Alyssa Eannotti scored a game-high 12 points, helping the Shelton High girls basketball team hang on for a 43-42 victory over Jonathan Law in an SCC interdivision matchup at Richetelli Gymnasium in Milford on Friday night.
Law had a chance to win it late, but senior Sam Murphy’s runner in the lane was off target with 3.8 seconds left, as Shelton improved to 1-1 overall.
“A win is a win,” Shelton coach Mary Piccirillo said. “Law was tough… They’re fighters.”
The Gaelettes had a chance to put the game away earlier, after Eannotti was fouled on a layup that gave Shelton a 43-37 lead with 3:45 left to play.
She missed the ensuing free throw, as Shelton missed all four of its foul shots down the stretch and did not score for the remainder of the game.
The Eagles made their charge, outscoring the Gaelettes 5-0 to close out the contest, but couldn’t get over the top. Part of the reason they were unable to rally all the way back was errant foul shooting, as Law missed the back ends of two one-and-ones in the final frame.
“They’re a young team,” Eagles’ coach Heather Borges said of her squad. “They showed a lot of effort. When you lose by one, I think what it boils down to is we missed 13 free throws.
“When you missed 13, it’s kind of where you’ve got to start.”
Murphy and freshman Laura Dulin paced Law (0-2) with 10 points apiece. Freshman forward Erin Saley notched seven points and eight rebounds.
Megan Burke added 10 points for the Gaelettes, while freshman guard Brooke McCone chipped in with eight points.
Burke closed out a 10-0 Shelton run with back-to-back transition layups with 1:29 left to play in the first quarter.
Law narrowed its gap to 20-13 following free throws from Murphy, Dulin and Catie Miller (nine points), leading to a Shelton timeout.
Nicole Roberts scored in the post for Shelton, extending its lead to 22-13, before a 5-0 Law burst made it a 26-20 game at the break.
The teams traded baskets in the third quarter, as Shelton maintained a 36-30 advantage heading into the fourth period.
“We’re going to struggle to score, it’s just who we are,” Borges said. “But we have a lot of heart on defense and they never give up.”
Saley’s layup narrowed the Eagles’ gap to 36-34, but McCone nailed a 3-pointer from the left wing with 4:56 left to snap a nearly six-minute scoring draught for the Gaelettes.
Eannotti bulled her way into the lane for basket at the 4:28 mark, providing Shelton with its final points. Eannotti fouled out with just under two minutes left to play, but the Gaelettes held on to notch their first victory of the season.
“I thought my freshmen held their own,” said Piccirillo, who also included freshman Colleen Flood in her starting lineup. “It’s a whole new experience for them. Especially having my senior captain out for the last three minutes, who is a leader in all aspects.”
Shelton hosted Daniel Hand of Madison at Murray Gymansium last night, and will be idle until Tuesday when they travel to Hamden to face Sacred Heart Academy.
Law will take on Branford at Richetelli Gymnasium on Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.