Amity beats Stamford in D-II quarterfinals
WOODBRIDGE—The Amity seniors were not going to let the final game of their careers come on their home court.
The No. 9 Spartans used a dominating first quarter and a big third-quarter run, trouncing No. 16 Stamford 73-49 in the CIAC Division II quarterfinals.
Amity moves on to face No. 21 Newtown, who defeated Wilton in 57-54 in overtime, in the semifinals Wednesday night at a neutral court.
Amity senior Tyler Thomas said there was no way he was going out on his home court with anything less than a trip to the semis.
“This is a great feeling but the job is not done yet. They job is not done yet,” Thomas said. “It means a lot going out with a win here, especially in the quarterfinals. We decided to turn things up on the defensive end and up the intensity a little bit. We got off to a fast start and we were getting easy buckets on the break but that is all because of our defense.”
Amity came out on fire, moving the ball on offense and smothering Stamford on defense, opening up a 26-8 lead after eight minutes.
Stamford crept back in the second quarter, cutting the lead to just eight at the half.
A 13-0 run by Amity to kick off the third quarter, all but buried Stamford.
“We grinded our way back I the game to get within eight at the half, which was good,” Stamford coach Zach Smith said. “We executed a play out of the half, trying to get Jaden (Bell) going but it didn’t go down and that would have cut it to five. That ended up being a 13-0 run and that was the game. They are really good and were bigger and stronger than us tonight and that was the difference.”
Tevin St. John put the Black Knights on his back in his final game, scoring 25 points, 23 of which came in the first half.
Tyler Thomas, Amity. Thomas was electric from the opening tip, scoring a game-high 27 points, including a few deep, contested 3s.
“We were ready to go from the start, we had a good game plan and the kids executed it,” Amity coach Jeff Nielsen said. “That (13-0) is the harder run because you are kind of thinking it is over but it is not really over at that point. We had it in us, calmed down and the few easy baskets we had at the end of the third were huge.”