NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk High’s boys basketball team had been seeking a signature win since Tom Keyes took over the program in 2011. Friday’s 61-47 triumph over Ridgefield High may have been the one the Bears needed to get over the hump.
Paced by 16 points each by brothers Roy Kane and Jabari Dear, the Bears pulled away in the fourth quarter to improve to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. Ridgefield slipped to 7-2 overall and 5-2 in the league.
“Since I’ve been here we’ve come close a couple of times, even this year,’’ said Keyes, whose team dropped a 63-55 decision to Westhill High in Stamford on Tuesday. “We had to keep believing in what we were doing and keep the kids believing in what you’re doing and that good things are going to happen.”
Tied at 39-39 early in the fourth, the Bears went on a 12-4 run to take a 51-43 lead after Dear scored on a pretty assist from Saeed Soulemane with less than four minutes to play. The Bears closed the game on a 8-0 run, punctuated by a dunk by Kane with a minute left to put the Bears up by 10.
Kane and Jeremy Linton had six points each in the fourth quarter. Soulemane had a terrific all-around game with nine points and double digits in rebounds and assists. Linton, a sophomore point guard, kept the Bears steady against a difficult Ridgefield defense.
“Tonight was our night,’’ Keyes said. “We made big shots when we needed to. Jeremy did a great job, and Roy was unbelievable with some of those tip ins in the fourth quarter.”