By Eliot Schickler

The Staples boys basketball team performed its imitation of Showtime Friday in its 85-52 home victory over Wilton. Staples raised its record to 13-4 because of its ability to run the floor well, play converging defense and find each other for easy layups off of backdoor cuts.

"I think we played a complete basketball game and it was a total team effort," Wreckers Coach Colin Devine said.

Staples led throughout in front of a very supportive crowd, who came out to support the team on Senior Night.

"It was great to see the ones who supported us the last four years to come out and support us on Senior Night," Wreckers senior tri-captain Jake Felman said.

Wilton (2-14) had a height advantage, which helped at times, but for the most part, it couldn't stop Staples or win any small battles against the hosts. The Wreckers made it look easy when they pick pocketed the Warriors and converted the steals into easy layups. Senior D Scanlan (nine points, four assists, two steals) and Felman (14 points, six rebounds, two steals) had these aforementioned thefts and subsequently set up senior tri-captain lefty Gabe Seidman (20 points, six assists, three steals, one charge drawn) for easy layups.

"Wilton had trouble handling the ball and we were able to force turnovers," Felman said. "Our chemistry is good and Gabe, Luke, D, Rob and Pete all did a great job of handling the ball in transition."

Seidman attacked the basket well and took turns with senior tri-captain Luke Yeager in setting themselves up for backdoor layups.

"We had to read how they play defense," Seidman said. "Luke and I have good chemistry and we make eye contact when we go backdoor, which seems to work."

In addition to Seidman, Yeager (20 points, six assists, two steals) also set up Felman, junior Mike Argosh (seven points, seven rebounds) and sophomore Pete Rankowitz (seven points) on backdoor plays.

"We worked in the offseason to develop chemistry on the court and it paid off," Yeager said. "We wrote our plays and successfully executed them."

Yeager also found his range from outside and hit two 3-pointers.

"My teammates did a good job of passing it to me when I was open and they all trusted me," Yeager said.

Scanlan and senior Rob DiBartolomeo (three points) also found the range from international waters by connecting for three treys and a 3-pointer, respectively.

"I've been working on my shots lately and when they are there and I'm open, I take them," Scanlan said.

With the outcome not in doubt in the latter stages, Devine emptied his bench. Junior Pat Kholman and freshman Darryle Wiggins each scored two points and sophomore Joe Greenwald had a point. Greenwald and sophomore Livan Oztemel each grabbed a rebound and Oztemel and sophomore James Frusciante had an assist. Wiggins drew a charge.

Staples will host St. Joseph Monday and the game will be a lot more challenging for the Wreckers. St. Joseph is 14-1 after nine straight wins and is considered to be the favorite to win the FCIAC title.

Although Staples will be an underdog, winning won't be impossible. The Wreckers broke Stamford's eight-game winning streak Feb. 8 and they are capable of rising to the occasion if they play their `A' game.

"This is the type of performance we needed before we play St. Joe's," Seidman said. "We hope to play like we did tonight [Friday against Wilton] and we hope to come up on top."

Yeager said, "We have to play well, run our sets and limit our turnovers."