(Newtown CT) Wilton finished strong to defeat University, 69-64, and take the Hoops for Heroes Tournament on Monday night at Newtown High School.
The Warriors (3-1) trailed by as many as thirteen points (in the first half) but finally caught the Hawks early in the final quarter.
Layups by Eric Houska (20 points) and Matt Shifrin (23 points) plus a converted rebound from Peter Ciaccio (11 points/10 rebounds) gave Wilton a five-point lead (58-53) with five minutes left.
The Warriors notched eleven free throws the rest of the way, including five straight at the end, to hold off University in the closing minutes.
The Hawks (3-1) from Hartford dominated the early going using four Wilton turnovers to run off to an 11-3 margin in the first three minutes.
Senior Micheal Gilliam (31 points) had an enormous first half getting eighteen points from both long range and on breaks.
University led, 36-28, at the half.
The Hawks were still comfortable (42-32) 1 1/2 minutes into the third quarter. However, the rest of the way the Warriors were fifteen points better than the Hawks.
Wilton did it from long range (three 3’s) as well as from in close. They took the ball at the foul-plagued Hawks and made free throws in crunch time.
University (15-8 last year) cooled off considerably, although Micheal Gilliam made several 3’s in the final minutes to keep the Hawks within one possession a number of times. But Wilton made their free throws and held on for the win.
Wilton (16-9 last year) was able to hang around in the first half thanks to five three’s.
Matt Shifrin and Eric Houska made the All-Tourney team for Wilton. Micheal Gilliam was honored for University.
University’s Jaqhawn Walters had a double/double (15 points/14 rebounds) in the Hawks, 63-50, win over Kolbe Cathedral in the opening round.
Junior Will Hardie had eleven points for University against Wilton.
My stats for Micheal Gilliam, Will Hardie, Eric Houska, and Matt Shifrin disagree with the University scorebook but I’ll take my chances on mine being right.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)