Gaelettes fall to Sheehan High in Housatonic finale

Shelton High girls basketball coach Mary Piccirillo couldn’t help but take notice of how many seniors Sheehan High honored during its Senior Night ceremony before the Gaelettes and Titans played in Wallingford on Feb. 11.

“You look at Senior Night here, [Sheehan has] five seniors. We played West Haven, they have three. All these other teams have five,” said Piccirillo, adding that SCC Housatonic Division co-champion Amity of Woodbridge has as many as eight.

“We have one. Even my junior class, we only have three. So we are very young. So there’s hope for the future.”

While Piccirillo has good reason to hope that the learning experience from this season will pay off for her 11 underclassmen in the years ahead, there was still the present to deal with last Tuesday night.

Shelton played the Titans (9-9 overall, 2-5 Housy) close for the first eight minutes before Sheehan took control and went on to hand the Gaelettes a 55-39 defeat.

Shelton fell to 2-17 overall, and 0-8 in the Housy with the loss. The Gaelettes wrap up their season with a home game against West Haven.

“It’s all about the learning right now,” said Piccirillo. “There are some things we need to get better on.”

The Gaelettes showed some of that promise in the first quarter against Sheehan.

After suffering a 19-point loss to the Titans last month, Shelton trailed just 9-7 after one quarter and had a chance to take the lead at the buzzer but Brooke McCone’s 3-pointer just missed its mark.

The second quarter was a different story, as the Titans took control of the paint and opened with an 11-2 run.

They Titans added a 10-3 run to end the first half and took a 32-14 lead into the intermission.

“We started the game off all right,” said Piccirillo. “Then all of a sudden we have this time warp, a few minutes where we have [several] turnovers, we can’t make a shot, we can’t do anything right.

“Then we want to play again, and now it’s too late. Now they have that big lead that we can’t just chip away.”

Sheehan scored the first nine points of the third quarter to run its lead to 41-14 midway through the final period.

The Gaelettes outscored Sheehan 25-14 over the game’s final 11-plus minutes.

McCone got the Shelton offense going with a 3-pointer and added a nifty scoop layup later in the fourth quarter, and added another layup to cap a coast-to-coast drive.

A sophomore, she came off the bench to lead the Gaelettes in scoring on the night with 13 points.

Lone senior Jessica Wilm scored four of her five points during the stretch run and junior reserve Eliza Lewis scored all four of her points during the period.

Sara Skoronski scored seven points on the night, while fellow freshman Casey O’Connor also scored five points.

Nicole Roberts and Wilm each grabbed a team-high six rebounds.

Piccirillo noted the defensive play of Skoronski and junior Nicole Wells.

“We haven’t given up,” she said. “We have played a tough season and the kids still come out and play day in and day out, so that says something about their character, the integrity that they have.

“So it’s going to be interesting next year.”