Boys Basketball Class S Championship
Trinity Catholic 61, Westbrook 52
By Ned Griffen
Special to CIACsports.com
UNCASVILLE — Dutreil Contavio had 13 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks as sixth-seeded Trinity Catholic used a late push to put away No. 1 Westbrook on Saturday, 61-52, to win the CIAC Class M championship at Mohegan Sun Arena.
“Nothing is easy for us,” Trinity senior Peter Galgano said. “We always have to work for it.”
It was the seventh state title for the Crusaders (20-6), while the White Knights finished 25-3.
Trinity led by as much as 49-40 with over seven minutes left in the game. Westbrook came back with Bell’s two free throws cutting the Crusaders’ lead to 51-50 with 2:24 left.
Cory Muckle made a steal seconds later at halfcourt and began a three-on-one break for the White Knights. Galgano tied up Bell as he attempted a layup, and the Crusaders got the ball back via the possession arrow.
“I was thinking about the when we played Wilton in the (Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference) quarterfinals (on Feb. 25),” Galgano said. “We gave up that (14-point, third quarter) lead and we knew we couldn’t give up that lead again. We had to do anything to win.
“That’s (the tie-up) just pure luck. I just tried my best to go for the ball.”
Contavio made a dunk seconds after the turnover as Galgano’s steal started a 9-0 run.
“Let me tell you something, (Galgano has) got a heart as big as the whole state of Connecticut,” Trinity head coach Mike Walsh said. “He’s really a good kid, a tough kid, and he always seems to come up with the right play and the loose ball.”
Dimitry Moise had 20 points and six rebounds for the Crusaders and Galgano had 11 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Bell had 23 points, eight rebounds and two steals for Westbrook, the Shoreline Conference champion. Muckle added 15 points, four rebounds and four steals.
“It’s very difficult to compete a team that competes against LL schools all year (in-conference), but I thought we competed pretty darn well,” White Knights’ head coach Jeffrey Beeman said. “I thought we played our butts off.”
Trinity used its size to its advantage thanks to Contavio (6-foot-6) and Moise (6-4). It outscored Westbrook inside, 36-16.
“Those two guys inside, especially Contavio, he really alters the game for us,” Walsh said. “Eighteen months ago, he was in Haiti and didn’t play basketball. Now he’s a pretty good basketball player.”
Beeman said, “In the first half, (Moise) had (16) points. And it was like, ‘What do we give them? Do we give them perimeter shots?’ We were trying to man-up inside, but again they were physically more gifted than us.”
The Crusaders also made it difficult for Westbrook to make 3-pointers, a key part of its game. It shot 41-percent in its previous two games.
Trinity held the White Knights to 25.9-percent (7 of 27).
“Again, that’s the difference between playing LL and S (schools during the regular season),” Beeman said. “We don’t see that kind of man defense. It’s spotty. There’s maybe one really good defender, or maybe two really good defenders. (Trinity) had three-or-four, and even their post guys could come out and defend.”