Staples rolls over Darien
Staples snapped a two-game losing streak and extended Darien's losing streak to seven in a row in a convincing 61-28 win at Darien High School Wednesday night. The Wreckers were especially dominant in the second quarter when they outscored the Blue Wave 25-2 to build a 34-10 halftime advantage and put the game out of reach.
Staples held only a 9-8 advantage after the first quarter before emphatically taking over the game. Staples guard Luke Yeager credited the big second quarter to his team's renewed focus.
"It was a pretty solid first quarter, but in the second quarter I think we just focused on trying to get a big lead," Yeager said.
After the Wreckers essentially wrapped up the game before halftime, Darien coach Kyle Marian had a simple message for his players at the break.
"The halftime message was just heart. I told them just that they have to compete," Marian said. "It's okay to make mistakes if they're hustle mistakes. But the body language that some of these guys show is just so poor."
The Blue Wave fared slightly better in the second half, but they were still outscored 27-18 in the third and fourth quarters combined and the Wreckers cruised to the easy win.
"It was nice to be in control at the end of the game," Staples center Jake Felman said. "We knew we had to pick up our defensive intensity because we had been giving up points in the 70's, so we wanted to hold these guys to as few points as possible."
Felman led the way for Staples by dropping a game-high 19 points, including seven in the second quarter. Forward Gabe Seidman chipped in with 13 points, and Yeager added eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Staples had played in its fair share of down-to-the-wire games (four games decided by four points or less), so for coach Colin Devine, it was nice to have a game well in hand for a change.
"It was very important to get back on track. I think our kids played great defense tonight," Devine said. "We picked up our defensive pressure and were able to take control of the game."
Staples (6-4), just two wins shy of qualifying for the state tournament, will travel to Norwalk tonight.
Darien (1-8) will look to get back on track when it plays host to Ridgefield tonight.
"Right now, these guys don't want to play together, and they're showing that on the court," Marian said. "All the things that we're deficient in are what we work on in practice, but we're having a hard time carrying that over into the game."