Boys basketball: Fairfield Prep advances to SCC semis

Ryan Foley (21) attacks the rim for two of his 17 points in Fairfield Prep’s Class LL state basketball final with Bridgeport Central at the Mohegan Sun Arena. (Photo by David G. Whitham)

Ryan Foley scored 29 points in Fairfield Prep’s win over Notre Dame of West Haven on Saturday.
(Photo by David G. Whitham)

Ryan Foley dropped in 29 points to lead top-seeded Fairfield Prep past Notre Dame of West Haven, 71-56, in the SCC boys basketball quarterfinals at Branford High on Saturday.

The eighth-seeded Green Knights trailed by double digits for a majority of the contest, but whittled their deficit to 50-44 following a 3-pointer by Karim Cisse with 6:33 left to play.

Prep (20-1) responded with a 12-0 run, keyed by a pair of 3-pointers from Foley, to push its lead back to an insurmountable 62-44 advantage with 2:58 left in the game.

With the victory, the Jesuits moved on to the semifinals on Monday night at East Haven High, where they will face fourth-seeded Hamden High (17-5). The Green Dragons, who split with Prep in the regular season, defeated fifth-seeded Xavier High of Middletown, 35-32, in the day’s first quarterfinal.

“We know each other very well,” Fairfield Prep head coach Leo Redgate said. “Ultimately, I’ll be honest, I think it really just comes down to luck. I think it’s about who gets lucky on that night and that’s what makes the league so tough.”

Mike Mullen’s driving layup gave Notre Dame (12-10) its first and only lead at 2-0 1:25 into the contest. The Jesuits then countered with a 9-0 run, keyed by four points from Rich Kelly, and they held the lead the rest of the way.

Patrick Harding, who pulled down an unofficial 23 rebounds for the game, notched 13 of them in the first half, as Prep used its size to gain control of the Green Knights.

“I don’t think anyone could stop him,” Redgate said. “Once they started doubling down, Patrick smartly threw it back out for the wide-open three.”

The inside-outside combination again worked wonders for Prep, as it knocked down seven 3-pointers on its way to punching its ticket to the SCC semifinals. Harding scored 14 points and Tommy Nolan chipped in with 16.

Cisse led Notre Dame with 18 points, Pat Doyle added 17 and Mullen 11.

“I thought it was a bit of an ugly game but you’re going to have to win ugly games,” Redgate said. “I thought we stayed together.”

 

 

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