FAIRFIELD -- Looking to defend its title in the Fairfield Prep Holiday Classic, Fairfield Warde took Notre Dame of Fairfield into overtime before losing 70-62 at Alumni Hall on Wednesday night.
The nightcap wasn't nearly as close, as Fairfield Prep routed Fairfield Ludlowe 65-35.
The two winners advanced to the final at Alumni Hall on Friday night at 8.
Warde's Max Garrett (28 points) sent the opening into OT with a 3-pointer to tie the game at 55-55. However, the Lancers (3-1) controlled the play in overtime and made their free throws to take the lead and never look back.
"We had trouble shooting the ball straight tonight," Lancers coach Vinny Laczkoski said. "Luckily, we were able to make some shots in overtime and get the win in a great atmosphere."
Notre Dame was led by seniors Dan Upchurch (24 points) and Earl Coleman (17 points). The Lancers were boosted in OT by clutch free-throw shooting from sophomore Clinton Davidson (eight points) and freshman Jesse McIntosh (11 points), who helped seal the victory.
Fairfield Prep was led by its 7-foot junior, Pascal Chukwu, who scored 16 points and blocked nine shots. Senior Tim Butala (13 points) also had a solid game, exciting the crowd with a big dunk early in the third quarter that put the Jesuits (5-0) ahead by 14.
Steven Scholz was the lone player for Ludlowe (2-3) in double figures with 10 points.
Despite his team's rout, Prep coach Leo Redgate believes there is a lot to be done to get better. "I should not have to explain to my team at halftime how to do the right things to win a basketball game," Redgate said. "We need to start focusing on getting better each and every game so that we are prepared for the state tournament."