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Westhill wakes up in time put away New Canaan

STAMFORD -- As the point guard and probably the top player on his team, it's no secret Jeremiah Livingston sets the tone every night for the Westhill Vikings. Sometimes that's good and sometimes -- not often, but sometimes -- not so good.

Livingston's coach, Howard White, saw a little of both during Westhill's 58-39 boys basketball victory over New Canaan Tuesday. In the end the coach was pleased, but it wasn't the adjective he would use to describe his mood early in the game.

"Jeremiah has to learn to begin the game the way he ends it," White said after the Vikings improved to 5-1 (3-1 FCIAC). "Three of our six games he has come out on fire."

Tuesday was one of the other three. New Canaan (1-4, 1-2) deserves some credit for playing the heavily-favored Vikings even for the game's first 13 minutes. The Rams and Vikings were tied at 22 with three minutes remaining in the first half. Claude Chandonnet (19 points) and Erik Jager (10 points) were hitting shots and controlling tempo as Livingston had two points in the opening quarter.

"We were executing and then stopped executing," New Canaan coach Mike Evans said. "We lost focus on stopping Livingston."

Livingston missed six of his first seven shots, had a handful of turnovers, was slow getting back on defense and, perhaps most important, allowed the Rams to set the pace.

"We keep allowing teams to play at their tempo," White said. "We like to run but they were able to slow us down."

Livingston came alive midway through the second quarter and finished the half with 14 points, on his way to a 21-point night. But the real difference-maker for the Vikings may have been senior sub Luke Herritt, who came off the bench to score the final eight points of the half, giving the Vikings a 32-22 lead.

"I went to the senior and said, `Luke, I need you to give me something,' " White said. " `I need you to knock down some shots.' "

Herritt drained back-to-back 3-pointers and added another hoop just before the buzzer. With Herritt giving them instant offense and Livingston shaking off his early-game doldrums, the Vikings were on their way.

"I'm very pleased," White said. "But they know what I'm looking for and they know they can give me more than they're giving me."

The Vikings opened a 20-point lead (47-27) early in the fourth quarter. Over a 14-minute span from late in the second quarter to midway through the third, the Rams made just one field goal.

"It's a mental endurance thing," Evans said. "Can we keep doing it all night? We did things right early then our attitude changes when we fall behind and we start doing things wrong."

Andrew Penchuk and Beau Santero had five rebounds each for New Canaan. C.J. Donaldson had 11 points and Brandon Thomas five boards for the Vikings. Read Full Article 

WESTHILL 58, NEW CANAAN 39

NEW CANAAN (1-4, 1-2 FCIAC)

Andrew Penchuk 1 1-2 3; Beau Santero 1 0-0 2; Carsten Berger 0 0-0 0; Kyle Smith 1 1-2 3; Claude Chondonnet 6 3-3 19; Erik Jager 3 3-3 10; Jack Evans 0 0-0 0; Max Urbahne 0 2-2 2; Paul Hagopian 0 0-0 0; Tyler Sweeney 0 0-0 0. Totals: 12-44 10-12 39

WESTHILL (5-1, 3-1 FCIAC)

Jeremiah Livingston 9 2-2 21; C.J. Donaldson 4 3-4 11; Evan Skoparantzos 4 1-1 9; Tyrell Alexander 0 0-0 0; Chianta Holtzclaw 0 0-0 0; Juan Delacruz 0 0-0 0; Jesse Brown 1 0-0 2; Ethan Parkes 0 0-0 0; Brandon Thomas 2 0-0 4; Luke Herritt 3 0-0 8; Gio Noel 0 0-0 0; Samir Johnson 0 0-0 0; Mike Rybl 1 0-0 3; Tyrike Rivers 0 0-0 0; Aaron Pettiford 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24-50 6-7 58

NEW CANAAN 9 13 5 12--39

WESTHILL 10 22 7 19--58

3-pointers: NC--Chandonnet 4, Jager; W--Herritt 2, Livingston, Rybl.

Highlights: NC--Penchuk 5 rebounds, Santero 5 rebounds; W--Thomas 5 rebounds.

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