Easton's seventh-grade boys basketball team faced an uphill climb from the outset of Saturday's championship game in the "B" bracket final of the Fairfield County Basketball League against St. Theresa of Trumbull. The boys nearly reached the summit only to fall short at the end.
St. Theresa hung on to beat Easton, 51-42, Saturday at Greens Farms Academy in Westport. Easton, which never led, trailed 13-6 after the first quarter. It came down the floor with several opportunities to take the lead in the third quarter but couldn't get over the hump.
"We got down in the first quarter, and we had to play catch up,'' coach Ed Levine said. "We expended a lot of energy, and we could never get the lead. The plan was to press after we got the lead."
Corey Levine scored 21 points to lead Easton. Axel Effinger added eight, and Steve Gordon scored six.
Easton got within 22-21 at halftime and trailed 38-27 after three quarters. In the fourth quarter, however, Easton climbed back and trailed by just three points on several occasions. St. Theresa led 43-40 with just 1:49 to play, but the Trumbull team hit eight free throws in the final 90 seconds to hold on. St. Theresa made just one field goal in the final five minutes.
"We moved up to the B League this year, so to get this far with this team is a great accomplishment,'' Levine said. "We had full participation, and everyone made a contribution."
Easton (10-12 overall) went 5-8 during the league season and reached the championship game in its bracket with wins over the Greenwich Boys and Girls Club and the Westport YMCA.
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