Staples High School's boys basketball team has proved during the course of the season that it can play with the heavyweights in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference . Tuesday night, the Wreckers showed it can beat them.
Jake Felman scored 12 points and the Wreckers withstood four cracks at a potential game-winning basket by Stamford in the final frantic seconds to defeat the Black Knights, 51-50. Staples improved to 12-4 overall and 11-3 in the league while Stamford fell to 10-5 and 9-4.
"This game was huge,'' Felman said. "It was for seeding. More importantly, it's for our confidence. We had to prove to ourselves we could beat a good team in a tight game."
The Wreckers suffered narrow losses to Ridgefield and Bassick, and a 20-point setback to Westhill that was tight until the final few minutes. Stamford, riding an eight-game winning streak, provided another opportunity for the Wreckers to prove they could knock off a traditional FCIAC power.
The Wreckers did it, barely. After Staples missed the front end of a one-and-one with 29.8 seconds left, Stamford maintained possession for the rest of the game. The Black Knights called timeout with 11.1 seconds left and had several good looks from close range. The ball did every thing but drop through the net, and the Wreckers walked off the floor as winners.
"That was the most complete basketball game we played all year,'' Staples coach Colin Devine said. "That was a very good basketball team we beat."
The game was tight throughout. The biggest lead was Staples' 24-17 edge late in the second quarter. Stamford, which trailed 24-19 at halftime, came out in the third quarter behind Danny Turkvan who scored a game-high 17 points to take a 38-36 lead into the final quarter. Turkvan scored nine of his points in the third quarter.
Luke Yeager hit two big 3-pointers in the fourth period for Staples, including a bomb with 4:05 remaining that put the Wreckers ahead for good at 47-45. Gabe Seidman added 10 points for Staples, while Yeager had nine.
Staples returns to action Friday when it hosts Wilton.
How far do you think Staples will go in the FCIAC playoffs this season? Start the discussion below!
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