Danbury wins FCIACs for first time in 26 years

Bock leads Danbury to 5th conference title


Contributed Photo

The Danbury boys’ basketball team celebrates its FCIAC championship win over Trumbull with fans and cheerleaders.

Katie Walsh, Editor-in-Chief

Wilton High School’s basketball court was swarmed with orange and blue as families, fans, students and staff ran out to congratulate and celebrate the DHS boys’ basketball team after it won the FCIAC championship. Danbury beat Trumbull 75 – 57 and qualified for the states, which begin Wednesday at home against Trinity Catholic.

The team was led by players Jordan Brown and Denali Burton. Brown, senior, and Burton, junior, lead the team in points with Brown picking up 27 and Burton picking up 24 points. In addition, Burton was named the FCIAC tournament MVP.

This win created history for Danbury (17-3 overall and 13-3 in conference play) as it was the first time in 26 years it has taken home the FCIAC title. Casey Bock, head coach for nine seasons, talked about the beauty of this win, “[ It’s] just special to have and bring something back that we haven’t had for 26 years. It’s nice to see the kids in the school celebrate. The kids played hard, smart and together.”

The March 1 win was a team effort and the Hatters’ ability to work together was a major factor in them taking home the title, Assistant Coach Angelo Marrero said. “The kids sacrificed scoring points and they played together and shared the ball. They played great defense together and rebounded the ball well. I wouldn’t single anyone out; it was a complete team effort. Everyone played a role and everyone completed that role.”

Athletics Director Chip Salvestrini was ecstatic when asked about the win.  “It was stupendous, it was great, it was awesome.”

Danbury was seeded No. 3 coming into the tournament, but had no doubt that the trophy was coming Thursday night.

Junior Diante Vines was confident in the team’s performance and is ready for everyone to look at Danbury basketball with a fresh eye. “I knew we were [ going to] win it,” the small forward said. “I was [still] in [shock], but it was mainly relief. It’s about time Danbury basketball is back on the map.”

Senior Cameron Snow said that he was relieved to get the win, “I was more relieved than anything,” the guard said. “I’m happy to go out as a winner and a champion. We knew it was coming home. “

The FCIAC title means a little more to the seniors of this team who are ready to continue its winning tradition. Senior Soloman James said, “ I know now I’m part of a great tradition.”  

Javon Hernandez, junior, added to that,  “I did it for my team, I know how important it was for the seniors. I know how hard they worked and  [how hard ] we all worked so we knew it was our year.”

The FCIAC win is for more than just the players, coaches and school but for the whole city and the alumni of Danbury athletics. Salvestrini said this win, “means everything especially to Coach Bock and the players. It was great for the team, the community and the school.”

Bock, who graduated from DHS and was a basketball star for the Hatters, has also received an outpouring of support from his assistant coaches, players, staff and even an ESPN analyst. Marrero was especially happy that Bock earned the title this season, “With all the hard work he puts in, he deserved to win.”  

Bock also received a shoutout on twitter from ESPN scout/ recruiting analyst, Adam Finkelstein, who tweeted, “Coach Bock is about one of the best people you’ll find anywhere in HS basketball.”








For Bock, this title confirms the rebuilding process of this team and the recent successes it has had. Bock expresses the meaning of the win for the program, “ I thought we took steps to becoming a good program and this is the icing on the cake.”

The team has been close to that title for the past few years, but was finally able to pull it off this season. Bock’s  initial reaction to the win was “finally” because of how close this team has been.

The team will go on to compete in the state tournament and hope to grab a state title as well. Danbury had a bye during the first round and will start their tournament Wednesday (pending snow) against Trinity Catholic. Danbury has met with Trinity Catholic twice before; they lost earlier in the season, but won 43-40 during the FCIAC semifinals.

Senior Jordan Brown is looking forward to competing against Trinity again. “Trinity is a good team so we definitely have to be on our A game,” the power forward said, “ but if we go in together [as a team] we can win again.”

The team hopes for a repeat preformance of Thursday night. Bock says he feels good about the game. “It’s gonna be a tough game but if we play the same way we played on Thursday it’ll be a good game.”

Vines is eager for more success for this team. “The motivation is to show everyone we aren’t only the best in the FCIAC, we are also the best in the state.”

James added, “We can show everyone we’re here for a reason and we’re hungry.”

Editors Note: Staff Writers Justin Tarsi and Matt DeLima contributed to this report.