Danbury Tops New Canaan Boys Basketball 63-43


A 63-43 home loss to Danbury was certainly not the way New Canaan head coach Mike Evans wanted to send out his four seniors—Jack Havard, Kyle Smith, Sam Larson and Brian MacCalla.

That being said, as has been the case for much of the 2015-16 season, there were positives aplenty that—although they didn’t contribute to a win—were minor victories in and of themselves.

“The seniors have always been vocal leaders,” Evans told NewCanaanite.com. “Tonight they got to showcase it physically.”

MacCalla gave New Canaan (4-15, 3-12 FCIAC) quality minutes running the point while Larson had a solid night for the Rams, scoring five points and doing an admirable job working in the paint against a physical and athletic Danbury (17-2, 14-1 FCIAC) squad. And in what was probably New Canaan’s best feel-good moment of the game, Havard nailed a deep three-point basket—something the senior co-captain worked on the entire offseason.

“Big men usually don’t get credit for shooting threes,” Havard said. “But it was nice to end it on that.”

“No one wants to win more than Jack,” Evans said. “And there’s nothing better than to see Jack Havard hit a three. He worked on it so hard and finally got it to pay off.”

There was a tinge of poignancy on Senior Night as the familiar sight of co-captain Kyle Smith on the Rams bench was a painful reminder of what might have been this season.

Unable to play since injuring his shoulder in mid-January, the loss of Smith—a freakishly gifted athlete and a rare three-sport star in this day and age of sports specialization—has been a devastating one for New Canaan. But even a healthy Smith would probably not have been able to stop the Danbury juggernaut that rolled through the New Canaan High School gym Monday night.

The Hatters jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the first quarter as Scott Nesbit scored eight of his 14 points on the night in the opening period, leading Danbury to an early advantage.

Danbury scored nine of the first 11 points of the second quarter to open up a 25-7 lead. The Rams came back, ending the half on an 11-4 run. Juniors Tyler Sweeney (11 points) and Timmy Russo (six points) each netted four points in the quarter to help cut Danbury’s lead to 29-18 at the half.

The Hatters started to pull away in the third, outscoring New Canaan 16-10. Danbury’s power forward Marcus Fox did most of the damage, scoring eight points in the quarter as the Hatters went into the final period with a commanding 45-28 lead.

New Canaan kept up with Danbury in the early minutes of the fourth, getting as close as 48-34. The Hatters, however, went on a 10-2 run to put the game away, ultimately cruising to a 63-43 win.

“Danbury plays with intensity the whole game,” Evans said. “They also expect to win, and Coach [Casey] Bock does such a good job with his kids. He’s such a good coach and the kids are good kids. Our younger guys can learn a lot from this Danbury team about how to approach a game. Every player is on his assignment the whole game.”

And they can also learn from teammates like Havard and the legacy he and his fellow seniors leave for the Rams underclassmen.

“Hard work pays off,” Havard said. “We work so hard in the offseason. I try to preach leadership to the younger guys, because most of the time the five guys on the floor are five underclassmen. They’re so talented and it’s all about getting those leadership skills and trying to continue the effort through the spring and summer and into the fall. That’s where it starts.”

New Canaan513101543
Top scorers:

NC - Tyler Sweeney, 11; Timmy Russo, 6; Sam Larson, 5
Danbury - Scott Nesbit, 14; Marcus Fox, 9; Titus James, 9


NC - Havard, Sweeney, Grow, Selvala,
Danbury - Nesbit, 3

Fouled out: Sweeney

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