Notre Dame advances to SWC playoff semifinals

Third-seeded Notre Dame of Fairfield took a 10-point halftime lead and then held off sixth-seeded Masuk High to win a 73-61 decision in the South-West Conference boys basketball quarterfinals at David Strong Gymnasium in Monroe on Saturday.
Danny Upchurch scored 29 points to lead coach Vin Laczkoski’s team into Tuesday’s semifinal at Newtown High opposite either second-seeded Bethel High or seventh-seeded Weston.
Notre Dame, behind 12 points from Upchurch, took an 18-17 lead in a first quarter that was tied four times.
Masuk’s Dominic Migliaro, who scored 10 of his 25 points in the opening period, made a  fade-away jumper on the move from the baseline to narrow the ND margin to one.
Earl Colemen (15 points) led Notre Dame’s 20-8 run in the second quarter with eight points, six during a 12-0 stretch that took the score from 24-21 to 36-21.
It was 38-28 Notre Dame at the half and 42-30 following Clinton Davidson’s two free throws, when Masuk scored on five straight trips down court in the third quarter.
Matt Gerak (17 points) had seven points and two assists in the period, including a 3-pointer with 2:39 left in the stanza to make it a 45-42 game.
Upchurch scored one basket and assisted on a big basket by Kevin Laing, who with Jaylen Jennings gave ND a good one-two punch inside, to stem the tide, and the Lancers led 53-47 with eight minutes to go.
Masuk scored on four straight possessions after opening the final frame with a missed field goal, but Notre Dame matched them point-for-point.
Coleman led a 6-for-6 performance from the line for the Lancers in the last three minutes.

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