Boys Basketball Guth keeps Immaculate unbeaten in the SWC
DANBURY — The challengers keep coming to Danbury, and the Immaculate boys basketball team keep batting them away.
The Mustangs faced another formidable foe in Stratford, which entered play right behind them in second place in the SWC standings. The result was the same as every other league game, though.
Things got dicey late for Immaculate, which ran its record to 12-0 in the league and 16-3 overall with a 53-43 win over the Red Devils Thursday night. The win locked up the top seed in next week’s SWC tournament, which means potentially two more home games for the title-hopeful hosts.
The Mustangs had a 10-point lead cut to four with 90 seconds left, but back to back layups sandwiched between a Stratford turnover made it easy breathing in the final moments. Immaculate won its fifth straight overall, the last four by double digits.
“Just to close out games is something I think this team does really well,” said Immaculate junior Quinn Guth, who finished with 19 points. “It’s because we have good leadership from our seniors.”
Immaculate controlled the tempo for most of the evening, establishing a double-digit lead early in the third quarter and not allowing the Red Devils to creep into the game until late.
A first undefeated league season in school history will be at risk Tuesday against Weston.
“They have something to play to for and they’re excited about that opportunity,” Mustangs coach Nelson Mingachos said. “We were undefeated in 2012 and Weston knocked us off then, so it’s a little deja vu.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Quinn Guth, Immaculate: A motor on both ends of the court, Guth forced several turnovers that plagued the visitors in addition to leading the scoring.
KNOCKING ON THE DOOR
The Red Devils we’re close to defeating the league leaders Thursday, but cold shooting prevented any rhythm from being found. Stratford (13-6) entered the matchup having won its last seven games, including knocking off Newtown and Bunnell.
“They’re a very good team and we had been playing well ourselves,” Stratford coach Tim Swaller said. “We did not shoot well; we usually have a good shooting team. The shots we usually knock down, tonight they didn’t go in.”
A win by Stratford would have put it in position to claim the top seed. Jack Ryan scored 16 points for the visitors.
“We have a balanced group and share the ball very well,” Swaller said. “We do have some guys who can put the ball in the hoop; we have five guys who play well for each other.”
“We were trying not to lose the game as opposed to trying to win the game, but I thought our kids played tough today,” Mingachos said. “They all knew the No. 1 seed was on the line; I thought we worked hard.”
IMMACULATE 53, STRATFORD 43
Zack Fedak 1 4-5 6 Jack Ryan 7 1-2 16 Mike August 2 1-2 5 Joe August 3 0-1 6 Preston Williams 2 0-0 4 Jayquan Kirkland 3 0-0 6. Totals: 18 6-10 43.
Jack Woods 2 0-0 5 Mike Basile 5 4-4 14 Quinn Guth 7 4-6 19 Sean Guiry 7 1-1 15 Diego Echavarria 0 0-2 0. Totals: 21 9-13 53.
STRATFORD 6 12 7 18 — 43
IMMACULATE 9 16 10 18 — 53
3-pointers: S—Ryan; I—Woods, Guth.