WILTON — For just the briefest of moments, basketball was the last thing on Drew Connolly’s mind.

He had just watched teammate and life-long friend Jack Williams helped from the court with an injury to the same knee that had cost him almost a year from the sport. And earlier in the game, he saw fellow guard and classmate Matt Kronenberg awkwardly upended in midair, landing flat on his back, knocking the wind out of him and leaving his upper body in pain.

With Wilton’s two most experienced and offensive-minded players suddenly sidelined, Warriors coach Joel Geriak needed a leader to step up.

Connolly proved to be that player, scoring 13 of his career-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and leading the undefeated Warriors to a 59-56 win over Darien at the Zeoli Field House on Tuesday night.

The win let Wilton improve to 10-0 on the season, 7-0 in FCIAC play.

“First things first, I was terrified,” Connolly said. “You never want to see him go down like that and that’s outside of basketball. He’s one of my best friends. But you have to get your emotions under control.”

Kronenberg was injured in the first half and Williams left the game with 4:10 left in the third quarter and the score tied 40-40.

Wilton hung tough with the Wave and the game was still tied at 52-all with 2:58 left to play.

That’s when Darien’s Jack Tierney and Riley Stewart drove to the basket for buckets that resulted in huge collisions on back-to-back possessions. A block call against Wilton gave Tierney a shot at a 3-point play (he missed the foul shot) while a no-call against Stewart left the score at 56-52, Blue Wave.

Wilton responded with Connolly hitting a runner and getting fouled. He made the foul shot — one of nine he made out of 10 attempts in the final quarter — to cut the Darien lead down to 56-55.

Following a Darien timeout, Tierney missed a 19-footer from the side of the key and Wilton rebounded.

On the other end of the court, Connolly made two foul shots to give the Warriors a 57-56 lead.

The teams swapped four turnovers — and as many timeouts — over the final 56 seconds of the game before Connolly gave his team a three-point cushion with two more foul shots and a 59-56 lead with 4.6 seconds left.

“He carried us. He’s a senior leader,” Geriak said. “He did a great job and played his tail off for 32 minutes. He asked (about the injuries) one time and I just said, ‘Stop worrying about that and play the game. Let me worry about it.’ He did a good job keeping his head in the game.”

Williams finished with 15 points before leaving the game.

For Darien, which slipped to 7-4 (6-2 in the FCIAC), Alex Preston led the way with 16 points while Tierney added 12 and Theo Moore 11.

“We stepped up to the challenge. (Wilton’s) the No. 1 team (in the FCIAC) and we just made lot of mistakes at the end,” Darien coach Charoy Bentley said. “We’ll grow from this. We don’t have any choice but to grow from this.”

Darien’s man-to-man defense hampered Wilton all night, forcing the Warriors into a 5-for-20 performance from beyond the 3-point arc … in the first half alone.

Wilton led 19-11 after the first quarter, but the Warriors missed their first five shots of the second quarter and Darien answered each miss with points on the other end.

The 11-0 Wave run gave Darien a 22-19 lead.

By halftime, the Wave still led by three at 32-29 and 45-44 heading into the final quarter.

All told, the game included eight lead changes and five ties.

“It was a wild game,” Connolly said. “It’s different. I think it speaks to what kind of team we are and what kind of depth we have. I don’t know how many teams can lose players like that and win a game like that against a good team like Darien.”

jnash@hearstmediact.com

WILTON 59, DARIEN 56

WILTON (59)

Kyle Shifrin 2 0-0 4, Jack Williams 5 4-4 15, Sean Breslin 1 1-3 4, Drew Connolly 8 9-10 27, Kyle Maatallah 1 2-2 5, Nick Kronenberg 1 1-1 4, Matt Kronenberg 0 0-0 0, Drew Phillips 0 0-0 0, Scott Cunningham 0 0-0 0, Robbie Hermann 0 0-0 0, Zach Pozzi 0 0-0 0, Jack Wood 0 0-0 0, Jackson Cote 0 0-0 0, Totals 18 17-20 59

DARIEN (56)

Jack Tierney 6 0-4 12, Theo Moore 3 4-4 11, Zak Swetye 1 2-3 5, Riley Stewart 2 0-2 4, Alex Preston 7 2-3 16, Andrew Darby 2 0-0 4, Jack Richter 2 0-2 4, Carter Scott 0 0-0 0, Totals 23 8-18 56

WILTON 19 10 15 15—59

DARIEN 11 21 13 11—56

3-pointers: W—Connolly 2, Williams, N. Kronenberg, Maatallah, Breslin; D—Moore, Swetye; Fouled out: None; Team Records: Wilton 10-0 (7-0 FCIAC); Darien 7-4 (6-2 FCIAC)