Greenwich boys basketball ready to start the year the same way they ended 2013

After an outstanding road trip to Kentucky, the Greenwich High School boys basketball team is back in the Nutmeg State and ready to make a huge statement in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

“It was really good,”Greenwich head coach Bill Brehm said. “We wanted to get out of the Darien, New Canaan tournament because we already play those teams in the league. It wasn’t something the kids really got up for, so I figured it would be nice to go out-of-state, go on an overnight trip and do something the kids could get excited about.”

Greenwich boarded the bus the day after Christmas and headed to Hazard, Kentucky for two games in the TECO Coal Commodore Classic at Perry Central High School.

Playing in the same tournament as two teams from Kentucky and another from Ohio, Greenwich started competition by upending Harlan County, 61-48.

Big Red was led by CJ Byrd, as she scored a team-high 21 points. Alex Wolf and Tommy Povinelli each finished with 12 points. Wolf was also dominating underneath the basket, netting nine rebounds and 10 blocked shots. Povinelli also added six assists on the night.

With the victory, Greenwich continued its good times in the Bluegrass State by beating Breahitt County, 51-50.

“There were teams that were already 12 games into their season and we were obviously in a disadvantage coming into the tournament playing two games,” Brehm said. “It worked out well though. We played really well for three quarters of our first game, but had a little let down in the final quarter. We put four quarters together against Breahitt County and won by a point. We were very happy with the tournament. It was great fun and a great experience for the kids.”

A constant theme throughout the start of the season, and during the team’s trip to Kentucky, was the dominating play of senior Alex Wolf at center.

“He really was a big presence for us at Perry Central,” Brehm said. “He’s a force on the boards. He’s owning the paint and has that attitude that he’s coming to play hard every night. He has that mindset that he needs to dominate and that teams are going to focus on him. He needs to continue to hit the boards and continue to be physical.”

One thing that Greenwich found out in the trip is that they have a slew of athletes that can hit the long range shot. In addition to Byrd and Povinelli, Griffin Golden, Jonathan Palmer and Patrick Santini have all found success firing away at the net.

“It’s nice to be able to spread the wealth, in terms of scorers,” Brehm said. “The more scorers that you have, the harder it is for a team to prepare for you. It’s a luxury, but there are going to be games where the shots aren’t falling and we will have to rebound and get to the free throw line.”

 

While the team came back to Connecticut with a perfect 4-0 record on the season, Brehm said that the bonding on the trip was just as important as the wins.

“It was great,” Brehm said. “We had nearly a six hour delay on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but I think the kids didn’t mind. They were playing games, watching movies and getting to know each other. At the tournament, we put the kids in rooms with other kids that they didn’t know too well. We paired up some seniors and sophomores. It was a great success.”

Yesterday, Greenwich was supposed to be back in action, however Mother Nature had other plans. With the winter storm that blasted the Northeast, Big Red’s game against Fairfield Warde High School was postponed and will be played Monday night in Fairfield at 7.

“We are going into the Warde game with confidence, but we certainly don’t want to be over-confident,” Brehm said. “I think Warde is a good team, well-coached and very disciplined. It won’t be easy going in there, but I think our kids have some confidence that they went into a different state, played teams they haven’t seen before and adjusted to what we asked them to do.”

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