Westport PAL fifth-graders battled Darien to a standstill through one period of Sunday's boys basketball game. Then things changed abruptly, and Darien went on to post a 44-27 victory in a Fairfield County Basketball League game.
Darien outscored Westport 19-8 in the second quarter. At the end of three quarters, once-beaten Darien built a 38-19 lead. Westport struggled to find an answer to an aggressive press by Darien, which resulted in Westport turnovers and easy transition baskets for Darien.
"It's not a secret that we struggle with the press,'' Westport coach Olivia Dardy said. "But each day we're getting better and better. I don't think the record shows it, but we're getting better all the time. Half our team hasn't played basketball before. That's hard when some of these teams have been together for a few years."
Harris Levi scored eight points and Tristan Hochman scored six for Westport, which slipped to 1-6-1 overall and 0-5 in the FCBL. Darien is 11-1 overall and 6-1 in the FCBL.
"We have good starts to a lot of our games,'' said Olivia, who starred at Brien McMahon High School and Wake Forest before going on to a coaching career that included stops at Fairfield University, Stony Brook and Winston-Salem. "But once the going gets tough, because of our lack of experience, we struggle. That's our Achilles' heel. We do a lot of good things."
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