Basketball: Gaelettes gaining summer league experience

Shelton High’s girls basketball players have been busy this summer.

The Gaelettes have competed in two leagues, with one varsity team and another freshman squad.

“We have two groups looking to get better,” said coach Matt Skoronski before Shelton took on Stratford High in a High School Summer League game in Stratford last Thursday.

“Our freshman team usually plays here and our varsity competes in a Trumbull league. Tonight, we have five varsity players.”

Shelton’s Nicole Roberts, Sarah Skoronski, Casey O’Connor, Devin Spisto and Ali Paolini built up a lead in the early going, and held off a deep Stratford team into the second half before the Red Devils emerged with a 36-31 victory.

Shelton put together a 6-14 season in 2014-15 for coach Joe Cavallaro. They graduated three seniors — Nicole Wells, Sivan Tepper and Elizabeth Lewis.

Roberts, a rising senior, lined up at center versus Stratford, with O’Connor and Skoronski on the wings and Spisto and Paolini in the backcourt.

Skoronski was awarded for a successful layup with a foul shot for a three-point play to open the scoring.

O’Connor tallied on a baseline drive before Spisto drained a 3-pointer off a pass from Skoronski to take the score to 8-2 for minutes into the 20-minute first half.

Skoronski’s pull-up jumper ran Stratford into a time out. The Red Devils, also coming off a 6-14 campaign a year ago, rallied back behind Genesis Torres, Rikeya Atkinson and Naomi Harris.

It was 10-8 Shelton when Roberts dropped in four consecutive free throws.

Skoronski had a steal and breakaway bucket before O’Connor split the defense for a basket.

Stratford scored the final five points of the half, but Shelton took an 18-15 lead into the break.

O’Connor scored Shelton’s first five points of the second half, as she drove baseline, made a free throw after being fouled on a putback try and scored again in traffic. She had 12 of her 16 points after intermission.

Torres knocked down a 3-pointer and Harris scored on a breakaway before Spisto found O’Connor open at the elbow for a jumper.

Harris’ putback basket tied the game at 25 with 10:23 to play and Stratford got its running game the rest of the way.

O’Connor and Roberts kept working hard inside, with O’Connor scoring five more points, including a hoop off a Paolini assist, before Roberts made a free throw to complete the scoring.

Colleen Flood, Erin Adler, Tanya Adler, Kathryn Arena and Kayla Resto are also playing summer ball for the Gaelettes.

Shelton concludes its season at Stratford’s Recreation Center on Birdseye Street tonight at 7 with a game against Oxford High.

Other results from last week saw St. Joseph #1 defeat Ansonia 45-29, Oxford edge St. Joseph #2 41-39 and Greens Farms Academy beat Kolbe Cathedral 36-32.

Other games today are 5 p.m. Kolbe vs St. Joseph #1; 6 p.m. Ansonia vs St. Joseph #2; and 8 p.m. Stratford vs Greens Farms Academy.