Sometimes even the best teams have a bad night. After opening the season 6-3, its best start in five years, the Shelton High boys basketball team struggled against Notre Dame-West Haven, falling to the Green Knights, 78-47, on Jan. 23.
“I don’t think we played well,” Shelton coach Brian Gardiner said. “I’m disappointed. We usually play really hard from the start and we didn’t. If you don’t play hard from the start on someone else’s floor, you’re going to get destroyed and that’s what we did.
“This is a very good team. We just didn’t play with the intensity we needed and I don’t know why.”
Sophomore guard Casey Belade led the Gaels with 10 points, including a 3-pointer, while senior guard Mike Davis added nine points and Patrick Murphy added eight points behind two treys.
Patrick Doyle and Kalane Ham led the Green Knights with 12 points each, while Ben Bagnoli and Lonnie Blackwell each had 10 points.
Shelton got off to a good start, leading 8-4 early in the first quarter on a Justin Lynch layup, a Murphy 3-pointer and a Davis jump shot.
A Belade layup followed a Blackwell jumper to give Shelton a 10-6 lead.
The Green Knights then rattled off an 18-2 run to give them a 24-12 lead after one quarter.
Doyle hit two threes in the run and Kameron Matthews scored two baskets.
In the second quarter, Shelton matched Notre Dame basket for basket.
Davis had a layup, then Ham followed with a drive to the hoop. After Lynch’s bucket, Blackwell answered with a jump shot.
Alexander Puzone made a layup, but Belade buried a 3-pointer.
The Knights then went on a 7-1 run to close the half with a 37-20 lead.
At the start of the third period, the Gaels answered two Ham layups with a Belade jumper and a Lynch putback, plus one on the free throw.
Murphy hit his second three, but Notre Dame followed with a 12-2 run to lead 56-31 after three quarters. The Green Knights got threes from Tahj Eaddy and Doyle and baskets from Puzone, Bagnoli and Karim Cisse.
Shelton started the final quarter with baskets from Matt Brouillette and Davis, but between every Gaels score, Notre Dame scored as well.
Murphy hit two free throws, Belade made a layup and Davis two free throws before the Green Knights went on a 17-4 run to seal a 78-47 SCC win for the Green Knights.
“We just beat a very good team (Sheehan) in their gym,” Gardiner said. “This team (ND) is similar to that team and we went from winning by three to losing by thirty. It’s just the way we played, that’s what it came down to. They obviously wanted it more than us for whatever reason.”