NEW FAIRFIELD -- It was a long bus ride into hostile territory Thursday night for the Notre Dame of Fairfield boys basketball team, although another big SWC victory certainly must've made the ride home quite a bit more enjoyable.
The Lancers remained undefeated in conference play with a 72-46 triumph over up-and-coming contender New Fairfield in front of a spirited crowd of several hundred.
The Lancers (8-3 overall, 7-0 SWC) have won seven straight after a 1-3 start which included non-conference defeats to SCC powers Fairfield Prep and Career as well as Kolbe Cathedral (non-league contest).
Jaylen Jennings registered a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Lancers. Jennings, a senior captain, scored 11 of Notre Dame's 17 points in the first quarter, and scored eight of Notre Dame's 18 points in the pivotal third quarter in which the Lancers doubled their 10-point halftime lead to 20 entering the fourth quarter.
"Just staying consistent on defense was the big thing," Jennings said. "That's what we focused on the whole game. The offense comes easier when you focus on defense."
Balance is key to the Notre Dame attack, as Jennings led four Lancers scoring in double-figures. Jake Heaton added 18 points, Jesse McIntosh scored 13 and C.J. Davidson scored 12. Davidson and Jordan Pettway each registered seven assists and Heaton added four steals.
The Lancers shot a scorching 25-for-30 from the foul line, with Heaton going 10-for-11 and Jennings going 9-for-11.
"What makes them fun to watch is that they share the ball," Notre Dame coach Vin Laczkoski said. "They're mentally tough. The game got a little chippy, but we kept our composure. And as you can see, we like going to the foul line.
"I've got a good group of kids," Laczkoski continued. "I couldn't be more proud of them. They share the ball, they play hard, and as a coach, what more can you ask for?"
Jeff Casey scored 16 points and Anthony Cammarota scored 14 to lead the Rebels (9-3, 4-2), who had entered this week with an unbeaten conference record of their own before falling to Newtown on Tuesday.
"That's a very good team and he does a very good job with them," New Fairfield coach Joel Pardalis said. "They pushed the tempo from the opening tip to that last buzzer and they force you to adapt to them. We wanted to control the pace tonight, and we didn't do that very well."
Friday night offers two more intriguing SWC match-ups for these two teams. The Rebels will hit the road looking to get back on track when they visit defending SWC champ Bunnell.
"No time to lick our wounds," Pardalis said. "We've been saying all along that there are no road-blocks, only speed-bumps. Everything is a speed bump. Get over it and keep moving forward."
Notre Dame, meanwhile, will head north once again on Friday, this time to face contender Pomperaug. Read Full Article
"They like to run and shoot, and so do we," Laczkoski said of Pomperaug. "It's going to be a fun game. They're very good. We've scouted them a couple times, and they can really play."
NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD (8-3, 7-0 SWC)
Jordan Pettway 1 2-2 4; C.J. Davidson 4 4-6 12; Jake Heaton 4 10-11 18; Jaylen Jennings 7 9-11 23; Jesse McIntosh 5 0-0 13; Joe Cantey 0 0-0 0; Anthony Gadsden 1 0-0 2; Justin Federici 0 0-0 0; James Gibson 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 25-30 72.
NEW FAIRFIELD (9-3, 4-2)
Bobby Elliott 0 0-0 0; Sam LaCour 0 0-0 0; Anthony Cammarota 5 2-2 14; Ben Gioia 1 0-0 2; Mike Librie 3 0-0 7; Jeff Nabozna 0 0-0 0; Jeff Casey 6 4-4 16; Jenner Stunkard 1 0-0 2; Eric Martinez 2 0-0 5; Denis Leary 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 6-6 46.
NOTRE DAME 17 18 18 19 -- 72
NEW FAIRFIELD 11 14 8 13 -- 46
3-pointers: ND--McIntosh 3; NF--Cammarota 2, Librie, Martinez.