Fairfield Ludlowe has allowed only one team, Fairfield Prep, to score more than 60 points this season, and the Falcons have been involved in a number of extremely low-scoring contests, including a 35-34 win in overtime (yes, overtime) against McMahon and a 32-30 victory over Staples.
The Falcons (5-6) remind no one of the Bo Kimble-Hank Gathers Loyola Marymount teams, but slowing down the tempo has worked relatively well for the team, allowing it to remain in games against high-scoring clubs like St. Josephs (a 59-51 loss).
“I’d love to be telling you that we’re 10-0 and we’re scoring in the 80s, but we’re not that kind of team,” Ludlowe coach Brian Silvestro said Friday. “My penchant as a coach has always been defense first. So I would like to play more man (defense), but some of these teams are just too athletic for us. In zone, if you play it well, you can really slow some high-powered teams down. We’ve tried to teach man principles in our zone, and I think that’s made us more effective.”
Silvestro said their previous game, a 48-37 loss to Westhill on Tuesday, was a perfect example of how an effective zone can stifle a high-scoring offense.
“We just kind of slowed that game down to a crawl. I wish we’d made a couple more shots, which would have given us a chance to win that game. But it didn’t happen,” he said.
The absence of Connor Peterson, the senior forward who missed four games with a calf injury, also necessitated a change in approach, Silvestro said. Peterson was averaging 12 points and 10 rebounds before the injury and he matched up well against other big men. He returned for Friday’s game against Norwalk, scoring 6 points and not factoring much inside.
“I thought he was a little bit rusty in terms of his ball handling and a little reluctant to do the stuff he does,” Silvestro said. “I do like him on the floor, though, because he does talk and he’s a good leader. I think there’s more he can give us.”