STAMFORD — The New Canaan High School and Stamford High School boys basketball programs are on different paths as the Rams battled the Black Knights on Friday night at Paul Kuczo gymnasium.

Each side got its own reward as Stamford exploded for 21 points in the fourth quarter to corral a 46-32 home triumph over New Canaan.

“We needed this win,” said Stamford coach Zach Smith. “We entered coming off three straight losses where we allowed 73 (to Wilbur Cross), 79 (to Ridgefield) and 73 points (to Trumbull).”


Seniors Jahmani Thornton and Harry Constantine along with junior Tyheim Burgess had a huge impact on the proceedings without scoring a point Friday night.

The trio was key on the defensive end as they chased and chased the New Canaan players in the Rams’ motion offense for the first half.

New Canaan led 10-4 after one period and 17-12 at halftime.

The benefit to Stamford (4-3, 2-2 FCIAC) came in the second half as Jay Javdon and Josh Thervil came off the bench fresh and not in foul trouble.

Thervil was solid defensively and facilitated offensively while making three of four free throws.

Javdon used his speed and physicality to score 11 of his 13 second-half points in the fourth quarter.

“The contributions of Thornton, Constantine and Burgess were great,” Stamford coach Smith said. “We were able to execute down the stretch in a tight game.”

Stamford’s physicality and experience showed as seniors Jelani Jackson (14 points) and Tevin St. John (eight of his nine points in second half) did damage on drives and offensive rebounds.

“Tevin and Jelani played well,” said New Canaan coach Dan Melzer, who had coached St. John and Jackson in their youngest days during his tenure at Stamford High. “They put so much work in over time. And you see the result now.”


Melzer is in his second season as New Canaan coach.

And the roster reflects that as just one senior saw limited action within a group dominated by sophomores and juniors.

The Rams (2-6, 0-5 FCIAC) lack height and physicality. However, they run their motion offense unselfishly and hustle defensively.

Their style doesn’t get them to the foul line. New Canaan was 3 of 5 on Friday compared to 9 of 15 for Stamford.

Junior Stephen Wronski paced the Rams with 11 points while sophomore Alex Gibbens added nine.

“We have one player who entered this year with varsity experience. We are a really young group,” said Melzer, who was greeted warmly by much of the Stamford High family before and after the contest. “I’m proud of our effort tonight. The most proud I’ve been all season. We took a step forward.

“We have struggled to score all season,” Melzer continued. “We had some good looks that we missed tonight. We have to continue to grind. We want to fulfill the road map we have for the program. The hard work we continue to do will translate. It’s hard to be a young team in the FCIAC.”


New Canaan will host RHAM in a non-league clash Saturday at 6 p.m. Stamford hosts McMahon on Tuesday at 7 p.m.



Camden Nelson 1 0-0 3 Stephen Wronski 5 1-2 11 Alex Gibbens 4 0-0 9 Ryan McAleer 1 0-1 2 Aiden Branwit 0 0-0 0 Luke Rwambuya 1 0-0 2 Jack Richardson 0 0-0 0 Brandon Sechan 0 0-0 0 Christian Sweeney 0 0-0 0 Aaron Frohman 1 2-2 5. Totals: 12 3-5 32.


Josh Thervil 0 3-4 3 Jahmani Thornton 0 0-0 0 Harry Constantine 0 0-0 0 Jelani Jackson 4 5-6 14 Tyheim Burgess 0 0-0 0 Jay Javdon 6 0-1 13 Tevin St. John 4 1-4 9 Tyler Landsiedel 0 0-0 0 Jaden Bell 3 0-0 7. Totals: 17 9-15 46.

NEW CANAAN 10 7 7 8—32

STAMFORD 4 8 13 21—46

3-Pointers: NC—Nelson, Gibbens, Frohman. S—Jackson, Javdon, Bell.