The Shelton High girls basketball team opened the New Year still searching for its first win of the season, when it tangled with Amity High on Saturday night at Murray Gymnasium.
After an 0-6 start, including three losses by fewer than three points, the Gaelettes took on a talented Spartan squad that’s lone loss came to the state’s second-ranked team, Mercy High of Middletown.
Behind 13 points from sophomore forward Nicole Roberts, Shelton hung tough. But, Amity rode its inside-outside combo of Chloe Brinton and Molly Ronan to a 50-31 Southern Connecticut Conference Housatonic Division victory.
“Defensively, we were there all night,” Shelton coach Mary Piccirillo said.
“Offensively, we couldn’t move the ball, we couldn’t pass the ball and we couldn’t get Nicole Roberts the ball tonight.
“She was having a good night but we weren’t getting her the ball enough.”
Brinton, a senior guard, netted a game-high 21 points — including 15 in the second half — while Ronan, a senior center, chipped in with 13.
A jumper from Brooke McCone got Shelton to within 19-13 with 2:01 left in the first half, before consecutive breakout layups by Mikaila Schmitt (eight points) and Brinton sparked a 14-2 Amity run that extended into the third quarter.
Most of the damage during the flurry was done by Brinton, who poured in 10 points, while the 6-0 Ronan added the other basket.
Roberts scored in the paint for the Gaelettes’ lone field goal during the four-minute, 32-second Spartan barrage, until a 3-pointer from Brinton pushed Amity’s advantage to 33-15.
Undaunted, Roberts rattled off four straight points, on a layup and two free throws, to get Shelton back within 33-19 with 2:57 left in the period.
Brinton then sank a 3-pointer with seven seconds left in the third to stake Amity to a 38-23 lead heading into the final frame.
Sivan Tepper came off the bench to score two baskets in the fourth quarter for Shelton, one off of a crafty assist from Jessica Wilm, while Roberts notched a third Gaelette field goal.
Unfortunately for the locals, Brinton kept up the sharp shooting with five points, as Amity outscored Shelton, 13-7, to cruise to the divisional victory.
The schedule doesn’t ease up for the Gaelettes.
“It’s coming,” Piccirillo said. “Every game I see a lot of good things. So hopefully it’s coming soon.”
Shelton faced Lyman Hall (6-1) last night, before Guilford High (3-4) pays a visit to Murray Gym on Friday at 7 p.m.
On Monday, Shelton hosts Daniel Hand of Madison (5-3) at 7.