New Canaan comes together to knock off Trinity Catholic in boys basketball
Published 6:29 pm, Tuesday, February 17, 2015
NEW CANAAN — Better late than never.
The Rams have been waiting all year for everything to come together for one game and Monday night at home it did. New Canaan, led by the trio of Paul Hagopian, Tyler Sweeney and Claude Chandonnet Jr. beat Trinity Catholic 71-57.
“They all three played well,” New Canaan coach Mike Evans said. “That’s the key, I don’t know what it was that caused it but it happened.”
Sweeney and Chandonnet Jr. paced the Ram scorers with 21 and 24 points, respectively, and Hagopian played facilitator all night while contributing 12 points of his own.
The performance of the Rams (4-13, 2-13 FCIAC) came as no surprise to Trinity Catholic coach Mike Walsh, whose team just came off an impressive win over Trumbull.
“New Canaan has played everybody tough and they were just waiting for everything to go right for them,” Walsh said. “And it did tonight; they outhustled us, they out-scrapped us, they outshot us, I was impressed with them and I think we came in a little overconfident but I don’t want to take anything away from them — they played very, very well.”
Trinity’s standout guard Tyrell St. John did everything he could in the loss, scoring 32 points and 17 of the Crusaders first 21 but the rest of the team was unable to match his output, resulting in the defeat.
“He does everything to help this team win,” Walsh said. “But we needed more form the rest of our offense; we came off a big win against Trumbull but we hit a lull tonight and that was because of the play of New Canaan.”
Evans was also impressed with the play of St. John; the Rams constantly doubled him all night but were unable to slow down the senior, eventually penetrating through their offense.
“He probably has the best timing in the league,” Evans said. “He knows when to shoot and when not to and he’ll lull you along and then bang, he’ll get you, I’ll vote for him for all-FCIAC no doubt.”
Any time the Crusaders (7-10, 5-10) looked to gain a little momentum and take a chunk out of the New Canaan lead the Ram offense would convert and effectively take the wind out of Trinity’s sails, that all started with New Canaan’s big three and the work they put in during the offseason.
“We play together year round and we have chemistry,” Hagopian said of the trio. “And the last couple games we started pushing it and playing pickup basketball, and doing that is fun.”
Evans was most impressed with how his seniors stepped up despite no chance of a post-season and that’s something they have taken pride in, especially with Monday’s win.
“Once we realized we weren’t making states we wanted to bring up the intensity to show younger kids that New Canaan basketball still cares about winning,” Chandonnet Jr. said. “Even with no postseason you have to work hard and show you can improve every year.”
New Canaan 71, Trinity Catholic 57
NEW CANAAN (4-13, 2-13)
Paul Hagopian 4 4-6 12 Tyler Sweeney 9 1-3 21 James Crovatto 3 3-3 9 Claude Chandonnet Jr. 9 4-4 24 Kyle Smith 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 12-16 71.
TRINITY CATHOLIC (7-10, 5-10)
Tyrell St. John 11 10-15 32 Justice Page 2 0-0 5 Dom Svrcek 1 0-0 3 Thomas Costigan 1 0-0 2 Jon Lyons 3 0-0 8 Thomas Tamioilakis 1 0-0 2 John Somers 2 0-0 5. Totals: 21 10-15 57.
NEW CANAAN 13 13 22 23—71
TRINITY CATHOLIC 7 14 15 21—57
3-pointers: NC—Sweeney 2, Chandonnet Jr. 4; TC—Page, Svrcek, Lyons 2, Somers.