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Staples' Rally Falls Short in Season-Opener

WESTPORT, Conn. – The Staples High boys basketball team has just two players back from the team that reached the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference playoffs last year. That inexperience showed early Wednesday as the Wreckers lost to Norwalk High, 59-49, in Westport.

The Wreckers committed 17 turnovers, including 14 in the first half. Despite the turnovers and shooting just 36 percent from the floor, the Wreckers had a chance to steal the game late. They sliced a 14-point lead to four, 50-46, with 3:30 remaining before falling short.

“I think part of it was our inexperience, and Norwalk played terrific defense,’’ Staples coach Colin Devine said. “It will be a learning experience for us. We’ll figure it out and get ready for Stamford on Friday.”

Michael Argosh (14 points) and Peter Rankowitz (six) are the only two players back from last year’s squad. Staples also got a lift from James Frusciante, who scored 10 points. Frusciante, whose football season ended Saturday, came up with several steals in the stretch to spark Staples’ comeback. His putback brought the Wreckers within four before they ran out of steam. “I thought we were just one turnover away from winning the game,’’ Devine said. “They got big baskets when they needed them.”

Freshman Roy Kane scored 17 for Norwalk, which won just four games last year. The Bears’ renewed attention to defense helped them take an early lead. Norwalk took a 13-10 advantage after the first quarter and was up 30-22 at halftime. Staples did not lead after the first quarter.

“We didn’t shoot it great and I think we got outrebounded,’’ Devine said. “If you’re not going to shoot it great, you have to box out and rebound.”

Click here for video from the game.

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