just overmatched. That's what happened to the Staples boys basketball team in its 76-46 loss at Harding last Thursday. Harding raised its record to 9-1, 8-2 in the FCIAC and showed why its one of the storied programs in the state as it outrebounded and outshot Staples (4-7, 3-6).

"Tough game," Wreckers Coach Colin Devine said. "It's a good learning experience playing a team like that and we'll take something out of it. It's a credit to Harding. They beat us in every aspect of the game. We hope to bounce back."

The Presidents were also quicker than Staples and used their speed to get easy layups and to loose balls. One player who gave Harding fits was Staples junior Jake Felman. Felman (10 points, four rebounds) drew three offensive fouls on the defensive end and on offense, he drove by the Presidents for layups.

"Unfortunately, the game got out of reach but we did a good job of making layups," Felman said. "When a team double teams us, it opens up stuff for us and it makes it easy to make layups."

Junior Gabe Seidman (14 points, four rebounds, four assists) led Staples' offense. Seidman also found his open teammates and set up junior Grant Fenton down low for easy layup attempts.

"Our team struggled the entire game and whenever I saw an opening, I attacked it," Seidman said.

Fenton (11 points, eight rebounds) was tough inside and held his own on the glass against Harding's big players.

"I had a rough game against New Canaan [on Jan. 19] and I wanted to redeem myself against Harding," Fenton said.

Felman said, "Grant did a good job of making his layups."

Senior captain Brendan Rankowitz (four points, four rebounds) complemented Fenton inside. Junior Frankie Bergonzi (three assists, three steals) was scrappy on defense.

Also contributing for the Wreckers were juniors Andreas Bub (two points, two rebounds) and Luke Yeager (one point, one rebound, one assist) and sophomores Adam Levinson (two points) and Isak Hrvacic (two points).

"We came out a little flat and didn't play well in the clutch," Fenton said.

Seidman said, "They had fresh legs with their coach subbing five in and five out and we got tired on defense."