Sam Clachko dominated with 29 points in Staples’ 60-43 FCIAC Tournament quarterfinal win over Wilton on Saturday. / Photo by Mark Sikorski

By Andy Hutchison

FAIRFIELD — The outcome was the same in the rematch — an FCIAC Tournament battle Saturday — when Staples boys basketball team defeated Wilton 60-43.

The way the Wreckers got there, however, was completely different than in the teams’ regular-season battle.

No. 4 Staples, which had overcome a large deficit to pull out a hard-fought 76-68 win on home court on Jan. 30, built a commanding early lead Saturday and rolled to victory over the No. 5 Warriors in the quarterfinal-round matchup at neutral site Fairfield Warde.

The Wreckers jumped out to a 19-5 lead after one quarter of play and left no doubts this time.

In another plot twist, unlike in the previous game with Wilton, Staples’ go-to scorer was the point leader.

Sam Clachko, who was limited to eight points but contributed with some intangibles in the first matchup, was his usual high-scoring self. Clachko poured in 29, draining a pair of 3-pointers and scoring a dozen in the opening eight-minute stanza to set the tone.

Caleb Smith added a trio of baskets from beyond the 3-point arc as part of his 12-point performance. Mason Tobias and Adam Udell both scored seven and Nick Sikorski contributed five.

With the win, the Wreckers will face top-seed Ridgefield in the semifinals at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, to be held at neutral site Wilton High. Staples lost to Ridgefield, which is perfect in FCIAC play this winter, but gave the Tigers a battle, falling 48-46 in their regular-season meeting.

The other semi will feature No. 2 Trumbull and No. 6 Danbury, also in Wilton at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. 

Game schedules are subject to change; click for the latest CIAC updates.

Andy Hutchison has been covering school sports — including Staples athletics — as well as news and feature stories in Fairfield County, since the 1990s.