Westhill cruises to win at New Canaan
Updated 11:16 pm, Tuesday, January 13, 2015
NEW CANAAN -- Using relentless pressure and turning the first half into a track meet Westhill was able to maintain its undefeated FCIAC record.
The Vikings (7-1, 6-0) cruised to a 69-52 win on the road at New Canaan, using strong guard play and defense to record easy transition buckets.
"They're very important," Vikings coach Howard White said of guards Jeremiah Livingston (20 points) and C.J. Donaldson (11). "For the last four games we've been playing really good basketball and they've stepped their game up from the offensive and defensive end; and if we can continue do that and the role players step up, we'll be fine."
Livingston and Donaldson motored up and down the court all night, especially in the early going where the Vikings were able to take a 52-31 lead into halftime.
"We both try to stay on the floor and out of foul trouble," Livingston said. "We know we both can dribble the ball and create for each other."
Despite starting league play at 6-0 White isn't concerned with maintaining an unblemished record and just hopes his team puts its best effort out every night.
"We're just taking it one game at a time," White said. "We're not even looking to go undefeated we're just looking to come out and play good basketball every night."
At the other end of the spectrum New Canaan (2-5, 0-5) needs to start doing the little things right if it wants to be able to compete in conference.
"We had trouble passing and catching," Rams coach Mike Evans said. "It's really basic stuff which led to a lot of opportunities for them which they capitalized on. (White's) a great coach, he knows exactly what he's doing but at the end of the day we handed them a lot of points."
The Rams came out in the second half and actually outscored Westhill by a point in the final periods, Westhill throttled back its full-court press, but didn't sub out any starters.
"We had a halftime talk about mentality," Evans said of the turnaround. "Forget about Xs and Os, I think our guys are getting fed up with it being the same old story and its sort of internal, we're hearing a lot more positive talking from our guys and that was the difference."
Leading the charge was New Canaan's lone offensive bright spot, Tyler Sweeney. The sophomore had, had a tough time early facing off against top FCIAC teams, but seemed to find himself Tuesday night, pacing all scorers with 26 points.
"Tyler's been struggling and it was so great to see him have an explosion of offense finally," Evans said. "He needed that for his own mentality, he's been nothing but positive through the struggles and he's a lot better than he's shown and he proved that tonight."
Westhill 69, New Canaan 52
WESTHILL (7-1, 6-0)
Jeremiah Livingston 8 2-3 20 CJ Donaldson 4 3-4 11 Tyrell Alexander 5 0-2 11 Breanden Thomas 2 0-6 4 Torrie Perry 4 2-3 11 Samir Johnson 0 2-3 2 Gio Noel 1 0-0 2 Juan DelaCruz 2 0-0 4 Parrish Rowell 1 0-0 3. Totals: 27 9-21 69.
NEW CANAAN (2-5, 0-5)
Paul Hagopian 2 1-2 5 Tyler Sweeney 11 3-5 26 Jack Wallace 0 2-2 2 Jack Havard 1 4-8 6 Claude Chandonnet 4 5-5 13. Totals: 18 15-22 52.
WESTHILL 17 18 17 17--69
NEW CANAAN 6 11 14 21--52
3-pointers: W--Livingston 2, Alexander 2, Perry, Rowell; NC--Sweeney.