A steal, block and one 3-point play inside the first minute is as exciting a way as possible to start a game.
Exciting is about the only way to describe New Milford sophomore Malik Proctor.
The point guard set the tone on both ends, finishing with 21 points as the Green Wave downed rival New Fairfield 56-43 Feb. 2. The defeat kept the Rebels (1-14) winless in the SWC.
The quickest player on the court drove to the basket at will, finishing 11-for-12 at the foul line. He was also the catalyst to the Green Wave’s full-court press that was enacted the entire 32 minutes.
“He’s an energy guy and he’s making better decisions every game,” Green Wave coach Al Tolomeo said. “The better decisions he makes, the better we are. For every mistake that he makes he does four or five things to make up for it. Getting the other guys engaged and running with him is where we have success.”
The game was deadlocked at 24-24 early in the third quarter before the Green Wave surged ahead. An 11-0 run that included tough defense several sharp passes from Proctor made it 35-24 midway through the third. The lead would remain in the 11-15 point range for the remainder of the contest.
“We just turned the ball over,” New Fairfield coach Joel Pardalis said. “If you turn the ball over in the middle half of the floor, there’s no defense for that. I thought our kids played incredibly hard on the defensive side the first half. But 2-on-1, 3-on-1 breaks, there’s no answer for that.”
Playoff hopes alive
The Green Wave snapped a four-game losing streak with the win over their rivals, improving to 4-4 in the SWC to remain right in the hunt for one of the final playoff spots.
“We had a tough 10 days,” Tolomeo said. “We got a win and now we need to build off it. Our first goal is to make states and we have an opportunity to try and do that our next game; we want to make the SWCs.”
New Fairfield claimed its first win of the season last time out against Thomaston but was unable to make it two straight. The Rebels went 10-for-22 from the foul line as missed free throws early came back to bite the hosts.
Vincenzo DiMaggio led New Fairfield with 13 points.
“We have a good group of kids who continue to work hard,” Pardalis said. “Even though it hasn’t necessarily shown in the win column, they’re good kids and easy to work with on a daily basis. That keeps us going.”
NEW MILFORD 56, NEW FAIRFIELD 43
NEW MILFORD (7-7, 4-4 SWC)
Matt Brevard 2 0-0 6 Josian Morales 4 0-0 8 Hunter Skelley 1 0-0 2 Malik Proctor 5 11-12 21 Tyler Bowe 3 0-0 7 Steve Davis 4 0-0 8 Christopher Gesuldi 0 1-2 1. Totals: 20 13-15 56.
NEW FAIRFIELD (1-14, 0-8)
Douglas Peet 1 0-0 2 Vincenzo DiMaggio 4 3-4 13 Nicholas Cyran 1 0-0 2 Nathaniel Fields 1 1-4 3 Sean Jamieson 4 2-5 10 Jake Smith 3 1-2 8 Brett Tenaglia 1 3-7 5. Totals: 14 10-22 43.Read Full Article
NEW MILFORD16 8 18 14—56
NEW FAIRFIELD10 13 7 13—43
3-pointers: NM—Brevard 2, Bowe; NF—DiMaggio 2, Smith.