Ridgefield boys basketball moves up to No. 5 in state, as FCIAC playoff race rolls to wild finish

After a brief absence from the Top 10 in the weekly boys basketball state poll, four-time defending FCIAC champion Ridgefield has utilized a lengthy winning streak to ascend to No. 5 and the Tigers are now in strong position to earn the top seed in the conference tournament.

The GameTimeCT Top 10 Boys Basketball Poll was released Feb. 13 and that confirmed that a No. 1-vs.-No. 2 showdown was on for Feb. 14 when top-ranked East Catholic (Manchester) was set to travel to West Hartford to face No. 2 Northwest Catholic.

East Catholic (16-1) received 17 first-place votes from the 19 voting members of the media. Northwest Catholic (16-1) and No. 3 Notre Dame-West Haven (16-2) each received one first-place vote.

Notre Dame-Fairfield (16-2) had a pair of impressive victories last week to remain No. 4.

Ridgefield moved up one spot from being ranked sixth last week to fifth this week. The Tigers had a 14-2 record at the time the voting took place.

But since then, they improved to 15-2 when they won their 12th consecutive game Monday night (Feb. 13) with a 66-42 victory at Fairfield Ludlowe. Ridgefield’s Tigers began their 12-game winning streak after they dropped to 3-2 with their 61-54 home loss to Staples on Jan. 6.

Ridgefield had received the 13th most polling points in the state poll voted on immediately after that loss. But then in the following poll released on Jan. 16, the Tigers vaulted up three spots to jump back into the Top 10 at No. 10 and it’s been a steady climb to No. 5 since then.

Bloomfield (15-2) is ranked No. 6 and followed by Kolbe Cathedral (16-2), Windsor (13-4), Wilbur Cross (13-3), and No. 10 Danbury in this latest Top 10.

There are now two FCIAC teams in the Top 10 as Danbury’s Hatters were unranked last week. They climbed back into this poll with a 14-2 record, and they have since improved to 15-2 overall with their impressive 78-46 victory at home Monday over Norwalk.

Fairfield Warde (13-3 at the time of the poll voting) received the 15th most polling points. Wilton (12-4) got the 20th most and Staples (12-4) received one 15th-place vote and tied for the 28th most polling points (seven).

So, while Ridgefield and Danbury both improved to 15-2 overall with their respective Feb. 13 victories, Ridgefield improved to 11-1 in the FCIAC, and Danbury is one game back at 10-2 in the conference standings updated through Feb. 13. Ridgefield defeated Danbury, 47-45, in their conference showdown on Jan. 28 after Danbury posted a 67-65 non-conference victory over Ridgefield on Dec. 16.

Fairfield Warde also improved to 10-2 in the FCIAC on Feb. 13 with a big 51-44 victory at Staples.

Wilton, Stamford, Brien McMahon, and Staples were all 7-5 and in a four-way tie for third place. Wilton has a 3-0 record against those other three 7-5 teams.

New Canaan, Darien, and Trumbull were in a three-way tie for seventh place with 6-6 records and looking for a strong finish in the final three games of the regular season to snatch one of the final conference playoff berths.

Greenwich and St. Joseph were both tied for 10th place with 5-7 FCIAC records.

The 2023 FCIAC Boys Basketball Tournament begins at noon on Saturday, Feb. 25, with the first of four quarterfinal games at Fairfield Warde High School.

The Feb. 28 semifinals and March 2 championship takes place at Wilton High School’s Nick Zeoli Fieldhouse.

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