WATERFORD — Stonington High's Division II boys basketball tournament semifinal turned into a "nail-biter," coach John Luzzi said, but the second-seeded Bears held on to defeat No. 3 Griswold, 42-39, on Saturday afternoon at Waterford High.
Stonington will face top-seeded St. Bernard in the championship game on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The two teams split during the regular season — the Saints won the first matchup, 54-35, on Jan. 15; the Bears won 51-50 on Feb. 18.
Against Griswold, the Bears' goal was to push the tempo, Luzzi said. But the Wolverines (14-8) played a "disciplined matchup zone and we got into a half-court game with them."
"We had to find our way early," the coach said. "We were a little sloppy. After the first quarter we got the looks we wanted, but it was just like a lid was on the rim. The shots weren't falling."
So the Bears (17-5) rode their defense to the win, led by Tyler Fidrych, who was "a monster," Luzzi said.
Zach Scott had 12 points and eight rebounds for Stonington. Cooper Wall added 12 points, including "some big shots late," Luzzi said, and R.J. Parrilla had five points, six rebounds and four assists.
Fidrych finished with eight points, five rebounds and three steals, and Wall had seven rebounds and five steals.
"We really got after it defensively," Luzzi said. "That's what I'm most proud about."
— Ken Sorensen