Boys basketball: Shelton loses to Cheshire in SCC playoffs
CHESHIRE — Shelton High lost to Cheshire High, 68-53, in the first round of the Southern Connecticut Conference playoffs on Thursday night.
The sixth-seeded Rams will play third-seeded Wilbur Cross in a quarterfinal matchup on Saturday at 4:15 p.m. at Branford High.
Coach Brian Gardiner's 11th-seeded Gaels (11-10) are off until the state tournament.
"They shot the ball well," Gardiner said of Cheshire (14-7). "Then when we extended our man defense they went by us. We didn't shoot the ball well. We know what we have to work on and have a week to get it right and be ready for states."
Cheshire, winners of 10-of-11, was led by 6-foot-4 junior Aidan Godfrey, who tied a career high with 31 points.
"I told the kids to embrace this and have fun," Cheshire head coach Dan Lee said. "This is the first time (in SCCs) for eight of our guys, as Aidan saw a little time. We graduated everybody. In the second half we ran our sets better and our guards did a great job of getting it to Aidan."
Shelton's Peri Basimakopoulos scored 21 points. The junior swished home a pair of three-pointers in the first period to stake the Gaels to an 8-4 lead.
Cheshire's Ian Battipaglia rattled off a couple of long-range shots and the Rams took an 18-14 lead into the second quarter.
"This has been a longstanding rivalry with Shelton, even though we didn't play them in the regular season," Lee said. "Brian does a great job with them and they pose matchup problems the way they can spot up or drive to the basket.
"Three-pointers are the ultimate equalizer. They hit their shots early, we answered (and didn't stop)."
Brian Berritto scored on consecutive possessions in the second period, before Ian Battapaglia made another three and handed off to the trailing Colby Hayes for another trey.
After almost five minutes of scoreless basketball at 28-20, Godfrey blocked one of his seven shots and sent Hayes off for a run-out basket with 1:25 remaining.
Peri Basimakopoulos' hard-earned three-point play kept things close at 32-25 going into the half.
Cheshire scored on 6-of-8 possessions to open the third quarter.
Berritto scored six of his 12 points in the quarter, and assisted on Martin Dominguez' three-pointer.
Cheshire stretched its 11-point advantage in the early stages of the final period.
Godfrey got open on the block for back-to-back baskets.
He then knocked down a three, made four free throws, and scored off a tip in to conclude his 13-point quarter.
Basimakopoulos scored 10 points in the final frame.
CHESHIRE 68, SHELTON 53 (at Cheshire)
Alex Frione 3 0-0 8 Ian Battipaglia 4 1-2 9 Aidan Godfrey 12 4-6 31 Colby Griffin 2 3-6 7 Eli Battipaglia 2 0-0 2 Colby Hayes 3 0-0 7 Shaan Vatti 1 0-0 3
Totals 26 8-14 68
Brian Berritto 6 0-0 12 Brian Belade 2 3-4 7 Peri Basimakopoulos 6 7-7 21 Kevin Belden 0 0-0 0 Melvin Kolenovic 4 1-2 9 Martin Dominguez 1 0-0 3 Jakai Barnes 0 1-2 1
Totals 19 12-15 53
Scoring by Quarters
Shelton 14 11 15 13 53
Cheshire 18 14 19 17 68
3-pointers: Shelton — Basimakopoulos (2), Dominguez 1; Cheshire —Frima 2, I Battipaglia 1, Godfrey 3, Hayes, Vatti