Shelton gains first SCC semifinal with 49-47 win
WALLINGFORD — Hamden pulled off an upset over host Sheehan in the nightcap of the SCC girls basketball quarterfinals on Saturday. In the third quarterfinal, sixth-seeded Shelton outlasted No. 14 seed Amity, 49-47.
Shelton, making its first league semifinal appearance since 2011, and Hamden will meet in the semis on Monday at 6 p.m. at Jonathan Law in Milford.
Shelton 49, Amity 47
Leya Vohra scored a game-high 19 points for the Gaelettes. The senior point guard converted consecutive one-and-ones over the final 30 seconds, after teammate Ashia Askew’s steal and layup gave Shelton the lead for good, 45-44 with 1:29 left to play.
“We made the big plays,” Shelton head coach Joe Cavallaro said. “And Leya was clutch. She made the big free throws.”
With Shelton trailing by a point, Askew stepped in front of a pass at half court and took in for the go-ahead basket.
“I just wanted the ball. I just hustled,” Askew said. “I just looked at the ball, saw it and tipped it.”
After a pair of Amity misses from the foul line with 36.4 seconds left, Vohra countered with two foul shots to extend the edge to 47-44.
A quick layup by Sarah Granados narrow the Spartan gap to one, before an offensive foul on Shelton gave Amity (11-11) a chance to take the lead.
The Gaelettes came up with the stop though, as Amity was called for traveling with 18.5 seconds left.
“I thought we played pretty good defense,” Cavallaro said. “The last few minutes, they started to hold the ball a little bit… We made her (Jill Martin, game-high 21 points) work. She’s a great player, but we made her work. Especially in the second half.”
Vohra was fouled and made both at the 9.8-second mark and Amity managed just one more free throw to provide the final scoreline.
“They’re a very good team,” Spartan head coach Michelle Shoop said of Shelton. “They have a lot of threats. My girls played hard but at the end of the day, you’ve got to put the ball in the hoop more than the other team.”
Jill Martin 5 9-10 21 Catherine Thomas 0 1-2 1 Abigail Eschweiler 1 0-2 2 Meghan Smith 1 0-0 2 Jayne Whitman 5 1-2 m14 Sarah Granados 2 2-2 7
Totals: 16 13-16 47
Leya Vohra 6 7-7 19 Keira O’Conner 4 0-0 9 Ashia Askew 4 3-5 11 Clarissa Pierre 1 4-6 6 Devan Wildman 2 0-0 4
Totals: 17 14-18 49
Amity 14 13 10 10 47
Shelton 12 9 16 12 49
Record: Amity 11-11, Shelton 17-5
Hamden 52, Sheehan 44
The defending champion Green Dragons, seeded seventh, closed out the second-seeded Titans with a 10-2 run over the final 2:16.
“It’s one thing to have a game plan and it’s another thing for the kids to buy into it and execute,” Hamden head coach Amanda Forcucci said. “No one is perfect, but, man, it sure was close in terms of what we wanted to do on defense and offense.”
“We haven’t played them. so we’ll go into practice and game plan tomorrow,” Forcucci said.
Asya Brandon powered Hamden past Sheehan with 21 points, while Rebecca Oberman-Levin chipped in with 15. The senior duo combined for a pair of big plays down the stretch.
Brandon’s layup with 1:38 left and Oberman-Levin’s basket off a Brandon assist at the 58-second mark helped to seal the Green Dragon victory.
“It’s a good spot to be up late because you’re in a position where all you have to do is take care of the basketball and make your free throws,” Forcucci said. “All year we struggled to take care of the basketball and close out games. When it counted, they showed a lot of maturity tonight which I’m very proud of.”
Hamden (13-9) trailed just once in the contest, 8-6 early on, but Sheehan (18-4) battled back to tie the game at 38 with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter. Maddie Larkin’s free throws forged another deadlock at 42-42 with 2:16 left, but Hamden dominated down the stretch. Sheehan’s only points in that span came via foul shots from Caitlyn Hunt, who scored 21 points.