The future looks bright for the Greenwich High School basketball team. Thats assuming, of course, that all the members of the eighth-grade Greenwich Flame come up as a unit to the school varsity team in a few years.
The Flame has opened a lot of eyes in the Fairfield County Basketball League this winter, where it enters the weekend with a 27-6 record. The team has won three tournaments, is undefeated in the FCBL and has knocked off teams stretching from Scarsdale, N.Y., to Bridgeport.
"We were really hoping that we could have this kind of year,'' coach Dom Borchetta said. "Everything has fallen together."
The Flame is led by point guard Austin Longi. Besides a steady ball handler, he's also a deft passer and good shooter. In a 68-57 win over Danbury last Sunday, Longi took control in the second half. He scored 11 of his 15 points in the final 16 minutes and directed the offense. Griffin Tiedy scored 18 points in the victory, and Billy O'Malley had 15. Longi is also a good distributor when he's able to penetrate into the lane and pass to the perimeter to open shooters.
Defense has been the Flame's calling card. The Flame bothered Danbury with a 2-2-1 full court press through a large part of the first half. In the Joe Coppo tournament in December, the Flame's closest contest was a 16-point romp. It defeated its four opponents by an average margin of 24 points. Greenwich is 7-0 in the 8A West Division of the FCBL, where it has defeated opponents by nearly 21 points. Three of its six loses have been to the Norwalk Carver Center in the St. Joseph's League, with one loss by one point and another by just two.
The Flame will have a test in next month's FCBL playoffs, where the Sheehan Center of Bridgeport (14-0) and the defending champion Carver Center will have a say in who wins the eighth-grade crown. The Flame meet Darien Blue on Friday as they look to continue to roll on in their spectacular season.
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