Law tops Foran behind Iallegio’s 29-point game

Lennie Ialeggio scored 29 points to help Jonathan Law defeat visiting Foran 52-43 in boys’ basketball at the James Richetelli Sr. Memorial Gymnasium.

A junior guard, Ialeggio made six 3-pointers and scored nine points in the final period when the Lawmen held off the surging Lions.

Law coach Jamie Anderson wasted little time before calling the twice annual matchup his team’s biggest games.

“You can point to other teams on our schedule, but I will tell you that playing a town rival is magnified. Playing Foran twice makes them the hardest games we play every season,” Anderson said. “Our kids know their kids. Their kids know our kids. That knowledge carries into games. Plus, you add in the youth on our team. They don’t see crowds like this and students cheering like that.”

Joe Gaetano led Foran back from a 45-31 deficit with six minutes remaining. The 6-foot-3 junior forward knocked down a 3-pointer and blocked a shot to regain possession. Brayden Young picked it up here. The senior scored on a drive and made a trey off a Charlie Diamantis’ pass to make it 45-39 at the three-minute mark.

Ialeggio ended the 8-0 run when he denied a steal attempt and calmly drained a three. His steal and layup put Law up 50-41.

Foran coach Ian Kirkpatrick said: “Their zone gave us problems all game. I thought we were stagnant on offense and just didn’t make enough shots.”

Law led 27-20 at the half, helped by quarter-ending baskets.

Ialeggio had a spinning put back to make it 11-7 after one. Freshman Cam Upchurch beat the buzzer after he crossed half court with a banked 3-pointer to give the Lawmen a seven-point edge at intermission.

Law’s Daniel Maxwell assisted on three baskets for a 16-7 lead three minutes into the second quarter. Foran answered Law’s 9-0 run with baskets from Gaetano, Liam Young, Brayden Young and a 3-pointer by Matteo Tonelli to get within a bucket at 16-14.

Nolan McKenna-Hansen scored off a rebound, and Maxwell found Ialeggio cutting to the hoop to set up Upchurch’s last second heroics to end the half.

Upchurch scored six points in the third period when Law extended its advantage to 39-30. Gaetano, who finished with 17 points, scored five in the frame and Tonelli hit a three.

“Foran is scary, but we didn’t panic through a couple of hiccups,” Anderson said. “It all begins when we rebound on defense. We wanted to force tempo. Tonight, was the best we’ve got back to play defense all season.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354