Shelton defense needs added production from offense

Shelton’s Dylan Camp drives around a screen set by Randy Mones in game with Masuk.

Shelton’s Dylan Camp drives around a screen set by Randy Mones in game with Masuk.

Samantha Sepkaski / Contributed photo

Shelton’s defense was on full display, but its offensive output was lacking when the Gaels lost its first two games of the season. Hillhouse won the opener 62-50. Masuk took game two, 59-50.

“Our defense has played well. The understand we have got to reward ourselves on the other end of the floor with points,” coach Brian Gardiner said. “We need to execute our offense better late in games.”

Hamden defeated Shelton 73-61 on Monday. It took a 35-31 lead into the half and outscored the locals by seven points in the third quarter to improve to 1-1.

Shelton was within four points in its first two games before Hillhouse and Masuk made a couple of 3-pointers to pull away.

“We executed on offense extremely well in the first quarter against Hillhouse,” Gardiner said. “We were close with 4:45 to go, but Seny Toure hit two threes and we couldn't get any closer. It was a big-time defensive effort, we just struggled to score in the fourth quarter against their 1-2-2 half court trap.”

Against Masuk, the Gaels ability to take the charge and force turnovers kept Masuk from stretching out its 14-6 lead in the middle two quarters. The Panthers them made their free throws in the final two minutes to secure the win.

Masuk led 47-39 on Jeremy Everlith’s three-point play at the six-minute mark before Tim Hilser’s steal led to a pair of free throws by the senior.

Shelton’s Dylan Camp nailed a 3-pointer, but Everlith made two consecutive hoops inside. Camp went the conventional route on the next trip down court. The senior co-captain drove through traffic, made the hoop and the free throw that followed to make it 53-47.

That was the high-water mark as Masuk’s parade to the foul line decided the contest.

Shelton got off to a quick start before a large rooting section.

Randy Mones found Jake Gigliotti cutting through the lane for a basket and a foul shot. Co-captain Vinny DeFeo then scored from the lane for a 5-3 advantage.

Seven consecutive misses, four on 3-point tries, stymied the Gaels. It would be almost five minutes before a Hilser free throw broke the scoring drought.

Shelton held serve, however. Gigliotti forced a turnover, Ricky Feola had a steal, Hilser drew a charge and added a steal of his own.

Two Masuk buckets, one that beat the buzzer, gave it a 14-6 lead.

Hilser cammed a pair of 3-pointers to open the second period. Mones, off a hustle rebound, and Gigliotti had assists. The buckets came after a steal of an entry pass by Mones and drawn charge by Hilser.

Gigliotti had a trey, and Feola a hoop, but it took consecutive buckets by DeFeo to narrow the deficit to 24-22 at the half.

Mones scored six points and DeFeo five in a third quarter won by Masuk 17-16. Jeff Wojtowicz came off the bench to grab three rebounds, two on the offensive end. Mones found Camp on a run-out for a three-point play.

DeFeo and Camp each scored 11 points. Hilser had nine, Gigliotti eight and Mones six. In the Hillhouse game, Gigliotti scored 12, DeFeo 11, and Mones 10. Versus Hamden, Mones scored 13, Hilser 13 and DeFeo 11.

Shelton will be home to New Milford next Tuesday at 7.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354