Gaelettes look to quickness, defense to battle SCC foes

Shelton High’s girls basketball team returns two starting players and will look for the emergence of up-and-coming players to help carry it back to the postseason.

Coach Joe Cavallaro’s team can make something positive of this campaign — playoff appearance or not — given it stands to return all but one starter a year from now. The Gaelettes, of course, are focused on making the most of the season ahead.

Shelton went 13-10, and 10-6 in Southern Connecticut Conference play a year ago. The Gaelettes lost in the second round of the SCC playoffs and first round of the Class LL state tournament.

“We have a very young team and our goal is to continually improve. We have a very solid schedule, which includes Career, Amity and Guilford,” Cavallaro said.

Captain Kayla Resto is the lone senior and joins junior Maggie Howard to represent the only returnees from last season’s starting five.

Other starters/contributors this year will include juniors Grace Boles and Mackenzie Joyce, and sophomores Reem Abdel-Heck and Leya Vohra. Also to see time are Lily Boles, GiGi Gamboian, Krissy Cooper, Elizabeth Casinelli and Keira O’Connor.

There are a lot of players competing for playing time, which stands to make for good competition in practices.

“We definitely work hard together,” Resto said. “I have faith in my team that if we can work together and stay on the same page it should be a good season.”

The Gaelettes saw 30 plus points per game graduate with the losses of Casey O’Connor and Sarah Skoronski.

“We lost about 85-90 percent of our scoring last year which is a lot,” said Cavallaro, adding that his team averaged more than 50 points per game a season ago but will lean more heavily on its defense this campaign. The team also lost some height, with O’Connor and Skoronski standing at 5-10 and 5-8, respectively.

Cavallaro said the Gaelettes will have to utilized their speed on the court.

It may take time to develop, but Cavallaro said qualifying for the postseason is something to aim for.

“It’s always a goal. We’ll do our best, we’ll see,” he said. “If we get better, if we play good enough defense we’ll compete in the games. And I think we will. There’s a learning curve and consistency will be our big thing. It’s a good group. I’m happy with their effort, they work hard.”

Shelton will visit Foran of Milford on Friday starting at 7 p.m.

The Gaelettes visit Masuk of Monroe in a non-conference game Saturday at 5:15 p.m.