Law putting wins together, coach points to cohesive play

Brian Felag defends Notre Dame's James Rawlins in Law's 46-43 win over the Green Knights.

Brian Felag defends Notre Dame's James Rawlins in Law's 46-43 win over the Green Knights.

Law Athletics / Contributed photo

MILFORD - Jonathan Law coach Jamie Anderson has guided his Lawmen to six wins in its last seven games. The most impressive SCC Division I victory came with a 46-43 decision over then No. 4 ranked Notre Dame-West Haven on Friday.

Boxing out, not giving up second shots, everyone helping out on defense and playing a smart offense,” was how Anderson described the win. “I don’t know the last time someone held Notre Dame was held under 50 points. Our kids played tremendous defense. They were so mentally tough it was great to watch.”

Jake Faller made four 3-pointers and Daniel Maxwell drained three treys for Law, now 7-3. Notre Dame held an 18-12 in field goals; nine of Law’s dozen came from beyond the arc.

Anderson has had his team primarily play a man defense since taking over the program four years ago, but circumstances changed the pattern.

“Because we aren’t deep and need to rest some guys, we’ve been putting in some zone stuff,” he said. “The easiest thing and easiest rotation we have is a 2-1-2 zone. Our kids rebounded out of it and were able to get out on their shooters. I can’t think of too many offensive rebounds that they may have gotten.

“Look, top to bottom everyone on ND is a good player. They are well coached (Jason Shea) so we couldn’t focus on stopping one player. Everyone on our defense was attached to a string. They would push and pull each other into the right spots and did a great job.”

Notre Dame’s James Rawlins finished with 16 points and the 6-foot-3 forward had one of his team’s three treys. Ben Carroll, a 6-foot-7 forward and an All-SCC first-team performer as a junior, scored 13 points.

Anderson said: “On the offensive side, we were patient. It was smart play all around. Only a few of our 3’s came from deep. They were all within the offense. That goes to my point that they just found the next guy. There was not really a forced shot, which is hard to find playing against a team of that caliber.”

James Marino, a Law captain, has missed the last few games and is out for the season.

“Losing Marino is huge for us. He suffered a grade 2, grade 3 sprain of his ankle,” Anderson said of his senior guard. “He is an emotional leader and has been awesome on the bench, leading my example. James is the consummate captain. He hasn’t wavered once, stays positive, and helps bring our guys forward.”

Fellow captains and classmates Brian Felag and Noah Tutlis have impressed their coach.

“Brian doing great, playing a lot of minutes. We have to figure out a way to rest him. He is an on-the-floor result leader for us and plays with high energy,” Anderson said. “Noah has made a huge improvement with his all-around game. I love watching him do the little stuff, help-side defense, boxing out on rebounds, looking to take a charge. He has matured on the defensive end and that has really helped us a lot.”

With Marino sidelined, Faller has more responsibilities on offense.

“Jake Faller is getting more comfortable every game. We are looking for him a lot to help on offense. His shooting is great. And he is making good decisions with the basketball,” Anderson said.

Daniel Maxwell is one of Law’s most consistent shooters.

“Daniel on the offensive side really helps stretch out defenses for us. And he is getting better on the defensive end every game,” his coach said.

Anderson is pleased with his team’s selflessness.

“When I look at the team as a whole, we don’t have guys out there that played 20-25 minutes a game last year,” he said. “The biggest thing is that we are always going to give effort. We don’t downplay that part of it, in every practice and every game. Every guy gives all that they can. The ND game was a perfect example. They don’t care who scores, this group could care less 10, 12, 20 points. They just care who wins. They feed off each other and are always looking for the next guy (to pass the ball).”

Law is building for the future as well as the here and now. Anderson broke down his reserves.

“A lot of our young guys that we’ve given time to groom going forward (Nolan McKenna-Hansen, John Neider) played a lot the last two games. I put them in again last night (Notre Dame). They are starting to get it and getting more minutes. They are growing with the program fast,” Anderson said.

“Connor Larson is a senior getting reps under his belt and has been a good contributor. Cody Dineson is a junior, a super high energy guy playing for the first time with varsity. Anthony Andriolas is getting better. He’s a junior going forward that with his size will help us at guard. Christian Andriolas and Brendan Buchner are two sophomores getting more time and who we will lean on a lot the next few years,” Anderson said.

“These guys aren’t bench players. When these guys come in, they aren’t playing cautious. They are maintaining a level of consistency from an effort perspective that all the other guys bring. We aren’t looking for them to only spell starters. We aren’t looking for a ton of (scoring) production from them, but to play the game the way we do things: run our offense and things will come. They can all shoot, they just need more varsity reps.”

Anderson credits his assistant coaches -- Dan Maxwell, Matt McPartland and Rob Hansen - for helping turn the program around.

“They (fans) see me walking the sideline screaming and yelling, but all the time I hear everything my coaches are saying to me. They are selfless. I listen to them every day,” Anderson said. “They are all on point and adjust on the run. For my four years, these guys are the best, they prep for games. They are X and O guys. That is what has helped change the entire culture of the program. We owe a lot to those guys.”

Notebook: John Neider scored 19 points and Noah Tutlis scored 17 in Law’s 72-66 win against Sheehan on Monday. Brian Felag scored nine. Jake Faller and Nolan McKenna-Hansen each had seven. Brendan Buchner had six and Daniel Maxwell five.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354