Law’s Young points to girls overall success over years as driving force

Katie Konareski is one of Law's four captains.

Katie Konareski is one of Law's four captains.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Jonathan Law girls’ basketball coach Dan Young hopes that there is carry-over effect, if not for last season’s run in the Class MM state tournament than from the cumulative success his returning seniors have enjoyed.

“As much as it is tough to look back and wonder what could have been, these girls are super grateful to continue,” said Young, whose 16th-seeded squad dispatched a pair of teams, including top-seeded Berlin, to gain the quarterfinals when the season weas halted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “My seniors have made it to state quarterfinals each of their seasons and want to continue that.’

Without a state tournament this season, Law, which went 11-9 in the regular season will have to find something else to provide motivation.

“We talked about how grateful we all are to be back in the gym,” Young said. “I told our girls that the best way to show how grateful they are is by how much effort they put in daily.”

Maddie Lulu, Katie Konareski and Sarah Paulus, a trio of senior veterans, and junior Shelby Green are team captains. “We also have a combination of sophomores and juniors, Mariyah Reid, Paige Jolley, Jenna Wasserman and Sabrina Lawless, who will get more time.”

Jill Hall and Liv Kowalski graduated, and they took their height with them. When asked if he could replace the tandem, Young was quick with a quip. “I guess I’m going to have to, I feel like we can’t ask the other team to play 3-on-3,” he said. “Jill brought our height average up quite a bit with her size and strength. Liv could pretty much play anywhere and being around the 5-foot-8 number she was a solid player inside.”

Young will adjust his game planning.

“We have to change our style year to year,” he said. “We make adjustment to the players we have to be our new identity. That is where we are right now being considerable shorter than we were last year. We are figuring out the new faces that are going to be part of it and what is going to be our most effective style.

Law scrimmaged Shelton on Saturday.

“It went well, you get a different pace than you get in a practice. The girls did a nice job,” Young said. “The best thing so far is their competitive attitude.”

The loss of an offseason due to the pandemic will be telling.

“It is a huge challenge with the necessary safety measures (masks) and the fact that these girls haven’t played basketball for close to a year. Simulating that is next to impossible. By extending the bench, one it will make us a better team and two it is going to be a necessity from a conditioning standpoint.”

Offsetting the downtime is the fact that Law features multi-sport athletes.

“Almost 100 percent of the girls play other sports, so tapping into that athleticism and how they can use that ability with basketball skills is a plus,” Young said. “We are super excited. For the tournament we are in Division I and play and East/West regular season schedule.

“We play locals (Foran, Lauralton Hall) then we play Shelton, Amity and the New Haven schools, Career, Wilbur Cross and Hillhouse. We play West Haven and Sacred Heart, who had great seasons last year, and our crossover is with Sheehan. I love the competition and the girls do to. We are looking to play against the best.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmedia Twitter: @blox354