WESTPORT, Conn. – Staples High's boys basketball team rallied from behind several times in the final quarter Tuesday against Norwalk High. But unfortunately for the Wreckers, the Bears had one more final push.
Norwalk outscored Staples, 17-8, in overtime Tuesday to earn a 84-75 victory in a Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference game. Peter Rankowitz scored 24 points and James Frusciante scored 21 to lead the Wreckers. Jabari Dear scored a career-high 28 to lead Norwalk.
Staples tied the game at 70 with 3:10 left in overtime on a basket by Ross Whalen (15 points). After a Norwalk miss, Staples had a chance to take the lead, but Dear blocked a shot, then raced upcourt and hit a three-pointer. That ignited a 7-0 Norwalk run that put the game away for good.
Staples forced overtime on a 22-foot three-pointer by Rankowitz with a second remaining. Staples led 64-63 with 54 seconds to play after a basket by Frusciante. But Norwalk hit four free throws to build a 67-64 lead with 18.6 seconds remaining and set the stage for Rankowtiz's dramatic shot.
The game featured some wild momentum swings. The Bears led 27-19 midway through the second quarter before the Wreckers clawed back to within 29-26 at halftime. Staples went on a 16-4 run to open up a 42-33 lead midway through the third quarter. Norwalk rallied for a 48-46 lead entering the final period, and the teams stayed within four points in the final eight minutes.
Staples hosts Stamford on Friday and plays during the holiday break at the LaVista Tournament on Thursday and Saturday. The Wreckers meet New Canaan in the first round.
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