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Greenwich Handles Stamford in Basketball Opener

GREENWICH, Conn. – The Greenwich High boys basketball team is out to prove that last season’s 4-16 record was a fluke. And it took a huge first step with a dominant 61-50 victory over Stamford in Wednesday's season opener.

Greenwich used its size to full advantage, out-rebounding Stamford 23-9 in the first half. The Cardinals jumped out to huge 33-17 lead at halftime, leading by as much as 22 points during the half.

“We’re trying to focus hard on defense this year, and we have a deep bench this year,” Greenwich’s Sem Kroon said. “We were all so excited coming into this game. We wanted to prove to everyone that Greenwich is a serious threat this year.”

Stamford went to a full-court press for most of the game, but Greenwich was not phased. The Cardinals seemed to have a man wide-open on almost every inbounds pass. Greenwich also racked up 13 steals, adding to Stamford's frustrations.

The game was not as close as the final score appeared, as Greenwich led 57-37 with three minutes to play. The Cardinals emptied their bench for the final stretch and Stamford finished on a 13-4 run against the Greenwich backups.

Kroon, Greenwich’s 6-foot-10 junior center, was huge, literally and figuratively, for the Cardinals, posting a double-double. Kroon finished with 14 points and 21 rebounds.

Greenwich’s three captains all posted impressive numbers as well. Junior Alex McMurray netted 14 points. Alejandro Rodriguez added 13, including three three-pointers. Greenwich’s other big man, 6-foot-5 Greg Donlic, was close to a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds.

“We made the [conference] tournament three out of four years and the state tournament four out of five years. We really feel we lost a bit of a beat last year. I think the kids that are back did not like that feeling at all,” Greenwich head coach Bill Brehm said. “I don’t think a lot of teams will be able to match up with us in size, so hopefully we can exploit that and can come out on top in that matchup a lot of times this season.”

Greenwich will close out 2011 with a four-game road trip , starting at Fairfield Ludlowe Friday at 7 p.m. The Cardinals’ next home game is scheduled for Jan. 3 against Trinity Catholic.

Follow Eric Gendron on Twitter for the latest Main Street Connect coverage of Fairfield County sports. Like The Daily Greenwich on Facebook .

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