True Team Effort Launches Darien Past Westhill


Austin Kipphut (DHS '23)

Riley Galu going up for a layup Tuesday night against the Westhill Vikings

Braden Schenck, Writer

Tuesday night was the home opener for Blue Wave Basketball in the 2022-23 campaign. The Wave entered play 1-0 after a commanding win over Bassick and were looking to advance to 2-0 for the first time in the modern-day record (since records date back to 2000). The Wave had a clash with the Vikings of Westhill.

Many fans filed inside the DHS Main Gym for this clash.

90 seconds in, senior captain Davis Depp drove into the key and sent the jump shot up, swishing it. Darien was officially off to the races.

For the entirety of the first quarter, it was a back-and-forth affair. The score read 10-10 with just 30 seconds left in the quarter.

McMullin sent the bullet pass to senior Riley Galu would drain the three-ball giving Darien the 13-10 advantage. A missed Westhill opportunity and another feed to Galu saw Riley drain yet another three at the buzzer, giving Darien the now six-point advantage. Galu finished the night with 13 points, including 3 from behind the arch.

From this moment on, Darien would never look back and continued to accelerate.

The lockdown defense of Simeon Doll and Davis Depp stopping the Westhill drive (Austin Kipphut (DHS ’23))

Simeon Doll and Austin Black would turn it on in the second quarter, propelling the Wave to a 30-18 lead at the half.

Doll and Black both lead the offense with 17 points apiece, and Black for the second game this season finished with a double-double to his name.

The two make an incredible duo, with Doll draining shots from downtown and Black powering through for the rebounds and second-chance points.

Darien would come out of the locker room with a pep in their step. A 12-0 run to start the half from Charoy Bentley’s squad. Doll would make three straight, Depp added a basket, and Jack Barber added a score to the run putting Darien up 42-18 just minutes into the third quarter.

Jake Hendrickson going up for the score Tuesday Night inside the Main Gym (Austin Kipphut (DHS ’23))

This was a much different Darien basketball team from past years. Last year with the likes of Karson Drake, Miles Drake, and Kyle Bloomer, it was very much riding the main guys. 2022 is a different story, the Wave showed that they are playing like a unified team, with all five players’ weapons on the court. During this scoring run, Darien looked unstoppable, with aggressive pressing defense, good smart passes, great shot alertness, and again playing like a team.

The Vikings tried to get back into this one with late efforts from Isa Uzicanin and Jamal Dixson, but it was just too late as Darien would finish the well-played 32 minutes with a 77-35 victory over Westhill.

There was a lot to take away from this home opener, all positive. This is a Darien team this year, with no star player, but a coherent unified team. Next, the depth that this squad will have this season. Bench guys like Tate Hageney and Luke Anderson seeing time and points in this one. But most importantly, this was a sign to many Blue Wave Basketball fateful that 2022-23 might be the bringing of a new era for Darien High School Boys Basketball.

While this was technically an out-of-conference clash, Darien is still 2-0 on the season, and for the first time since records can date, Darien will enter game number three flawless.

The game will be on the road against new rival Platt Tech. The Panthers will enter Thursday’s contest flawless as well and will look to defend their home court.

If the Wave can replicate this performance later this season, there is a chance that Darien basketball can be making a run into late March for the first time in a while.




WESTHILL 10 8 8 9 — 35

DARIEN 16 14 27 20 — 77

Darien: Simeon Doll 17 points; Austin Black 17 points, 12 rebounds, 3 blocks; Riley Galu 13 points, 5 assists, 5 steals; Davis Depp 8 points; Jake Hendrickson 7 points; Jack Barber 4 points

Westhill: Isa Uzicanin 18 points; Jamal Dixson 7 points; Joey Homicki 3 points

Records: Westhill 0-2 (0-0 FCIAC); Darien 2-0 (0-0 FCIAC)