GFA roundup: Boys basketball wins in overtime
Published 10:32 pm, Monday, February 23, 2015
The GFA boys basketball team had another wild week, first claiming an 81-74, overtime win over Hamden Hall last Tuesday before falling 74-73 to Brunswick the following night.
The Dragons broke the Hamden Hall defense to take 31-28 lead at halftime. Coming back after the half, Hamden led with an 11-2 run. With only three minutes remaining, GFA was down by seven. At that point Coach Doug Scott made a key tactical move, switching senior Jim Djema to cover Hamden's top scorer, and then turned up the heat on the rest of the Hamden team. The switch enabled the Dragons to narrow the deficit to 62-59.
Djema sank a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left to force overtime.
In the five minute overtime, the Dragons offense rode their momentum to a 19-12 advantage. Key in their success was shooting 26-of-31 from the foul line for the game, and not missing a single free throw in the last 16 minutes. Zach Baines 21 points and seven blocks while Sunday Okeke scored 19 points and had 15 rebounds.
Last Wednesday the team played Brunswick at home, celebrating seniors Djema, Dugald Shannon and Baines. Brunswick trailed the entire second half, until hitting the game winner with only 12 seconds remaining, giving it the 74-73 win.
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With only 4:38 remaining, Greens Farms had built a 71-60 lead. By the 1:20 remaining mark, the GFA lead had shrunk to 72-69. GFA ran the shot clock all the way down but then Okeke was called for a charge on his scoring attempt. The team was able to get a last-second shot off, and Baines rebounded it with one tick remaining. But it was not to be the Dragons' night, as Baines' momentum sent him too far under the rim for a makeable put back.
Okeke scored 18 and pulled down a game high 14 rebounds; Djema scored 14 and assisted on seven baskets for GFA.
The Dragons end their regular season at 10-10, and head into the FAA tournament Wednesday as the No. 6 seed, where they will face No. 3 seed Brunswick.
The Dragons fell 50-22 to Hamden Hall last Tuesday.
In the team's second match-up of the week, GFA lost a close game to FAA opponent, Hopkins, 60-48. With both teams playing steady defense and making opposing offensive runs, it was Hopkins' last push that was the difference in the final score.
In the team's final home game of the season, all five seniors -- Jenny Ross Naughton and tri-captains Johnson, Claire Comey (Westport) and Goldsmith -- played strong minutes, earning their team the 47-31 win over the Harvey School. The five seniors combined for 31 points and more than 25 rebounds.
The Dragons were defeated Kingswood-Oxford School 5-2 last Wednesday. Senior co-captain No. 1 Scott Brown dispatched his opponent 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-9). No. 3 co-captain junior Jack Mackle defeated his opponent 3-1 (11-4, 14-12, 12-14, 11-6). The rest of the Dragons gave a strong fight but came up short. The team will now get ready to participate in the New England tournament on the weekend of Feb. 28.
On Wednesday, Feb. 18, the GFA girls varsity squash team came up short as they were narrowly defeated by Kingswood-Oxford School 4 -3. The Dragons were missing their No. 2 player, freshman Mia Krishnamurthy. GFA won three out of its top four matches. Senior captain Charlotte Krietler (Westport) (3-0; 11-7, 12-10, 8-11, 13-11), junior Avery Vanacore (3-0; 4-11, 15-13, 11-1, 11-5), and freshman Katherine Mackle (3-0; 11-5, 11-8, 13-11) were all victorious.
Then last Thursday, the team defeated St. Luke's 6-1. Krietler (3-0; 11-7, 11-5. 11-4) and Krishnamurthy (3-0; 11-3, 11-5, 11-6) were back together as the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the lineup and dispatched their opponents quickly, 3-0.
GFA competed in its first FAA meet against Hopkins, Greenwich Academy and Brunswick school. GFA's girls lost 15-12 overall against Hopkins. The girls foil team won 5-4. Junior Kate Allan had the first victory for the foil team and defeated two of her opponents 5-2 and 5-0. Junior Erica Im beat her opponents 4-2 and 5-3. Junior Kate Koster (Westport) won the last foil bout for the squad 5-1.
The women's epee team won 7-2. Freshman Audrey Brennan had the most interesting touch of the day when she did a split while getting a touch on her opponent. Brennan won her last bout 5-3. Junior Lauren Telesz won her bouts 5-4 and 5-3. Captain Taiylor Nunn won all three of her bouts.
The boys lost overall 16-11 against Hopkins. Sabre won two bouts, lost four bouts, and forfeited three bouts. The foil team lost 4-5 against Hopkins. Sophomore Phil Nicopoulos won his bouts 5-3 and 5-2. And freshman Teddy Gartland won his bouts 5-2 and 5-4.
Against Greenwich Academy, the GFA girls lost overall 20-7. The girls epee team won 5-4. Brennan won her bout 5-0 and Telesz won her bout 5-3. Nunn won all three of her bouts making her overall record this season 27-0. The foil squad had 5-0 wins from Im and Koster.
The boys fenced Brunswick school and lost overall 16-11, but won both foil and epee. The foil team won 5-4. Nicopoulos defeated his opponents 5-2 and 5-1. Gartland won his bouts 5-2 and 5-3.
Last weekend the Dragons traveled to Tabor Academy to compete in the Prep School New England Tournament. With eight wrestlers qualifying for the tournament, the Dragons faced a talented field including boarding schools from all around New England. Unlike many post-season tournaments, the Prep School New England Tournament is an All-Class tournament that does not distinguish between large and small, post-graduates or day students.
The Dragons were able to place seventh of 48 qualifying teams with the highest placing of any Class C school. With the best showing of his career, senior Trent Turner (220 pounds) wrestled his way into the finals. Turner's showing was capped with a second-period pin in the semifinals, earning one of the highest showings at the tournament in school history.
Sophomore Hans Forland defeated a Brunswick wrestler in the 3/4 match to earn a third place finish. Forland won the match in overtime with an impressive late takedown. Placing fourth for the Dragons, senior Ben Holcomb (145) wrestled his way to the consolation finals.
The team looks forward to its final competition of the year at the National Tournament in Bethlehem, Penn., at Lehigh University starting Feb. 28.