WALLINGFORD — The Guilford boys basketball team left the Lyman Hall gym the way it entered it Friday night.
But the Trojans made the Grizzlies work for their latest win, a 49-40 Southern Connecticut Conference triumph.
The loss dropped Lyman Hall to 2-6 on the season. Guilford is a perfect 7-0.
“We’ll take it,” Guilford head coach Jeff DeMaio said. “In this conference, on the road, we’ll take any win.
“We are going to run to the bus with a win,” joked DeMaio.
It was Guilford’s second win over Lyman Hall this season. The Grizzlies beat the Trojans 59-46 in LH’s season opener.
On Friday night, Lyman Hall never led. The Trojans did, however, rally from a double-digit deficit in the first half to tie the game 28-28 on the second half’s first possession.
But after evening things, LH managed just 12 points in the game’s final 15 minutes.
LH’s lack of offense allowed Guilford, despite its own offensive struggles, to steadily build its lead.
After Brady Campbell, who led the Trojans with 10 points, knotted the game at 28-28, the Grizzlies went on a 10-2 run to open up a 38-30 lead with 2:27 to play in the third quarter.
The bigger Grizzlies, who cleaned up their own misses inside all night, restored their double-digit lead with 38 seconds to play in the third quarter on a fourth shot after three offensive rebounds.
Lyman Hall finished with just four points in the third quarter and entered the final frame down 40-30.
“Their a good team, but I’m proud of my guys,” Lyman Hall head coach Rob Ruys said. “Our effort has been there; I’m super happy with our defense. We just have to clean it up on offense.
“I’m happy where we are at,” added Ruys. “Our record may not show it, but we’re confident we’re taking steps in the right direction.”
The closest the Trojans got in the fourth quarter was nine points. LH trailed 44-35 with 5:47 to play in the game.
The Trojans, however, made just two shots the rest of the way, the final one coming on a Chace Sealy 3-pointer with 17 seconds to play.
Campbell also made his only 3 of the game to open the scoring in the final frame. Naz Medina didn’t score in the fourth, but finished with nine points.
Justin Hackett scored four of his eight points in the fourth quarter.
Justin Hess led Guilford with 16 points.
“If we play like we did in that second quarter we’ll be fine,” Campbell said. “That’s one of the best teams we’ve played.
“We just had too many turnovers, but we are going to keep working on that,” Campbell added. “Our halfcourt defense is really good. That let us cut into the deficit.”
Lyman Hall committed seven turnovers in falling behind 20-13 in the first quarter. Guilford extended its lead to 24-13 three possessions into the second quarter.
But over the next seven minutes, the Trojans played their best offense of the night. Drew Mik and Hackett scored back-to-back baskets, while Campbell hit two free throws to get LH within 26-19.
Hackett then muscled a shot over a 6-foot-6 Brady Lynch to cut the deficit to 26-21 with 4:09 left in the second quarter.
Mik hit a 3-pointer to get the Trojans within 28-24, and a baseline jumper by Campbell with 30 seconds left in the half brought the Trojans within a basket at halftime.
“We made shots; our shots where dropping,” Ruys said of the second-quarter offense by the Trojans. “We didn’t turn the ball over as much in the second quarter.
“(But) we had too many turnovers (in the game), that’s the bottom line,” added Ruys.
Lyman Hall committed six turnovers during the Grizzlies’ decisive third-quarter run.
Guilford’s size also impacted the game early and often. The Grizzlies started three players over 6-feet tall and their size advantage led to second and even third shots on the offensive end.
With the Grizzlies getting most of their points inside, Medina managed to hit a pair of 3-pointers to keep the Trojans close in the game’s opening four minutes.
Seven turnovers in the first eight minutes, however, allowed Guilford to open up leads of 20-11 and 20-13.
“We gave up too many offensive rebounds early; we told the guys you have to put a body on them,” Ruys said. “No. 50 (6-3 junior Ethan Weinkamp) was killing us.”