Unbeaten Masuk Overcomes 42 From Rebels' Jayden Racca

Check out video of the Panthers in action.

Masuk's boys' basketball team stayed unbeaten with a season-high point total, overcoming New Fairfield's Jayden Racca's season-best 42 points in an 88-70 home triumph on January 7.

The Panthers got 23 points each from Jacob Leisawitz and Aren Cummings, 15 from Jake Rosati and 13 from Brandon Francisco to improve to 5-0.

New Fairfield's Alex Jansen scored 11 and Danny Driscoll and Matt Garbowski both dropped in five as the Rebels fell to 2-2.

Despite the early-season success, Masuk Coach Peter Sklarz sees room for improvement.

"Offensively I think we're moving the ball really well but defense is the key to the game," Sklarz said. "I'd like our defense to turn it up a little bit."

There was no turning off Racca, New Fairfield's leading scorer who doubled his uniform number 21 with his 42 spot.

"He brings a lot of leadership. He's captain on the floor; he's our general. He brings the energy," New Fairfield Coach Donnell Harvey said.

Masuk spread the wealth offensively.

"We've got some guys that can do different things," Sklarz said.

Like shoot the ball from long range, drive to the basket in transition, and score in the half-court setup. Leisawitz canned five 3-pointers and Rosati drained a trio of shots from downtown. Mateo Esmeraldo scored seven, Josh Wittenberger scored four and Carson Swift added three.

"They're tough, well-coached. They can score from three levels — outside, mid-range and inside. And they play hard and they come to play," Harvey said.

Masuk scored 25 points in the first quarter and built a 44-28 halftime lead. The Rebels scored 20 in the third and trimmed into the deficit but the Panthers responded and put up 29 in the stanza to maintain control.

"Tonight we definitely got outworked. We fought back once our backs were against the wall. But we need to fight a little earlier," Harvey said.

"Overall, for the season, we're right where we want to be," said Harvey, whose team has some tough games on the horizon, including a visit to Joel Barlow on January 10 and rematch with Masuk when the Panthers visit on January 13. Then comes New Fairfield's home tilt with a strong Immaculate group on January 16 (all at 7 pm).


Brandon Francisco surveys the court on offense.
Masuk's Mateo Esmeraldo dribbles as New Fairfield's Ryan Kelly defends.

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