Shelton girls basketball getting healthy for stretch run

Shelton coach John Danielski is counting on having Laryssa Guimaraes, Sophia Alkaul and Alexis Resto on the court together will result in victories.

Shelton coach John Danielski is counting on having Laryssa Guimaraes, Sophia Alkaul and Alexis Resto on the court together will result in victories.

Shelton High Athletics / Contributed photo

Injuries and illness have curtailed any hopes that the Shelton girls’ basketball team had of competing on a nightly basis.

Help is on its way.

“We have been missing two of our three key players, and two senior captains,” Shelton coach John Danielski said of injuries and COVID contact tracing that have plagued his 1-9 Gaelettes. “Lala (Laryssa) Guimaraes has only practiced twice since Dec. 16 and has only played in three of our games. She played in our last one (East Haven on Jan. 18) and had 24 points, 17 rebounds with four or five blocks. That is what we’ve been missing every single game.”

Guimaraes, a 6-foot senior forward, fellow captain and classmate Alexis Resto, and promising freshman Ariana Suarez have missed most games.

“Lala came back against East Haven,” Danielski said. “I thought we’d have two of the three back, but then a stomach bug took away another starter. Things have not gone our way. We were looking to be competitive this year. Basically, we’ve had jayvee players being asked to play varsity minutes.”

Guimaraes was hurt in the second quarter of Shelton’s second game, a 35-28 loss to Masuk. She came back to help in a 54-40 win over Bunnell on Dec. 29 then was sidelined until the East Haven game.

Sophia Alkaul and Emily Ahern start in the backcourt.

“Sophia (senior captain) has played all but one game,” Danielski said. “She and (junior) Emily run the offense. They are the ballhandlers and have improved against pressure. Our press break will only get better with Lala here.”

Danielski has mixed players in as best he can.

“Emily Codere is making great choices with her passing,” Danielski said of his junior forward. “Senior Haley James has started the last five games and been our top inside player. Junior Molly McNeil has also been starting. She hit a big three for us against East Haven. She makes shots and is getting better. Bria Hayden has played more than half the games. Carmella DeFeo, another sophomore, and Mary Porto, a freshman, have also stepped in.”

Shelton played the three toughest games on its schedule last week when it met Hillhouse, West Haven, and Sacred Heart Academy.

Everything runs through Guimaraes.

“Lala has a big personality. She is such a good kid. Everyone we play knows she is our best player,” Danielski said. “With her back, you could see the difference in the kid’s confidence. If you need a basket, you get her the ball.”

Danielski said: “Not having Alexis Resto hurts. She keeps the team together. Alexis hits outside shots and rebounds. Against Amity she had 16 points. Once we get her and Lala together with the rest of the girls it will make a huge difference. Alexis could be out another seven to 10 days for a total of three weeks.”

Shelton is in the second half of its schedule.

“We are starting to see teams twice, hopefully with a fuller lineup,” Danielski said. “We have West Haven again, that’s tough, and Hillhouse. With our regulars back we are looking for the challenge down the stretch of the season.”

Shelton visits Cheshre today at 6. The Rams won 49-29 back on Dec. 21. Twitter: @blox354