Fairfield Prep, Notre Dame Meet In Basketball Final

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Notre Dame of Fairfield's Dan Upchurch looks to inbound the ball during a game against Kaynor Tech. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Undefeated Fairfield Prep and once-beaten Notre Dame of Fairfield will play for the championship Friday in the Fairfield Prep Holiday Classic.

The Jesuits (5-0) advanced with a 65-35 win over Fairfield Ludlowe (2-3) in Wednesday’s opening round. The Lancers (3-1) defeated Fairfield Warde in overtime, 70-62, in Wednesday’s other opening round game. The championship game tips off at 8 p.m. at Alumni Hall on the campus of Fairfield University. Warde and Ludlowe meet in the consolation game prior to the championship.

Pascal Chukwu scored 16 points to lead Prep, which built a 29-21 halftime lead. Prep outscored Ludlowe 20-9 in the third quarter to break the game open. 

Prep, coming off a 22-4 season in which It reached the Class LL semifinals, hasn’t missed a beat this year. Prep has beaten its opponents by an average of 23.8 points per game.  Prep has been led by Chukwu, a 7-foot, 1-inch junior center who transferred to the school this year after spending his previous two years at Trinity Catholic in Stamford.

The Jesuits figure to get their toughest test of the season so far against the Lancers. Led by the splendid senior backcourt of Dan Upchurch and Earl Coleman, the Lancers have posted narrow wins over Kaynor Tech, University and Warde.

Upchurch scored 24 points in Wednesday’s win. Coleman, who is closing in on 1,000 points for his career, added 17.  Notre Dame is coming off a 21-6 season in which it reached the Class M semifinals.

Despite being separated by just a few miles, Prep and Notre Dame have met just three times since the 2005-06 season.  Notre Dame won the last meeting, 51-46, in the finals of the holiday tournament in 2010. Friday’s game will be the only meeting between the teams this winter.

Warde, the defending tournament champion, slipped to 1-4 despite 28 points from Max Garrett. Ludlowe (2-3) was led by Steven Scholz with 10 points in Wednesday’s game.

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Bryna Brennan, 73, Former Fairfield Resident