Jagoe battles through sickness, leads Lions past Westies

WEST HAVEN — Foran’s Taylor Jagoe is known as a hard-nosed player. If there were ever any doubts, they were erased Wednesday night.

With about 4 minutes to go in the game, Jagoe brought the ball up the court with the Lions trying to preserve the lead over host West Haven. In an instant, Jagoe ran off the court, throwing up as time was called.

Jagoe missed about 2 minutes of game time then returned to sink 7-of-8 free throws in the final 1 minute, 45 seconds of the fourth quarter to preserve a 60-52 Lion victory. Jagoe finished with 16 points in the game.

“There is a bug going around,” Foran coach Scott Nails said. “We were fortunate to have Taylor get back in the game. She left her heart and soul on the court. I am really happy for her and the kids.”

After the two teams traded baskets throughout the first quarter, Foran took the lead for good when Maggie Folsom knocked down her shot with 46 seconds left to give the Lions a 13-12 lead.

Baskets by Katie Hoyt and McKenzie Farquharson had given West Haven its only leads of the game, the latter with 2 minutes remaining in the opening quarter.

A pair of baskets by Brie Russo and a free throw by Jagoe were part of a 10-0 run that ended in the second quarter with Foran leading 18-12. The Lions got the lead as high as 10 points on Kelly Quinn’s free throws with 1:30 remaining in the half.

“We were able to get some layups,” Nails said. “We got a good lift from the bench.”

West Haven showed plenty of heart in the game as the Westies continually fought back.

Farquharson hit a basket then knocked down a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left in the half to cut the deficit to 29-24.

“There is no such thing as a good loss,” West Haven coach Jim Eagan said “But, the kids played hard. They kept coming back. There was no quit in them. That kind of effort is what you want all the time.”

Foran opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run on baskets by Jasmin Rodriquez, Jagoe and Cristina LaPenna, part of an 8-0 run, to give the Lions a 37-24 lead.

Farquharson’s basket with 4:30 left in the third were West Haven’s first points of the quarter as the Lions did a nice job defending the Westies’ inside presence.

“We knew they were athletic,” Nails said. “McKenzie is very good. She is very good in and out. (Katie) Hoyt is a very good spot-up shooter. We wanted to pressure them and not let them get their shots.”

Two more baskets by Folsom gave Foran a 41-26 lead with 3:21 to go in the quarter before Jayva Johnson twice cut the Westie deficit to 10.

Foran used another 6-0 run, highlighted by Quinn’s 3-pointer, to take a 49-33 lead with 58 seconds remaining in the third.

Four points by Farquharson highlighted a 5-0 run to start the fourth quarter as West Haven twice got as close as seven points on a 3-pointer by Hoyt and later on a basket by Johnson.

The Westies cut the deficit to six points with under a minute to go, but Jagoe calmly sealed the game with her free throws.

“We have to get a larger bench,” Eagan said. “I am waiting for someone to open my eyes in practice. We have to get more from our bench.

“We are in a six-game stretch where we can go anywhere from now 5-1 to 1-5. If we play with the determination and effort we played with tonight, we will be all right. We played hard.”

Rodriquez added 12 points, Russo had nine and Ashley Springsteen finished with seven.

Johnson led all scorers with 20 points for West Haven. Farquharson added 19 and Hoyt had nine.