Boys basketball: Bunnell and Notre Dame got after it

Bunnell High’s home boys basketball game with Notre Dame of Fairfield on Monday night featured the South-West Conference-version of the NFL’s no-huddle offense.

Neither team allowed its rival a chance to take a breath and entertained the large crowd with end-to-end action and some jaw-dropping plays, as the Lancers defeated the Bulldogs 72-64.

Notre Dame’s Tyler Bourne scored eight of his 12 third-period points to spark an 11-2 third-quarter run that broke a 33-all tie. Notre Dame took a 55-43 lead into the final stanza and maintained a healthy advantage throughout the canto.

“The effort was there, and if we play like that (all season) we’ll be in business,” Bunnell coach Pat Yerina said after his team split games in the season-opening Bulldog Tip Off Tournament. “We played well and then in the third quarter not so well.”

Maximus Edwards scored 29 points with eight coming in the first period (15-15) and six more in the second for a 27-26 lead.

“Bunnell is a good team,” Notre Dame coach Chris Watts. “We’re looking to turn the corner after only a couple weeks of practice. It’s good to be 2-0. We have to realize kids aren’t going to quit when they play us. We have to stay on our toes.”

Bourne finished with 17 points. Woodley Monnexant had 16, Reaves 15 and Noreaga Davis 13.

For Bunnell, Khalid Moreland scored 15 points and Josh Giannini 10.

“It is a short shot to get ready (for the season) and it was good to jump into it going against a get-after-it team like Notre Dame,” said Yerina, whose Bulldogs will return to action at the Hardwood Holiday Classic in Ridgefield on Dec. 27-29.

Notre Dame broke on top 13-4 behind Josh Reaves and Damion Medwinter.

The first of five dunks by Edwards started the Bunnell comeback.

Moreland then attacked the rim, scoring on a scoop shot in heavy traffic and twice making slick passes for buckets by Derrick Gyimah and then Tyler Staggs-Burgess. The second hoop tied the game at 15 after one.

The lead never went above two points in the second stanza.

Edwards had five rebounds to go with his three baskets. Ketel Nkuili worked hard with a strong put back basket.

Jerrod Leak, Julio Carmona, Javon Wilson, Angel Osaro and Elijah Alexandre came off the bench to help slow the Lancers, who were paced by Davis (5 points) and Monnexant (4 points).

Bourne opened the third quarter with a strong drive and ended it with a step-back jumper, as ND won the period 29-16. The Lancers had 18 possessions and scored on 15 trips.

“Tyler Bourne is much better playing downhill,” Watts said of his 5-foot-9 senior catalyst. “Yes, he’s a good jump shooter, but he’s letting teams off the hook when he settles for that shot. In the second half he hunted in the paint and that opened things up. He is a special kid with a lot of talent.

“I liked the way we kept our composure throughout and Woodley Monnexant was really good tonight (16 points, 12 rebounds).

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