NORWALK, Conn. The Norwalk High boys basketball team knew all about the 7-foot-1 Trinity Catholic center coming at it Friday night. Having played with and against the Crusaders Paschal Chukwu at the Carver Center during the summer, the Bears knew what to expect.
But that still did not prepare them for the big mans game, as Chukwu posted the best numbers of his young career. The native of Nigeria scored a career-high 15 points and added 13 rebounds and nine blocks. Despite a fourth quarter comeback effort by Norwalk, Trinity held on for an 80-69 win.
Paschals a tough challenge, and my kids were looking forward to it. We just came up short tonight, Norwalks first-year head coach Tom Keyes said. A lot of people probably saw us as the underdog tonight, but we thought we could hang right with them.
With Chukwu dominating below the basket, Norwalk had to shoot from the outside for most of the evening. The Bears knocked down 11 three-pointers, seven of which came in Norwalks second-half surge.
Norwalk cut Trinitys lead to 64-57 with 2:15 to play, but the Bears excitement got the best of them. Four quick turnovers put the game in the Crusaders' control, punctuated by a slam dunk by Chukwu his third of the night.
Trinitys other big man, 6-foot-8 recent transfer Jason Boswell, led all scorers with 27 points. The Crusaders best pure shooter from last seasons state championship team, Schadrac Casimir, added a quiet 22 points.
Norwalk showed off some talented shooters as Rasheen Thomson, Saeed Soulamone and 13-year-old freshman Roy Kane, Jr. tied for the team lead with 14 points each. Ravon Shular scored nine points, while Delshawn Wilson, who just two weeks led the football team to the state semifinals at quarterback, added seven points off the bench.
I know the talent we have on this team. Ive seen whats in this league, and Im very confident about what we can do, Keyes said. We know were capable of competing with Trinity, and we hope to see them again.
Norwalk (1-1) travels to Fairfield Warde on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. game.
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