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BOYS BASKETBALL: Guilford takes down Wilcox Tech from long range

BOYS BASKETBALL: Guilford takes down Wilcox Tech from long range

reporter photo

MERIDEN — Guilford shot the lights out on Tuesday night, spoiling Wilcox Tech’s Senior Night with 12 3-pointers in an 83-47 non-conference victory over the hosting Tribe.

The SCC school was paced by the trio of John Petonito (23 points), Brayden SantaBarbara (19) and Jake Ciocca (15 points).

They led the way as Guilford finished the regular season at 9-11. Wilcox closed at 8-12.

Guilford held a 43-28 lead at the half, a margin created by a 17-2 run at the end of the first quarter. 

SantaBarbara had 16 points in the book by the half and fellow senior Petonito had 13.

Guilford made seven 3-pointers in the first 16 minutes. SantaBarbara had a trio of treys in the first 16 minutes. Petonito and Ciocca had two apiece.

Wilcox Tech’s Nate DeMaio had 11 of his 13 points by the half as the Tribe jumped out to a quick 13-8 advantage in the opening five minutes. Guilford, fueled by its 17-2 run, turned the deficit into a 25-16 lead by the end of the first quarter.

“The effort is there,” Wilcox Tech coach Randy Farkas said. “They didn’t come out and just manhandle us. They shoot the ball extremely well. They have five kids on the floor and they are basically all guards, when you are knocking down three after three.

“All year we struggled in the half court,” Farkas added. “We don’t have that key scorer or that person who can create a shot for himself or for someone else. Collectively, with all of their guards and their speed, they got to us.”

Guilford poured it on in the second second half, stretching the lead to 60-39 after three quarters. 

Ciocca canned three more treys in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter as everything was going in for Guilford. All five of Ciocca’s made shots were 3-pointers.

Wallingford’s Jeff DeMaio coaches Guilford. With his son Nate suiting up for Wilcox, he’d seen the Meriden school play 12 times prior to Tuesday night.

“Wilcox Tech is feisty,” DeMaio said. “We fortunately hit a ton of shots tonight. We had 12 3-pointers tonight and 11 last night and we lost to Amity. That’s what we do. If we shoot it well, we are very tough, and when we don’t we get very normal out there, and you saw that a little bit in some spots tonight.

“We will take it. We have nine wins this year and now we look forward to the league tournament at Shelton on Thursday night.”

Wilcox is also in its conference tournament. The Tribe travels to unbeaten Prince Tech on Friday for the opening round of the CTC Tournament.

Tuesday was Senior Night for Wilcox Tech seniors Kyle Bailey, Nate DeMaio, Isaiah Felix, Joe Scala and James Thurston.

Scala finished with a team-high 18 points.

“He’s had an excellent senior year,” Farkas said. “I wish he could have had the entire year. The fractured wrist he had at the beginning of the year held him back. To see where he is after that, he’s had an amazing senior year. He’s playing very hard and I’m proud of the way he’s bounced back this year.”