I’m running on fumes right now, but since there is no time with the one day turnaround to preview tomorrow’s Stamford-Bassick FCIAC Boys Basketball final, and since writing on a tight deadline sometimes causes one to overlook some key points in a game, here are some random thoughts off the top of my head on today’s “Stamford Invitational,” in which three of the four teams in the semifinal were from Stamford for the only time since 1968:
— I missed it, but several others, including Stamford coach Jim Moriarty, didn’t: When Westhill inbounded the ball to run the final play in its 61-59 loss to Stamford with 2.4 seconds remaining, it apparently had six players on the court.
— A key stat that was not emphasized enough in my story: the Vikings were just 9 of 20 from the foul line.
—Stamford’s Achilles’ heel all season has been ballhandling. The Black Knights turned the ball over eight times in the final quarter against Westhill, including twice in the last 13 seconds, one reason Tony Dobbinson got an open look and chance for a game-winning 3-point shot. Bassick, which defeated Trinity Catholic in the other semifinal game, is probably going to press the Black Knights from the opening whistle. How they handle it will probably be the key to the game.
— Monday’s game was exciting because it was close but extremely sloppy. There were a combined six turnovers in the final 1:15 and 42 for the game. In the first quarter they were a combined 11 for 37 from the field.
— No one should be surprised that Stamford, which two years ago won just its second FCIAC title and first in 45 years, is back in the final again. The Black Knights are the No. 7 seed but a misleading one. They lost three games down the stretch by one point. If they win those three games they would have been the third seed. They are one of if not the best defensive team in the league, and Moriarty is one of the top coaches. Three coaches told me before the playoffs started that they thought the Black Knights would win the championship.
— Trinity Catholic ran out of gas in its 75-68 loss to Bassick after entering the fourth quarter with a three-point lead. The Lions went to full-court pressure and the Crusaders just tired. Schadrac Casimir was sensational in defeat with 30 points for Trinity, but he got the second star of the game. The first went to Bassick’s Jamill Powell, who scored 25 points and forced Trinity coach Mike Walsh to alter his defense.
— One thing I am really curious about, and I’d love to hear comments from fans who were at the games tonight, and the girls’ tournament last week: How do you feel about holding the basketball tournaments at Harbor Yard? I think the FCIAC has done a great thing for the kids, allowing them to play in a top-rate facility, and the people at the arena have earned high reviews. But the crowds have been small, and the electricity you get at a packed gymnasium is lost in a large arena. Would the crowd have been bigger tonight at Fairfield Warde? I have no idea.
It would be interesting to see how the players would vote if given the choice.