Boys basketball: Gaels return veteran core

Coming off of a 10-win season, where it qualified for both the Class LL and SCC tournaments, the Shelton High boys basketball is looking to make noise this winter.

Coach Brian Gardiner’s Gaels return four starters that accounted for a whopping 79% percent of the team’s scoring last year.

“We have the ability to score a lot of points, but how well we rebound and defend will determine our success,” Gardiner said.

Among those returnees are 6-foot-4 senior forward Casey Belade, who averaged 13.2 points per game, five rebounds and two assists, and 6-2 senior guard Matt Terrasi, who averaged 14.6 points per game, four rebounds and two assists. The duo will serve as the team captains.

Also back in the mix is leading scorer Jeff Stockmal, a 6-3 junior guard that was an SCC All-Housatonic Division selection — along with Terrasi — and honorable mention All-State.

Guard Jack Gleason, who averaged 6.5 points per game and 3.5 assists, also returns to anchor the three-guard set.

Up front, senior forwards Kevin Robinson, Keenan Carey and Jake Maier return, as does 6-6 senior center Ed Conklin. In the backcourt, juniors David Berritto and Ryan Murphy give Shelton its depth.

“Our veterans have been very focused so far in the preseason on improving every day and doing the little things that we need to do to be successful,” Gardiner said.

The Gaels are looking to win the Housatonic Division title this year, after coming in second the past two seasons to Cheshire High.

“It is a really strong division this year,” Gardiner said. “It will be a very competitive race for the division title.”

Shelton is looking to not only qualify for the state tournament for the third year in a row, but also to advance beyond the first round. The Gaels have fallen to FCIAC squads Greenwich and Norwalk the past two years.

Schedule-wise, Shelton will open the season against defending Class LL state champions Fairfield Prep. State qualifiers Wilbur Cross, Hamden, Daniel Hand of Madison, Branford and Xavier High of Middletown are on the docket, along with the regular Housy slate of the Wallingford schools, Amity and Cheshire.

“We look forward to competing against some of the top teams in the area and state this season,” Gardiner said.