Shelton girls basketball team looking forward

Coach Joe Cavallaro's Shelton girls basketball team returns a seasoned lineup.

Coach Joe Cavallaro's Shelton girls basketball team returns a seasoned lineup.

Shelton High Athletics / Contributed photo

Shelton High head girls’ basketball coach Joe Cavallaro reports that his players are doing the best to deal with the delay to their season.

“They are going into their own backyard and playing a little bit,” said Cavallaro who is limited to texting with his players. “They do whatever they can. Most everyone on my team played a fall sport. So, they were busy with that.”

Keira O’Connor, Clarissa Pierre and Devan Wildman will take to the court as team captains when the Murray Gymnasium is open for practice.

But COVID-19 isn’t the only thing that has had a negative impact on the program.

“Devan tore her ACL while playing soccer and will miss her senior season,” Cavallaro said of his 5-foot-7 small forward. “We all feel for her, and the team will feel her loss. She is very aggressive on the court and a leader all the time.”

Cavallaro pointed out that Wildman saved her biggest scoring games for the biggest moments.

“Devan had one of her best games in our two-point win over Amity in the SCC quarters,” he said. “In our Christmas Tournament against a very good East Hartford team she made two foul shots in the final seconds to win the game. She was a clutch player and will be tough to replace.”

Shelton lost All-SCC selection Leya Vohra and 3-year starter Reem Abdel-Reem to graduation, but Cavallaro likes his team’s chances.

“We have good experience. Clarissa Pierre (5-foot-11 forward) made first team All-SCC and Keira O’Connor (5-foot-7 guard) has started every game since her sophomore year,” Cavallaro said.

“We also have good scoring balance. Ashia Askew (5-foot-7 forward) started all six postseason games. The way it worked out in those games, Clarissa, Keira, Ashia and Leya all averaged between 10 and 11 points. I guess, you can’t be more balanced than that.

“The girls are looking to play. I have six seniors this year with our captains, Ashia Askew, Emily Sandin and Julz Kost. We’ve had a pretty good competitive run the last few years (15-5 a year ago, 10-10 in 2009).”

Updated schedules have not yet been released.

Cavallaro said: “The last I heard (when the season was going to begin Dec. 5), the schedule we were tentatively given was 15 games. I believe it would include the Milford schools (Foran, Law, Lauralton Hall), the New Haven schools (Hillhouse, Wilbur Cross), Amity, Sacred Heart Academy and us in our segment.”

Cavallaro wants safety-first guidelines to prevail.

“With that first schedule, it was going to be 10 days of practice then play,” he said. “If we start on Jan. 19 who knows? All of this comes to the bottom line - you want people to be safe — and to keep people around them safe.” Twitter: @blox354