Boys basketball: Foran falls to East Haven late

Despite being neck-and-neck for three quarters, the East Haven Yellowjackets defeated the Foran Lions, 57-47, in an SCC boys basketball game in East Haven on Friday.

“We played well, we just did not make plays when we needed to…Especially in the early and middle part of that fourth quarter,” said Foran coach Tim Swaller. “We didn’t take care of the basketball. We missed a couple easy shots. They hit their free throws and we didn’t and that was the difference.”

Zach Tavitian led the Lions with 14 points while Jordan Townsend had 13 and Mike Sciuto added 11. Nick Durso led all scorers with 18 points while Jeremiah Cureton added 13 and Ryan Spano added 12 for the Yellowjackets.

Townsend started things off with a three after an East Haven layup from Zack Zito. Tavitian followed with a postup bucket to give Foran a 5-2 lead. East Haven answered with an 8-0 run on five points from Durso and a three from Conor Reynolds. The Lions responded with an 8-2 run to finish the first quarter. Tavitian scored seven of the eight points to make it a 14-13 after one period.

The Lions and Yellowjackets were neck-and-neck in the second quarter. Durso gave East Haven a three-point lead, but Scuito nailed a three to tie the game.

Spano followed with a layup before J.T. Lanese hit a three to give Foran a 19-18 lead.

Durso answered Lanese’s 3-pointer with a layup, to which Sciuto answered with another three. Cureton’s jump shot make it 23-22 and East Haven regained the lead on a long two-pointer from Zito. Durso extended East Haven’s lead to 26-23, but Sciuto nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game 26-26 at the half.

“We went down early in the first quarter and I thought we responded nicely,” Swaller said. “The first half was back and forth. It came down to making some of those little plays and the East Haven kids made more of them than we did. Whether it was a rebound or a steal or a free throw they executed a little better than we did down the stretch.”

In the third quarter, Foran and East Haven continued trading baskets.

Spano started with a jumper then Tavitian followed with a layup. Spano hit a three to which Sciuto nailed a jump shot to make it 31-30. East Haven extended its lead on a Durso steal and layup, before a Huber layup and a Tavitian dunk gave Foran the lead back 34-33.

The Yellowjackets answered with back-to-back steals from Reynolds and Cureton, both leading to layups. Zito then hit a jumper to give East Haven a 39-36 lead.

In the fourth quarter, East Haven took control of the game.

The Yellowjackets started the quarter on an 8-0 run, before a Townsend 3-pointer made it a four-point game. With time winding down, the Lions were forced to foul and East Haven took advantage.

The Lions made two field goals in the fourth quarter, the Townsend three and a Matt Cruz layup late in the game.

The Yellowjackets outscored the Lions 18-11 and were 10 for 16 from the free throw line in the fourth.

“We’ve been inconsistent,” Swaller said. “Unfortunately, that what we’ve been this year. We’ve had some games when we’ve played consistently well and we’ve had some games where we’re good then we have a lapse. In a tight game where there are two evenly matched teams, a little lapse sometimes is the difference. They’re trying to get it together and find that consistency that’s the challenging part.”