By: Robbie Goodrich
Notre Dame-Fairfield (14-3) 61, Immaculate(16-1) 71
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In a battle for the SWC’s Patriot Division top spot, Notre Dame-Fairfield visited 15-1 Immaculate.
Immaculate hasn’t been tested like they would be today, as Notre Dame was a Class M finalist last year and has been playing like a top tier program all year. ND’s only blemishes were an early loss to Fairfield Ludlowe and a double-digit loss to a very good Notre Dame-West Haven squad.
“We knew were good but didn’t know how good we were, and I think our kids played a perfect game,” coach Nelson Mingachos of Immaculate remarked.
With a perfect game played, the Mustangs would come out on top by the final buzzer 71-61.
The Mustangs and Lancers were locked in an up and down battle for the first three quarters. Immaculate started off fast and led 9-2 aided by Darius Hunter’s seven first quarter points, and Immaculate looked poised for a big victory. ND battled back, and at the end of the first quarter they were down 13-10.
Darius Hunter played inspired ball on both ends. He hit open shots and defended with passion.
“To keep an eye their shooters…(Jordan) Pettway and (Jesse) McIntosh are great shooters, stay in their face, and make sure they made tough shots,” Hunter mentioned.
Hunter finished with a game high 24 points.
The second and third quarters of the game were tight, with the game tied 29-29 and 44-44. 6-foot-4 senior forward Jesse McIntosh led the Lancers with 19 points and hit several key three pointers to keep the game close. However, it was the gutsy play of the Mustangs’ leader, senior guard Darrius Smith.
The 5-foot-7 Smith took control of the game in the fourth quarter with a seven point run. He was able to guide his team to a 54-44 lead early in the fourth. Smith was not 100%, as he injured his thigh in Barlow game, and was hobbling around at times against ND, finishing with 14 points.
The Mustangs had a huge fourth quarter scoring 30 points, and 6-foot-5 senior forward Alex Gerbo contributed 11 points in the decisive final quarter, ending his night with 15 points.
Despite good efforts by senior guard Jordan Pettway, who scored 18 points and sophomore forward Noreaga Davis, 14 points, the Lancers couldn’t keep pace and suffered their third loss of the year.