Ridgefield beats back Brookfield
RIDGEFIELD _ The defense was there, and as the season gets rolling, the offense should come around.
Ridgefield High boys basketball coach Al Trimpert had a lot to smile about after his Tigers evened their record at 1-1 yesterday with a 54-36 victory over Brookfield in the first round of the Ridgefield Holiday Tournament.
``We're still a little bit impatient offensively,'' said Ridgefield coach Al Trimpert, whose team lost to Fairfield, 55-51, in its season opener. ``Our defensive intensity is far and beyond anything I really expected at this point. That's what's helping them. We have to make our foul shots and we have to be more patient offensively. Other than that, I'm very pleased with tonight's performance.
``The patience will come offensively the more times you get in the gym and practice. The patterns are in their heads, they just aren't second-nature yet.''
Senior guard Kevin Flemming, who was second on the team with 18 points, echoed his coach's sentiments.
``We played really good defense and that was the key to our victory,'' Fleming said. ``We didn't really think very much on offense and we have to improve on that.''
The Tigers will face Carmel, N.Y., in the championship game on Friday at 8:15 p.m. Carmel defeated Danbury in the other first-round game.
A concern Trimpert had coming into the game was his team suffering an emotional let down against 0-4 Brookfield. After all, it was Brookfield that beat Ridgefield in the Holiday Tournament first round last year.
``They were reminded of that constantly all week long,'' Trimpert said.
Last year's Brookfield-Ridgefield game was marred by a brawl that caused the game to be ended early, with Ridgefield trailing. Trimpert was confident that this would not happen again this year, though the circumstances were identical.
``Things that happened last year aren't going to happen this year because it's an entirely different group of kids,'' he said. ``There are a couple of kids left, but it's an entirely different team. They play a different ballgame than the kids did last year and we're not going to have any of that nonsense.''
Ridgefield took control from the outset last night, jumping out to a 5-0 lead in the first 42 seconds of the game. Tyler Ugolyn ignited Ridgefield early on, scoring 10 points in the first quarter, in addition to blocking a shot and diving head-first into the bleachers to keep a teammate's errant pass from going out of bounds. Ugolyn led Ridgefield with 19 points, while teammate Jason Davis scored 10.
Brookfield rallied from seven points down to tie the game at 17 late in the second quarter, but the Bobcats were never able to take the lead. Senior forward Doug Hensal drained a 3-pointer to tie the game, but Ridgefield scored eight points in the final two minutes of the half and led 25-19 at the break.
``We played hard for about a quarter and a half and then we started going through the motions. We were in the game at halftime,'' said Brookfield coach Art Terry, whose team is 0-5 overall. ``I give Ridgefield a lot of credit. They played hard the whole time.''
In the second half, Ridgefield continued to pour on the pressure and extended its lead to 18 after the third quarter. Fleming scored 11 and made three steals and Ugolyn scored nine in the second half.
Tim Smyth led Brookfield with nine points. The Bobcats will face Danbury in the tournament's consolation game on Friday at 1 p.m.
Brookfield - 8 11 5 12 _ 36 Ridgefield- 13 12 17 12 _ 54
BROOKFIELD (36): Seth Fry 1 2-2 4, Doug Hensal 2 0-0 5, Mike Bonis 0 0-0 0, Kevin Koeppen 2 0-2 4, Tim Smyth 4 1-5 9, Jared Freed 0 0-3 0, John Charecky 0 1-2 1, Scott Gould 0 0-2 0, Eric Gudim 0 4-4 4, Pete Higgins 0 0-0 0, Dan Hudak 1 0-0 2, Chris Phillips 0 0-0 0, T.J. Zegle 1 5-8 7, Jamie Ellis 0 0-0 0, Adam Favale 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 11 13-28 36.
RIDGEFIELD (54): Donnie Williams 1 0-2 2, Kevin Fleming 7 2-3 18, Taylor Valentine 1 0-0 2, Tyler Ugolyn 9 1-5 19, Michael Mayhew 0 0-0 0, Michael Craig 2 0-0 4, Jake Coyle 0 0-0 0, Jason Davis 3 4-5 10, Vito Romano 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23 7-16 54.
3-POINT GOALS: Hensal (B); Fleming (R) 2.