The Shelton High boys basketball team lost a 96-80 shootout to Career Magnet in the first round of the SCC Tournament on Thursday night in New Haven.
The 96 points tallied by the third-seeded Panthers broke the SCC playoff record for points previously set by Hillhouse High in a 94-47 victory over Sheehan High of Wallingford in the quarterfinals back in 2006. Career (18-3) will face No. 6 seed West Haven High (12-9) in the quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon at 4:15 at Branford High School.
The No. 14 seed Gaels (10-11) hung tough but never recovered from a 32-20 deficit after the opening eight minutes. Panther forward Justin Campbell scored 10 of his game-high 27 points in the first quarter and Career led by double figures for the rest of the game.
Shelton trailed 70-51 late in the third quarter, before a pair of 3-pointers from senior reserve Kyle Coniglio sparked a 10-4 Gael run to close the period. The Panthers then kicked off the final frame with back-to-back 3-pointers from William Jackson and Danny Ampofo, igniting a 10-3 Career flurry that swelled its lead to 84-64 with 5:56 left.
From there, the Panthers kept their foot on the gas, breaking the single-game point record and setting up a quarterfinal round showdown with the Westies.
Despite the loss, the Gaels became just the second team this season to score 80 points or more against Career, the state’s seventh-ranked team in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register Top 10 Poll. The only other team to surpass the 80-point barrier was third-ranked Fairfield Prep in an 84-71 win over the Panthers on Feb. 20.
Matt Terrasi led the Gaels with 17 points and Casey Belade added 15. Coniglio came off the bench to score 14, Jeff Stockmal had 13 and Jack Gleason had 10.
Tyreek Perkins scored 22 points for Career, while Justin Gordneer and Jackson chipped in with 12 each and Ampofo had 10.