Shelton falla after late Sheehan rally
WALLINGFORD - Shooters shoot, as the saying goes.
Despite an off-night shooting-wise, Sheehan’s Jack McDonnell didn’t hesitate when he got an open look a couple feet behind the arc and his team down a point with just over a minute to go Thursday night.
The junior captain’s 3-pointer hit nothing but net, starting a game-ending 8-0 Sheehan run to lift the Titans to a 70-63 win over Shelton in a Southern Connecticut Conference cross-over game on Thursday night.
The Gaels (5-4) were left with a long bus ride a home thinking of what could have been. Shelton turned the ball over 18 times in the first half but only trailed by two points at the intermission, 34-32. Shelton improved its handle in the second half, only turning the ball over six times, and stood toe-to-toe with Sheehan until the game’s final minute.
The Gaels led 47-46 after Brian Belade ended the third quarter with a pretty scoop lay-up in traffic.
Sheehan (7-2) went up 60-55 on a McDonnell fast break score with 3:05 left in the game.
Shelton answered with an 8-2 run, highlighted by a Peri Basimakopolous trey from the top of the arc to make it a 63-62 Shelton lead with 1:15 left.
But McDonnell’s three 11 second later gave Sheehan the lead for good. The Titans made five-of-six free throws in the closing minute to seal the victory.
Shelton’s big three of Belade, Basimakopolous and Melvin Kolenovic combined to score 57 of the team’s 63 points.
Belade, who missed the first meeting between the two teams — a 62-44 Sheehan win on opening night back in December due to injury — scored a team-high 21 points
“We knew this one was going to be a close game, and that’s what we got,” said Shelton head coach Brian Gardiner, whose team saw its five-game win streak come to an end. “We just couldn’t get stops at the end.”
McDonnell led four Sheehan scorers in double figures with 22 points. Garrett Molampy added 17 points, Arthur Cordes 13 and Tyler Carmen 11.
SHELTON PLAYER OF THE GAME
Junior point guard Brian Belade scored a team-high 21 points to pace the Gaels.
“[Sheehan] is a really, really good team. But we can beat this team if we took care of the ball a little bit better and got a few more important stops at the end.” - Shelton coach Brian Gardiner
SHEEHAN 70, SHELTON 63
Shelton 18 14 15 16 63
Sheehan 19 13 12 24 70
Brian Belade 9 1-1 21 Peri Basimakopolous 7 2-2 18 Melvin Kolenovic 7 2-2 18 Gavin Rohlman 1 0-2 2 Vinny DeFeo 1 0-0 2 Mike Callinan 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 5-9 63
Kris Jackson 2 1-3 5 Tyler Guercia 1 0-0 2 Tyler Carmen 4 3-3 11 Jack McDonnell 8 4-4 22 Arthur Cordes 4 3-6 13 Garrett Molampy 6 3-4 17. Totals: 25 14-20 70
3-pointers: SHEL-Belade (2), Basimakopolous (2) Kolenovic (2); SHEE-McDonnell (2), Cordes 2, Molampy 2