The Shelton High boys basketball team defeated SCC foe Cheshire, 70-64, on Monday night.
There were a total of 18 lead changes in the game in this closely-contested matchup.
“That was probably the first game of the year from start to finish, offensively and defensively, that they played the whole game,” said Shelton coach Brian Gardiner.
“I told them at halftime I can’t pick one thing that I think you guys did a bad job on and it was a tie game so that’s how close this game was going to be.”
Jeff Stockmal led all scorers with 29 points, while Brian Berritto had 18 points and Armando Martinez scored 12.
Eric Angelone led the Rams with 23 points, while Andrew Hart added 15 and Jensen Bassett added 10.
Hart and Angelone scored first for the Rams, but Berritto and Martinez responded with a 3-pointer and a layup to give Shelton its first lead. Bassett followed with a jump shot to give Cheshire its first lead.
Martinez answered with a reverse layup to take back the lead, before Bassett’s 3-pointer gave the Rams the lead, 9-7.
David Berritto’s layup tied the game at 9, before Angelone made two at the line to give Cheshire the lead again.
Berritto then scored a layup to tie the game up, but Alec Frione answered with a layup. Stockmal answered that with a 3-pointer to take back the lead for Shelton. Brian Berritto followed with a layup to give the Gaels a three-point lead, 16-13.
Frione hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 16. After Stockmal made one at the line, Angelone hit a 3-pointer, which Ryan Murphy answered with a long-range jumper.
Frione hit one of two at the line to give Cheshire a 21-20 lead after one quarter.
The battle continued into the second quarter, as Hart nailed a mid-range jumper and Martinez hit two from the line. Ben Delaubell then gave Cheshire a 25-22 lead, before David Berritto’s three-point play tied the game at 25.
Delaubell answered with another layup to take the lead for the Rams. Stockmal then hit two free throws to tie the game and Brian Berritto’s layup gave Shelton the lead, 29-27. Angelone followed with a jumper and a 3-pointer to give Cheshire a 32-30 lead.
Stockmal and Martinez then each hit their shots from the line to give the Gaels a 34-32 lead. Hart answered with back-to-back jump shots to give Cheshire a two-point lead. Brian Berritto finished the half with a layup to make it a tie game at 36.
The back-and-forth continued into the third quarter. Hart hit a layup, as did Stockmal for Shelton. Cheshire then went on a 7-3 run, with Brian Berritto hitting the 3-pointer for Shelton. The run gave the Rams a four-point lead, 45-41.
Stockmal answered the run with a layup, followed by a layup by Frione. Stockmal then hit two from the stripe and Angelone followed with a layup.
Berritto answered Angelone’s layup with one of his own. Angelone scored again, which David Berritto answered with a layup to cut into Cheshire’s slim 51-49 lead heading into the fourth.
The Gaels scored the first three baskets of the fourth quarter, starting a 11-3 run. Stockmal ignited the run with two layups and Brian Berritto followed with a mid-range jumper. Stockmal and Berritto finished the streak with baskets to give Shelton a 60-54 lead.
Angelone responded with a 3-pointer, which Stockmal followed with two points from the line. Hart followed with two points of his own from the line, which Stockmal responded to with another trip to the line. Down the stretch, the Gaels went to the line 10 times and made eight from the stripe, helping to cement their victory.
“They deserved it,” Gardiner said. “They really wanted this game.”