Boys basketball: Gaels fall to red-hot Easties

Shelton High’s boys basketball team was unable to keep pace with host East Haven on Friday night.

The Easties were outstanding shooting the ball from the perimeter, Shelton makes were hard to come by, and the Yellow Jackets posted a 66-53 SCC victory.

“They shoot (from outside) well, they like to drive and kick the ball back out,” Shelton coach Brian Gardiner said of the Easties. “We had trouble making shots. We were 1-for 12 on three-point shots in the first half. We need to remedy that because it puts too much pressure on the defense.”

Shelton made 4-of-5 shots to open the game for an 8-7 lead at the four-minute mark.

Brian Berritto scored four points, Peri Basimakopoulos and Brian Belade added buckets, and Will Ciccone had two assists.

East Haven (5-3) held the Gaels (1-8) scoreless the rest of the period for a 13-6 advantage.

Shelton ran its offense, didn’t force any shots, but couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Ryan Spano had eight points in the stanza for the home team.

The Easties, led by Ed Popolizio’s seven points, doubled up the Gaels in the second stanza to take a 26-16 lead into the half.

Belade hit a 3-pointer, Kevin Belden and Basimakopoulos had baskets and Berritto and Belade had assists.

In the third quarter, the Gaels began to aggressively shoot on the first good look that came their way and twice made it a two-possession game.

Kyle Davis and Ciccone each had two assists, as the offense was well oiled.

Belade converted a pair of 3-pointers, including a catch-and-shoot from the wing off a pass from Belden.

Berritto tallied twice, one on a nifty move in the lane.

Shelton would get no closer than a six-point deficit with three minutes left in the third.

Coach Ricky Narracci’s Easties kept finding an open shooter, and Nate Furino (twice), Popolizio, Tristan Punzo and Gabe Longley drained 3-pointers.

East Haven led 48-34 after three quarters.

Shelton upped its defensive pressure and Berritto scored 11 points in the final period, but again East Haven had offensive answers.

Berritto finished with 23 points. Belade scored 16, with a trio of 3-pointers.