WESTPORT, Conn. The Westport Police Athletic League 8th-grade boys basketball team won two games last weekend to improve to 9-8 overall to move above .500 for the first time this season.
Westport has won four of its last five games under coach Glen O'Neill after beating Ridgefield, 52-43, and Newtown, 62-53, last weekend.
In the two wins last weekend, the team's offensive balance and defensive intensity were on display from Ryan Angerthal, Daniel Brill, Dylan Dreyfuss, John Fincher, Adam Friedman, Riley Petta, Noah Staffa, Ben Thaw, Jared Vishno, Jackson Ward and Jack Zapfel.
The win over Ridgefield avenged a loss earlier in the season. Down by 10 points early in the game and trailing 23-18 at the half, Westport came out firing in the third quarter, delivering six of its seven three-pointers to take the lead for good.
Ben Thaw delivered two treys during the run and Dylan Dreyfuss, Ryan Angerthal, Jack Zapfel and Riley Petta added one each.
Defense contributed to the comeback, with John Fincher blocking two shots, Jackson Ward collecting five rebounds and Daniel Brill neutralizing the big Ridgefield team with three steals. Jared Vishno played a strong all around game delivering seven points and playing scrappy ball pressure defense. Ryan Angerthal and Ben Thaw led the scoring, with Angerthal hitting seven clutch free throws to ice the game late in the fourth quarter.
Against Newtown, Westport took control of the game in the second quarter, building a 10-point lead at the half and maintaining that pace in the second half. The game included crisp passing, solid defense and great rebounding. Three Westporters scored in double digits, led by Jack Zapfel, Ben Thaw and Jared Vishno. Thaw continued his deadly accuracy from 3-point range, going 3 for 3 from long-distance, while Adam Friedman added a 3-pointer to complement the long range barrage. Vishno completed a double-double by adding 11 rebounds.
The offense was rounded out with six points from each of Jackson Ward, Ryan Angerthal and Riley Petta, while Noah Staffa contributed a big bucket late in the first half. Daniel Brill and John Fincher controlled the glass and played aggressive defense.
Westport PAL 8B looks to keep the momentum going with three big upcoming games. Westport travels Thursday to take on Greenwich 8B, followed by a Saturday tilt with Danbury PAL Blue 8B at home, before finishing the busy weekend on Sunday with a trip to meet Wilton 8B.
Westport PAL 5B: The fifth-graders played three games in 24 hours over the weekend. Westport beat Southbury, 38-28, and lost to Greenwich, 38-35, and St. Mary's of Ridgefield, 33-26.
Westport stands at 9-8 overall and 4-4 in its division of the league. It meets Madison on Saturday.
Westport PAL 6B: The sixth-graders went 1-3 with a pair of 1-point losses during a busy weekend.
King's Kids of Bridgeport nipped Westport, 25-24, before losing to powerful Greenwich, 47-27. Westport dropped a 38-37 decision to St. Mary's of Ridgefield before ending the weekend with a 40-38 victory over New Fairfield.
Westport hosts Carver Center-Norwalk 6B on Saturday, February 11, before traveling to Fairfield for a round robin mini-tournament featuring the Fairfield Huskies.(Mike Angerthal, Orly Angerthal and Amanda Thaw contributed to this report).
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