Opening night presents the opportunity for a variety of players to emerge out of nowhere and make an immediate impact. Staples sophomore Sean Pritchett took advantage of such a situation on Friday night.

Pritchett converted a layup with 38 seconds left, helping send Staples to a 52-49 road win over Ludlowe on Friday night. The Falcons dropped to 1-1 while the Wreckers (1-0) were idle Wednesday.

The shot capped a wild fourth quarter that kept the gap between the two teams at two points or less. After Nick Esposito sank a free throw with 12 seconds remaining, the Falcons took possession and had a few chances at the tying bucket, but none fell and the Wreckers celebrated the win.

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"We played great man-to-man defense all game," Wreckers coach Colin Devine said. "As coaches we wanted to change it up but we thought our guys would do their jobs. We got a few great stops, a couple of offensive rebounds."

After hitting the shot on a nice feed by fellow sophomore Justin Seideman, Pritchett, who scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth, turned right around to defend Falcons' top-scorer Matt Doyle (14 points) and forced a contested shot.

"Sean's had a nice 10-12 days of practice," Devine said. "He came in and made some big plays on both ends of the floor. He's a confident kid; I knew he would get the job done."

Staples immediately turned the ball over after securing the rebound, but Ludlowe missed a layup and the Wreckers re-took possession. After Esposito's free throw, one more defensive stop secured victory.

"We looked for a little handoff, we were going to try to get it to (Doyle) in the corner," Ludlowe coach John Dailey said. "We got a contested look, missed it, and that was that."

The Falcons led 40-34 near the end of the third quarter, but a layup by Connor Whelan and a three-pointer by Ben Casparius (13 points) got the Wreckers to within three points to start the quarter. The teams went back-and-forth for the entire final eight minutes.

"We didn't close the door with a six-point lead when we probably needed to," Dailey said. "(Staples is) a well-coached team, they ran a lot of good stuff and made shots."

Pritchett hit a 3-pointer to give Staples a 47-46 lead. Owen Mockler hit a triple to answer for Ludlowe, and Esposito's putback made it 49-49 with 2:13 left.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first quarter. Ludlowe quickly took a 10-5 lead three minutes into the game, only for the Wreckers to storm back and close the period on a 16-7 run.

"We're trying to get the ball down the floor and get some good looks early," Devine said. "We've got a great senior big man in (Esposito), we have great shooters in (Whelan and Casparius); we're spacing the floor well."

Whelan tied the game early in the fourth quarter with a dunk off a steal.

"I have to be honest, I didn't know he had it in him," Devine joked. "But I'm happy for him."

Staples 52, Fairfield Ludlowe 49


Nick Esposito 4 2-4 10 Connor Whelan 5 0-0 11 Ben Casparius 5 0-0 13 Harry Kohn 1 0-0 3 Justin Seideman 1 0-0 2 Sean Pritchett 5 2-3 13. Totals: 21 4-7 52.


Matt Doyle 6 1-4 14 Thomas Duffy 4 0-0 10 Hayes Kelchner 2 1-1 5 Darren Lee 2 0-0 5 Owen Mockler 2 0-0 6 Chris Howell 4 1-2 9. Totals: 20 3-7 49.

STAPLES 21 6 12 13--52

LUDLOWE 17 6 19 7--49

3-pointers: S--Whelan, Casparius 3, Kohn, Pritchett; L--Duffy 2, Doyle, Lee, Mockler 2.