Balance key to Foran's win at Law

Austin Woods led three players in double figures, when the Foran High boys basketball team pinned a 61-43 defeat on host Jonathan Law in an SCC Hammonasset Division matchup on Wednesday.

Woods led the Lions with 19 points, while Kevin Green added 16 and Casey McCone 11. Foran snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 5-7 overall, 2-3 in the Hammonasset.

“That was a big win for us,” Foran coach Tim Swaller said. “We’ve been struggling recently. It was good to finally put it all together and play a complete game.”

The Lions went on to beat Daniel Hand of Madison, 51-47, at Edna Fraser Gymnasium on Friday night to win consecutive games for the first time since posting victories over Bullard Havens Tech and Law on Dec. 27 and Jan. 4, respectively.

The Lawmen fell to top-ranked Hillhouse, 93-35, in New Haven on Friday to tumble to 0-12.

When the crosstown rivals faced off on Wednesday night at James Richetelli Sr. Gymnasium, Foran’s size proved to be the difference.

Facing an undersized Law frontcourt, the 6-7 Woods, the 6-4 McCone and 6-5 junior forward Bob Notholt (seven points) wrecked havoc in the paint.

Woods scored 12 of his game-high 19 points in the first half, using an array of low-post moves.

The senior center started the game off with a layup and a foul shot, while Green and McCone drilled 3-pointers, to arm Foran with a 9-1 first-quarter lead it would not relinquish.

“It always key to come out strong,” Woods said.

Law chipped away at the deficit, using a full-court press and baskets by Jeremy Doucette, Kevin Wall and Ryan Siddall to pull within 11-7 with 3:16 left in the first quarter.

Woods scored off of an assist from Green, with Zack Toto countering with a putback for Law.

Toto then hauled in another offensive rebound and converted the basket, pulling Law with 15-13 at the 1:45 mark.

But, Green buried a 3-pointer from the right corner, Sean Deegan knocked down a brace of foul shots and Notholt sank a jumper to make it 22-13 Foran at then end of the first frame.

A pair of 3-pointers from Dylan Vienneau kept the Lawmen within striking distance in the second quarter, but McCone rattled off six consecutive points to push the Lion lead to 30-19.

Woods netted seven points during the period, including an old-fashioned three-point play, as Foran increased its advantage to 37-24 at the half.

“We couldn’t get out to the shooters,” Woods said. “After halftime, we locked down the three-point line and we were good after that.”

Notholt set up Woods for an easy lay-in to start the third quarter, sparking a 7-0 Lion run that put the game out of reach.

The Lawmen made just two field goals during the third quarter, as Foran held them without a basket until the 2:21 mark, when Siddall ended the drought.

Hawkins French then muscled in a layup while drawing a foul before hitting the free throw to make it 46-31.

Green closed the quarter by snaring an offensive rebound and tossing in a floater with one second left, giving Foran a 48-31 edge heading into the final period.

Ciesla kicked off the frame with a 3-pointer, before Green made four straight free throws and Notholt a foul-line jumper to make it 54-34.

“We made some big plays down the stretch to keep the lead where it was,” Swaller said.

Wall scored on a layup and Ryan Carroll knocked down a 3-pointer to account for Law’s final baskets of the game, as Foran closed out its first victory in four games.

Ciesla led Law with nine points, while Toto added six.

In Foran’s victory over Hand (7-6) on Friday, McCone powered the Lions with 16 points.

Green added 14 points and seven assists and Woods 13 points and 11 rebounds.