Shelton High found itself in a two-possession game with visiting Sheehan High when the Titans’ Liv Robles called for the ball on the block and muscled home a basket to secure a 40-33 victory over the Gaelettes at the Vincent J. Murray Memorial Gym on Tuesday night.
Shelton coach Joe Cavallaro was dead-on with his prediction before the SCC game.
“We’ll work hard,” he said. “But they are very good and beat us the first time we played (56-37). With a thousand-point scorer (Robles), Sheehan is tough to defend.”
Robles scored 20 points, as coach Mike Buscillo’s team improved to 6-1 on the season.
“Disjointed might be the right word,” he said about the contest. “Coach Cavallaro had his kids ready, they played well defensively with their 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone. Robles carried us in scoring.”
A 5-foot-10 senior forward, Robles scored spread out her points. Her most dominant quarter was the second, when Robles scored eight points to help her team to a 23-14 lead at the half. They led 11-4 after one period.
“We were down I think 17-4 (on two Robles’ free throws) and got back in it,” Cavallaro said of his team, now 4-5. “Shooting is a big part of the game and we struggle with that.”
Shelton’s mini-run was started by Maggie Howard’s three-pointer off an assist from Leya Vohra. Clarissa Pierre added three free throws. Howard then found Vohra on a back cut off a Pierre screen for a layup.
Sheehan used quick passes and ball reversal to free Robles for a bucket on a pass from Caroline Dighello. The Titans led, 19-12, with three minutes left in the half. Maddi Larkin’s pass from the foul line found Robles for a three-point play, and she added a free throw before the break.
Shelton won the third quarter, 11-10.
Pierre had six of her 12 points during one stretch, with two buckets coming off rebounds and the other on an assist from Howard.
Howard’s second trey of the night, with Vohra making the pass, cut the deficit to 25-23 midway through the period.
Sheehan scored on its last three possessions, two of the baskets coming after steals by Robles and Caitlyn Velez.
Buscillo subbed Robles in with two seconds left and she scored before the buzzer for a 33-25 lead.
Keira O’Connor assisted on a Mackenzie Joyce basket to open the final quarter.
Devan Wildman scored the next three points for the Titans, the hoop coming off a fine feed from Robles at the top of the key.
Vohra tallied on a runner in traffic at the 4:09 mark to make it 36-30.
Robles answered and Velez’ two freebies negated a pair by Joyce.
“We play hard enough to be competitive,” Cavallaro said. “We lack some things, but effort isn’t one of them. We are shooting under fifty percent from the foul line and that continued (9 of 19) tonight.”
Shelton will host Lyman Hall Friday at 7.
When asked what was next for the Titans, Busillo said, “We’re getting thrown in the deep end of the pool. We have Hillhouse, Newington, Mercy and then Amity. We’re happy to be 6-1, but the kids are smart enough to understand we have work to do.”
Mackenzie Joyce 1 3-4 5, Maggie Howard 3 0-2 8, Leya Vohra 3 0-4 6, Kiera O Connor 0 0-2 2, Clarissa Pierre 4 4-7 12
Totals: 11 9-19 33
Hailey Lagasa 3 0-0 6, Liv Robles 8 4-6 20, Mackenzie Homstock 1 0-0 3, Maddie Larkin 2 1-4 5, Caitlyn Velez 1 2-4 4, Alyssa Horobin 1 0-0 2
Totals: 16 7-14 40
Sheehan: 11-12-10-7 — 40
Shelton: 4-10-11-8 — 33