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Tuesday, April 24 Sports

Westhill routs Staples to snap skid

STAMFORD -- Having lost two straight, the Westhill boys basketball team was looking to get back to the team it was until a week ago.

The Vikings did more than that Wednesday, dominating Staples in every aspect of the game en route to a 75-37 win on Senior Night.

The Vikings (14-4, 12-4 FCIAC) jumped out to a 14-0 lead, with the majority of those points coming of steals and transition baskets.

For Westhill's lone senior starter, Evan Skoparantzos, the win was the perfect way to finish his career on his home court.

"Our goal is to always play our best basketball and right now, that was our best basketball," said Skoparantzos, who had 16 points. "We moved the ball on offense, we scored easy layups, we weren't relying on our outside shot too much and we were able to get the ball inside which opened up some outside shots for us, which is great."

Jeremiah Livingston put in 26, despite sitting more than usual with the score heavily in the Vikings' favor, and CJ Donaldson added 12 for the Vikings.

Livingston threw down a few dunks including one from a pass off the backboard from Donaldson in transition.

Staples (4-15, 3-14) was led by Ben Casparious' nine points.

The Wreckers fell out of the game early with a combination of relentless defense by the Vikings and shots not falling when they did have open looks.

"They dictated the tempo of the game and forced us to take some bad shots and turn the ball over," Staples coach Colin Devine said. "It really did snowball from there. We couldn't catch up and credit coach White, they have a very good team and they did a nice job. When we finally did get open looks, we didn't knock them down and it got away from us pretty quickly."

Westhill led 35-10 at halftime and 56-21 after three quarters.

The Vikings came into the game in the No. 5 spot in the FCIAC playoff race and should remain there with two games left in the regular season.

Coming off back-to-back losses, Westhill coach Howard White said the way his team played Wednesday is exactly how they have to approach any post season game.

"This is exactly what we needed," White said. "We needed a victory but it's how we got the victory, from defense. CJ ran our offense, we limited them to one shot and every loose ball was ours. That's what we need to do. We have players hurt but we need to continue to pick players up."

The Vikings were without center Brendon Thomas for the third straight game after he suffered a knee injury in practice.

Scott.Ericson@scni.com; @EricsonSports