Law’s McKenna-Hansen dominates on Senior Night

Law assistant coach Rob McKenna Hansen, assistant Matt McPartland, Daniel Maxwell, Anthony Andriolas, Spencer Hannon, head coach Jamie Anderson and Dan Maxwell get together on Senior Night.

Law assistant coach Rob McKenna Hansen, assistant Matt McPartland, Daniel Maxwell, Anthony Andriolas, Spencer Hannon, head coach Jamie Anderson and Dan Maxwell get together on Senior Night.

Law Athletics / Contributed photo

Nolan McKenna-Hansen left the floor to a boisterous reaction from the fans when Law celebrated Senior Night with a 65-57 victory over Pomperaug at the James Richetelli Sr. Memorial Gymnasium on Saturday night.

Captain Daniel Maxwell, Spencer Hannon and Anthony Andriolas were honored prior to the non-conference game with the visiting Panthers from Southbury. Each contributed to Law’s third consecutive win.

But it was McKenna-Hansen who earned big man on campus honors with a 25-point performance before the 6-foot-7 junior fouled out with one minute remaining.

“For Nolan it is getting around the bucket and utilizing not just his size but his toughness,” Law coach Jamie Anderson said. “We’ve never been a put-it-in-the-post kind of team. We’ve never had that ability. Nolan gives us a nice piece there. He is getting his legs under him.

“He knows he can kick it back out and not to force things. Sometimes (with that frame) you feel took much he had to go up with it. I’m not expecting 25 every night, but for him to play with that patience and understand the situation.”

McKenna-Hansen played a part in every quarter. A junior captain, he had eight of his 15 baskets in the final period, when Law outscored Pomperaug 22-12. A frontcourt standout, McKenna-Hansen was consistent with four points in the first period, six in each of the next two quarters.

“Nolan grew up in many ways,” Anderson said. “He was patient with the ball in the paint. Guys are looking for mismatches and finding him, things we’ve talked about taking shape. Understanding playing inside out is important. Nolan didn’t disappear.”

Pomperaug buried 12 three-pointers on the night. Included in the barrage were four in the third quarter that gave it a 45-43 lead.

Anderson said: “The guys from Pomperaug shot the ball well. It was a dog fight all night. Our help side defense was good. John Neider is relentless. Our guys outside (Maxwell, Lenny Ialeggio, Cam Upchurch) took timely shots. The key was slowing things down and being more patient. That has what we’ve been doing the last three games.”

Neider, a junior captain, and Ialeggio scored nine points each. Captain Maxwell had seven, Upchurch six and Hannon two baskets. Upchurch and Ialeggio made two treys each. Maxwell had one.

“Players don’t have to be the best at his position. He must be the best he can be every time he takes the court,” Anderson said. “We don’t have garbage time. We are in every game. Every single player that steps on the floor, his playing time is warranted.”

Anderson considers Law’s 40-37 win against Sheehan as a season changer.

“We took out starters end of first quarter,” he said. “I put in Brendan Buchner, Chris Andriolas, Aiden Ryan, Lenny Ialeggio and Spencer Hannon. They got the Sheehan lead from 11 to four going into the fourth. They changed momentum, pace of play, everything we can ask for. I told my starters that these guys were playing as hard as anyone has in our program. You guys weren’t. We were down three with about four minutes left when the starters went back. We won that game throwing up a three by Neider. We were tied, forced a deflection on a missed four shot, got to it and John tossed it in.”

Upchurch scored all seven of his points in the final quarter in the win.

“We are finally clicking as one unit,” Anderson said. “By that I mean freshman through senior in each level of our program. Kids want to work; they want to step up alongside the guy next to them. We aren’t letting teams force the issue, speed us up when we don’t want to. We are getting in their face more on defense.”

Law improved to 8-8 and made it four wins in-a-row when it defeated Sheehan 47-36 on Monday. Neider scored 19 points and Anthony Andriolas 11.

Law has a rough road to the finish. It is home to non-league rival Weston. They visit No. 9 Fairfield Prep Saturday. They lost 74-66 to the 13-1 Jesuits in their first meeting. Then comes East Haven Monday (52-50 loss), non-league Brookfield, and West Haven (36-30 loss).

“My goal is to get to 10-10,” Anderson said. “That would be a good year considering two of our losses are to Wilbur Cross, both times they were top 10, and they just got edged by No. Bristol Central. We had two losses to Hand, both times they were top 20. Then No. 9 Prep in overtime. Our conference is tough. Teams don’t know we are tough as well until they play us in big games.”