STAMFORD -- When Kenny Wright scored as the first quarter was ending to give Stamford High a 22-point lead against Darien Friday at Kuczo Gym, it became rather clear it was time to turn our attention to the immediate future for this suddenly surging SHS boys basketball team.

"This," Stamford coach Jim Moriarty said after the Black Knight's 65-31 victory, "sets up the rest of the season for us."

The Knights, who won their fourth straight game, began play Friday in a four-way tie for the FCIAC's eighth and final playoff berth. Complicating matters for the Knights (9-7, 8-6 FCIAC) are losses to two of the three teams they were tied with (Danbury and Staples) before Friday. Stamford has and have yet to play the third -- Fairfield Warde. They have also lost to the fifth-, sixth- and seventh-place teams so the tiebreakers are stacked against them.

But if the Knights continue to play the way have the last four games, the tiebreakers may not matter.

More Information

Fact box

"They're definitely surging," Darien coach Kyle Marian said following his team's ninth straight loss. "Right now you can tell that they're in a real push for the playoffs."

That was obvious from the start Friday when the Knights showed they had no plans to take the Blue Wave (2-14, 1-13) lightly.

"I was a little afraid we might play down to the competition," Moriarty said. "But we played hard and put the game away early."

The Knights were up 22-2 after six minutes and cruised to the victory with Barry and Bryan Boderick once against leading the way. Barry, starting at point guard while Joe Palumbo recovers from an ankle injury, had 18 points while Bryan had 15 (13 in the first half). Shawn Padilla added 13 rebounds and five blocked shots and sophomore Ancel Nevers chipped in with 13 points.

"We were determined not to take Darien lightly," Bryan Boderick said. "We came out and played hard and didn't let up.

"I think we can definitely make the FCIACs, and if we do get in, watch out. You can't sleep on us."

The Knights finish up with undefeated St. Joseph (14-0 FCIAC), a big one against Warde (7-7), then Bassick (11-4) and Harding (2-12). Only the Warde game is at home. So it won't be easy.

"We have some tough ones left," Moriarty said. "It will boil down to how hard we work on defense, if we can control the press and how Barry Boderick plays the point. If we can do those things well, we'll be fine."

Matt Lee led Darien with 11 points while George Phillips had seven rebounds.