DARIEN, Conn. – Darien’s Patrick Ryan fills up the statistical columns for the Greens Farms Academy basketball team. The senior is one of the main reasons the Dragons won their first Fairchester Athletic Association championship and are the top seed for New England Prep School Class C tournament.
“We have a lot of guys that can score the ball,’’ said Ryan, a 6-foot, 6-inch forward. “I try to fill in and do what the team needs. Whether it’s defending one of their best players or grabbing rebounds, try to help doing a lot of the other stuff.”
Ryan is averaging 12.9 points per game for the Dragons (21-2). He scored 25 points in a win over Hamden Hall in December, and 24 in the regular-season finale over St. Luke’s. But it is his other attributes that define his role. He is second on the team in rebounds with an average of five per game, and also chips in with blocked shots, assists and steals.
He is also one of the Dragons’ hardest-working defenders. “That’s something that I take a lot of pride in,’’ Ryan said. “We have Matt Tate, who is a great defender, and we do a good job of getting after it.”
Greens Farms beat Brunswick for the league title Saturday, 67-42, and plays its New England opener Wednesday against Lexington Christian Academy of Massachusetts.
Greens Farms has had a dream season, ripping off 15 straight victories en route to the best season in school history. The Dragons have built on the success of last season, when they went 18-5. But they fell short in the postseason, losing in the first round of the league and New England tournaments.
Ryan feels the Dragons’ 89-57 win over St. Luke’s in the final game of the regular season set them up for a strong postseason. “We were winning, but we were getting up by 20 points and not pushing it past that,’’ Ryan said. “Against St. Luke’s we pushed it out to 35, and that’s when we thought, all right, we’re starting to click.”
“Last year hit the point home that you can have a great regular season, but it doesn’t matter if you fall short in the playoffs,’’ Ryan said. “At the beginning of the season, we said we wanted to win the FAA regular season, the league tournament and Class C. We’ve got two checks off of our list, but we’re still not satisfied.”
“It’s a big deal that we got the first two," Ryan continued, "but we have to go back to those three goals at the beginning of the year. Being content now would not allow us to get done what we want to get done.”