Belade scores 29, Shelton defeats North Haven in OT
NORTH HAVEN — Brian Belade and Shelton fended off a tenacious North Haven effort, hanging on for a 72-66 overtime victory at a raucous Fred Kelly Gymnasium in an SCC boys’ basketball thriller on Friday.
Shelton is 9-4. North Haven is 7-6.
Belade scored 24 of his game-high 29 points across the second half and overtime, as the Gaels, who led by as many as 18 points in the first half, defeated the resilient Indians.
“If I had the shot, I took it,” Belade said. “When someone was open, I kicked it. That was the flow for tonight. I was feeling it.”
After trailing for the entire game, North Haven (7-6) tied it at 60 on Bryce Charney’s one-handed runner with 27 seconds left in regulation.
Shelton then appeared to regain the lead on the ensuing possession, but Peri Basimakopoulus’s basket was waived off after a traveling violation with three seconds left.
The Indians had two chances to win it after that, but they failed to get off a shot.
The extra session was all Gaels, as Belade converted two strong drives to put them up for good at 64-60.
“In overtime, we kept the ball in Belade’s hands almost every single possession,” Shelton head coach Brian Gardiner said. “That’s what the best player in the gym is supposed to do.”
Shelton kept attacking the rim, making enough foul shots, 8-of-16 in all, to see off North Haven.
“We got tired,” North Haven head coach Justin Falcon said. “In the fourth quarter, we got hot from the three-point line. The energy was definitely on our side.”
Basimakopoulus helped the Gaels get off to a torrid start, scoring 10 first-quarter points as Shelton surged ahead 21-9. The Gaels opened the game on an 18-2 run, before the irrepressible Indians rattled off seven points in a row.
Charney’s 3-pointer capped the run, but Basimakopoulus buried a long-range jumper to ignite a 13-4 Gael flourish that pushed their advantage to 31-13.
North Haven rallied yet again, with another Charney three starting a 9-1 flurry. Melvin Kolenovic’s 3-pointer at the first-half horn then staked Shelton to 35-22 halftime edge.
Charney’s sharp shooting kept the Indians within striking distance, as the senior guard connected on five of his seven 3-pointers as North Haven cut into its deficit.
“We had some bad defensive possessions where we weren’t defending those screens for number 24 (Charney) properly,” Gardiner said. “He was getting good looks.”
Mike Callinan’s dribble-drive layup put Shelton up 59-52 with 2:18 left in regulation, but 3-pointers by David Christoforo and Charney cut it back down to 59-58.
Belade made the front end of a one-and-one at the 52.2-second mark, setting up Charney’s clutch basket to force overtime.
“It was grind away,” Falcon said. “Bryce came up with some huge buckets for us.”
But the tandem of Belade and Basimakopoulus, who notched 20 points, defused the Indians comeback bid in the end.
“Those two guards played unbelievable for Shelton tonight,” Falcon said. “We tried our best to stay in front of them, but those guys stepped up for them and did what they’re supposed to do.”
SHELTON 72, NORTH HAVEN 66
Brian Belade 11 6-11 29 Peri Basimakopoulus 7 3-7 20 Melvin Kolenovic 6 6-9 19 Gavin Rohlman 1 0-0 2 Mike Callinan 1 0-0 2
Totals: 26 15-27 72
NORTH HAVEN (7-6)
Bryce Charney 10 0-0 27 David Christoforo 7 4-4 19 Jalen Watson 1 0-0 3 Joseph Vitale 4 0-1 8 Rich Hager 3 2-2 9
Totals: 25 6-9 66
Shelton 21 14 11 14 12 72
North Haven 9 13 17 21 6 66