Boys basketball: Falcons rally comes up short

Ludlowe's Mason Rush (21) and Trumbull's J.J. Pfohl make contact while going for a rebound. — Bill Bloxsom photo

Ludlowe’s Mason Rush (21) and Trumbull’s J.J. Pfohl make contact while going for a rebound. — Bill Bloxsom photo

Fairfield Ludlowe needed a spark when coach John Dailey’s Falcons traveled to Trumbull High and trailed the Eagles by 15 points with 5:33 remaining in their FCIAC boys basketball game on Friday night.

Tom Duffy’s hot hand from the outside, and a strong defensive effort down the stretch, brought Ludlowe back before Trumbull walked off with a 53-51 victory.

“I thought we did a great job in the first half minus two starters (foul trouble) for most of the half,” Dailey said. “Tommy played great tonight, 21 points, kind of single handedly kept us in the first half and then got super hot at the end to single handedly bring us back.

“There was a stretch in that third quarter that we didn’t make anything, missed some layups missed some free throws. We’re having a hard time scoring recently, I don’t necessarily like to play in the 40s and 50s that’s not my style. We’re trying to score 60 70 points a night…For some reason, we’re just not putting the ball in the hole.”

Duffy made a trey at the 1:50 mark of the final frame to pull Ludlowe within 48-45, the closest it had been since the second half began. The senior guard then knocked down a deep 3-pointer with 13.5 remaining and it was 53-51.

The Falcons forced a turnover on the inbounds play, but a traveling call on a shot that fell short from the corner came as the buzzer sounded.

“Credit Ludlowe I knew they wouldn’t go away, just like Warde didn’t (a 54-53 THS win on Jan. 13),” said Eagle coach Buddy Bray. “We’re in the FCIAC, teams are well coached. (That) Kid (Duffy) showed a lot of heart, he made two Steph Curry threes.”

Trumbull improved to 7-1 and has won six straight since a 59-55 loss to Darien on Dec. 23.

J.J. Pfohl scored 12 points, Jack Moore, 10, Chris Lyons nine, Ben McCullough eight and Johnny McElroy seven.

Ludlowe is 4-4, but has dropped three of its last four decisions. The Falcons will visit Wilton High, Friday, Jan. 22, at 3:30 p.m. Duffy finished with 21 points. Cole Prowitt-Smith had 13 and Greg Lawrence seven.

Ludlowe led 8-6 after one period and 16-11 on another of Duffy’s five 3-pointers with 3:33 left in the first half.

Trumbull put together a mini-run of its own to close the quarter.

McCullough scored on a putback, Pfohl found Lyons going backdoor for a hoop, and McCullough took a nifty give-and-go pass from Moore and laid it in for a 17-16 lead with 2:12 on the clock.

The Falcons’ Prowitt-Smith drove through traffic to regain the lead.

Moore hit 3-of-4 from the foul line and McElroy scored on a break off a McCullough outlet pass.

Ludlowe’s Mason Rush scored in the lane on a pass from Duffy at the horn to make it 22-20 Trumbull at the half.

Moore opened the third period with a 3-pointer. Steals by Pfohl and McCullough led to a pair of breakaway buckets from Pfohl; Ludlowe called for time down 29-20.

Pfohl assisted on a McElroy three then took a pass from McElroy and scored in transition. It was 34-24 with 3:24 left in the third.

Trumbull’s Eddie Giovannini’s 3-pointer made it a 13-point game and Lyons’ curl pass around a defender led to a McElroy basket and the game’s largest lead at 45-30.

Lawrence’s three-point play off an assist from Rush was followed by a pair of Prowitt-Smith buckets — a pretty spin in the lane and a deep trey.

Duffy scored the next seven Falcon points. Pfohl made 5-of-6 free throws during this stretch for a 52-45 lead.

Prowitt-Smith’s strong drive from the wing resulted in a three-point play. With 35 seconds remaining it was 52-48.

Trumbull missed 3-of-4 free throws before Duffy closed the gap to a point.

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