(Monroe CT) The Ridgefield Tigers (3-0) continue undefeated as they defeated the Masuk Panthers, 51-37, on Monday night at Masuk.
The visitors grabbed the lead early in the first quarter and never trailed thereafter.
Masuk (0-3) gave up far too many good looks to Ridgefield and the Tigers were able to run points in a row (ten, eight, seven, and six). The best the Panthers could do was put five points together twice.
The long ball was the primary weapon for the Tigers on this night. Senior Matt Brennan (18 points) connected on four 3’s while teammate Charlie Irwin (12 points) notched two treys.
Patrick Racy (12 points), Matt Brennan, and Matt Saporito sparked the first run as Ridgefield burst ahead, 10-2, halfway through the first quarter.
In the second quarter it was two 3’s by Charlie Irwin and a shot in the lane by 6-7 Patrick Racy that had the Tigers in front, 22-11, three minutes into that quarter.
A leaner by Matt Hornak had Masuk within eight (29-21) with two minutes until halftime but over the next three minutes of playing time (stretching into the third quarter) Pat Racy and Matt Brennan combined to give Ridgefield a 36-21 lead.
The final run of six points (Charlie Irwin and Will Brady) to start the final quarter put Ridgefield in front, 51-34, with six minutes left.
The rest of the way, the Tigers effectively ran out the clock despite having five turnovers.
The Tigers impressed me defensively. They kept the Masuk dribblers going sideways most of the night.
Ridgefield was 18-6 last season and looked to me to be a team capable of at least doing as well this time around. In this game their size, defense, and outside shooting was very solid.
Masuk first-year coach Tom Zultowski has a team with plenty of speed and hustle. The Panthers were 9-12 in 2012-13.
Junior Bryan Acevedo had twenty-four points in Masuk’s first game.
The Panthers next game is home versus Bunnell on Friday (7PM).
Matt Brennan had five 3’s in Ridgefield’s win over Westhill on Friday night.
The Tigers graduated seven players including Kurt Steidl. Kurt is now with Vermont. He averaged 25 PPG in 2012-13 and was the Connecticut Gatorade Player of the Year.
Ridgefield does not play again until January 3rd when they will travel to St. Joe’s for a 7PM game.
(All of the pictures above and belong will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)