STAMFORD -- Stamford High School's senior night was one to remember for the Black Knights as they defeated Darien 61-49 behind a dominant first half performance.
Stamford (14-6, 13-5) outscored the Blue Wave 34-8 in the first half, including holding their opponent to just two points in the first quarter.
"We played awesome, there no other way to say it," Stamford coach Danny Melzer said of his team's first-half performance. "Our seniors started tonight and they did an excellent job, all four seniors scored in the first quarter, we couldn't ask for anything more out of them they've given us four years of hard work, they've set a good example for our younger guys and it was nice to see them go out on top at home."
Senior Kenny Wright wanted the victory not just because it was Senior Night, but to make up the loss they had a year ago against Harding, where the Knights were unable to send their seniors off with a victory.
"It feels great," said Wright, who led all scorers with 18 points. "Last year the seniors didn't get a win and I felt bad so I told them we're going to win this game, we're not going to end up like last season; it means a lot to me, it might be the last time I play in this gym."
Stamford was able to build a lead in the first half with hot shooting from almost everyone on the team; the Blue Wave defense was unable to focus on one Stamford scorer, making for a nightmarish early go-of-it for Darien.
"We said from day one were not a one man team," Melzer said. "We have a lot of different weapons that can score on a given night; we have shooters, guys that can go to the basket, a post game; we're very diverse on the offensive end."
For Darien (10-10, 10-10) it was very much a tale of two halves, after scoring only eight total points in the first half they rallied to outscore Stamford 41-27 in the second.
"I just sat down and looked at them all and said you have to make a decision," Darien coach Kyle Marian said of his halftime talk. "We know as a staff that they are fully capable of playing with the best teams in the league we've shown that night in and night out."
The Blue Wave chose to fight, lead largely by Matt Staubi, who contributed 11 points in the loss.
"I think he's one of the best point guards in our league," Marian said of Staubi. "For a guy that's getting the best defender on him every single night to be able to do what he's done is nothing short of amazing."
For Wright and Stamford the next step is to ride this momentum into Saturday's FCIAC playoffs against city-rival Westhill.
"Now were clicking on all cylinders," Wright said. "We're one big family and we're playing as a unit, and we're hot."
Stamford 61, Darien 49
DARIEN (10-10, 10-10)
Chima Azuonwu 6 0-0 12 Bobby Fitzpatrick 5 3-5 14 Alexander Preston 3 0-0 6 Colin Sullivan 0 2-2 2 Matt Staubi 4 2-2 11 George Phillips 1 0-0 2 Casey Brown 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 7-9 49.
STAMFORD (14-6, 13-5)
James Gronberg 0 4-4 4 Kweshon Askew 4 0-0 9 Ancel Nevers 3 0-0 7 Gianni Carwin 4 4-4 14 Kenny Wright 6 4-4 18 John Odoom 2 1-2 5 Jack Rakoczy 2 0-0 4. Totals: 21 13-14 61.
STAMFORD 16 18 8 19--61
DARIEN 2 6 20 19--49
3-Pointers: S-Askew, Nevers, Carwin 2, Wright 2; D-Fitzpatrick, Staubi.