Branford boys basketball defeats Law
MILFORD >> If you told Branford basketball coach Jake Palluzzi before Friday night’s game at Law that his Hornets would allow 57 points, he might have asked if his team would end up on the losing end.
But that wasn’t the case as the Hornets exploded for a season-high 84 points in an 84-57 Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division victory over Law at Richetelli Gymnasium.
It was only the second time that Branford has scored 57 points this winter. The Hornets did that just three days earlier in a 57-54 win at Foran.
“I don’t want to give up 57 points because of the way we put up points,” Branford coach Jake Palluzzi said. “Sometimes 57 can beat you.”
On the flip side, it was the eighth time in 11 games that Law has allowed more than 73 points this season.
“We’re not a good defensive team,” Law coach Tim Dooley said. “We don’t get through screens or go to the help side. We work on it every day but we don’t carry it over to games.”
Law kept things close for the majority of the first half. Branford did take a 34-19 lead with 2:59 remaining until halftime. However, three buckets by Kevin Linn and a layup by Sam Nassar (15 points) at the buzzer cut it to 37-27 at halftime.
You could tell by Palluzzi’s demeanor he walked off the court at halftime that he wasn’t thrilled with the way Branford played in the first two quarters.
“I don’t think we made good decisions offensively and defensively we were just standing around,” Palluzzi said. “We can’t walk through the motions and we got stagnant.”
Law closed it to eight points several times in the third quarter, the last on a trey by Nassar with 2:22 to go in the period.
Branford went on a 13-3 run over the remainder of the quarter, led by Ryan Sember with 11 points, including trio of three-pointers. That broke things open at 62-44.
“We had a couple missed shots and costly turnovers and it goes from 8 to 16 points,” Dooley said. “Our margin of error is razor thin and always has been.”
A pair of three-pointers by Jordan Donnelly and 10 points by Jake Sullivan (27 points) in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter gave the Hornets their biggest lead of the night, 82-50.
It was the 8th road game out of the 10 games Branford (5-5) has played this season.
“And it’s with a very inexperienced team,” Palluzzi said. “We are going to have seven of our next nine games at home, which will help propel us.”
It was the 42nd consecutive loss for Law (0-11), which hasn’t won a game since the 2014-2015 season.
“They are resilient kids who work hard,” Dooley said. “The coaching staff is super positive. We try to get the little victories. Win a quarter here — win a possession there. We are just so inconsistent at both ends of the floor.”