The Amity High boys basketball team knocked off Shelton High, 63-58, in the SCC Housatonic Division opener for both squads at Murray Gymnasium on Friday night.
Casey Belade (team-high 15 points) had a chance to give the Gaels the lead with 1:38 left to play, after the senior converted a tough layup in the paint and drew a foul. Belade missed the ensuing foul shot, leaving the game tied at 58, and Chris Winkel converted an old-fashioned three-point play to stake the Spartans to a lead they would not relinquish.
Shelton (2-4, 0-1 Housy) failed to score on the other end, before Truman Etkin drilled both ends of a one-and-one with 31.5 seconds left to seal the victory.
Amity improved to 5-1 overall, with sophomore guard Tyler Thomas notching a game-high 20 points. Winkel chipped in with 15 points and Brian Ronai had 11.
For the Gaels, Matt Terrasi scored 13 points, all in the second half, Jeff Stockmal added 14 and Jack Gleason 10.
The difference in the game was from the free-throw line, where Shelton made just 5-of-15 attempts. Conversely, Amity hit 8-of-13 to lock down the division win.
Jake Maier’s basket beat the buzzer at the end of the first quarter to give the Gaels a 13-10 edge. A step-back 3-pointer along the left wing by Stockmal pushed the margin to five points, before threes from Mike Stewart and Eli Oliphant put Amity back in front.
Shelton responded with a 12-7 run, capped by Belade’s layup, to regain the lead, 29-25, at the half.
Terrasi’s putback to open the third quarter gave Shelton its largest lead, 31-25, but Amity countered with a 16-6 flurry to grab a 41-37 edge with 4:03 left in the third.
The Gaels tied the game at 45 on Belade’s free throw, before Ronai gave Amity a 48-45 lead heading into the final frame with a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer.
That set up a back-and-forth fourth quarter, but Amity’s foul shooting (5-of-7 from the stripe) carried the Spartans to victory.