Norwalk’s Roy Kane Jr., who averages close to 20 points per game, didn’t score his first goal against Darien until a last-second layup at the end of the first half, a good indication of how much the Bears struggled in the early going against the Blue Wave, who led 29-25 at intermission.
Kane and his half brother, Jabari Dear, combine to average more than half of Norwalk’s points per game, but neither played like their usual selves against Darien. Dear was shut out from behind the 3-point arc and only had 1 field goal and 4 points on the game. Kane, who only scored 3 field goals, was 10-12 from the line and finished with 16 points. With Zaire Wilson and Saeed Soulemane scoring 12 points each, Norwalk was able to overcome Dear’s uncharacteristic game.
With the loss to Norwalk, Darien fell to 3-13, and with just four games left the team cannot reach the 8 wins necessary to qualify for the state tournament. Nevertheless the Blue Wave can still exceed the achievements of recent teams, head coach Kyle Marian said.
“For us, obviously states was an expectation we wanted to get to,” Marian said. “But what I said to these guys, and especially the seniors here, is that we still have the opportunity to win more games than we’ve won in five or six years. They still have a chance to do that, and that’s a big thing in this program, from where we’re coming from and where we want to go to. My first year we won three games, last year we had two. We’re at three right now, so we want to get to 4, 5, 6 or maybe even 7. Nothing is set in stone.”
Darien junior point guard Matt Staubi missed the Norwalk game with injuries to his ankle and knee, but Marian hopes to have him back before the season ends.
“He’s been battling an injury since the Greenwich game, and he re-aggravated it the other night (against McMahon),” Marian said. “He was basically playing on one leg the other night and we just made the decision that we had to shut him down. Hopefully maybe get him back before (the season) is over, but we’re not sure.”