Boys basketball: Foran loses on road to Shelton

The odds were stacked against Foran High on Friday night.

The Lions were on the road, facing a Shelton team that’s playing better since Foran knocked them off a few weeks ago and was trying to qualify for the Southern Connecticut Conference and state tournaments on its home court.

In the end, it proved too much for the Lions to overcome as the Gaels shook of a slow start before handing Foran a 73-43 loss at Murray Gymnasium in Shelton.

“It was not the outcome we wanted,” said Foran coach Ian Kirkpatrick after the loss, which eliminated Foran from postseason contention.

Much like in its 50-47 victory over Shelton a few weeks ago, Foran tried to shut down Shelton’s leading scorer Brian Berritto. It worked, as the Lions limited Berritto to just seven points.

But on this night, Shelton had too many other weapons clicking for Foran to pull off the upset.

Shelton’s Brian Belade scored a game-high 18 points, and 6-foot-6 center Melvin Kolenovic recorded a triple-double with 13 points, 16 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

“Defensively, we put a lot of emphasis on Berritto, but they had some other guys to step up,” said Kirkpatrick. “Credit them, they did a nice job on both ends of the floor tonight.”

Foran (4-13) started the game on the right foot, with Tyler Griffin (team-high 10 points) and John Shannon (5 points, 8 rebounds, 5 blocks) each hitting early treys to stake Foran to a 6-2 lead two-plus minutes into the first quarter.

But the Gaels (8-7) started to warm up midway through the period, using a 22-4 run to take a 24-10 lead.

Foran got a three-pointer from Michael Simonelli (8 points) and a free throw each from Jason Giambra (6 points, 6 rebounds) and Luca Marinelli to keep the deficit within reach, 26-15, at halftime.

But the Gael offense really caught fire in the third quarter, outscoring Foran 23-12 to extend their lead to 49-27.

Foran struggled to keep up with the Shelton offense, shooting just 22 percent from the field on 12-of-54 shooting. The Lions did have some success from beyond the arc, making 8-of-20 for 40 percent.

Despite a couple treys from Richard Prosser early in the fourth quarter for all of his six points on the night, the margin continued to grow, and both teams played their reserves the final few minutes.

Highlights for the Lion bench included a bucket by Marinelli and a pair of free throws from Christian Piscitelli.

Kirkpatrick is looking for his young squad to end the season on a high note over the final three games, as it starts to set its sights on next season.

“Moving forward, it’s about improving,” said Kirkpatrick. “These last three games, it’s all about getting better. We’ll bounce back  I have no doubt that this team will come to practice and work hard, and prepare for our upcoming games.”

Foran travels to Cheshire on Tuesday night.

After a week off, the Lions host Hand of Madison on Tuesday the 12th before ending the season on the road with a game at Branford on the 15th.


Foran (4-13)

Michael Simonelli  2 1 1-2 8, Ethan McVoy  0 1 0-0 3, Richard Prosser  0 2 0-2 6, Tyler Griffin 0 2  4-4 10, John Shannon 1 1 0-0 5, Luca Marinelli  1 0 1-2 3, Jason Giambra 0 1 3-4 6, Christian Piscitelli  0 0 2-2 2

Totals: 4  8 12-15 43

Shelton (8-7)

Brian Berritto  3 0 3-10 7, Brian Belade  4 3 1-1 18, Peri Basimakopoulos  2 3 1-2 14, Kevin Belden 3 1 0-0  9, Melvin Kolenovic 5 0 3-5 13, Robert Correia  0 0 0-0 0, Jakai Barnes 1 0 0-1 2, Mike Callinan  0 0 2-2 2, Gavin Rohlman 2 0 0-0 4, Vin Defeo 1 0  0-0 2, Jay Cimmino 0 0 0-0 0

Totals: 21  7 10-21 73

Scoring by quarters

Foran       8 7 12 14  — 43
Shelton  16 10 23  24 — 73

3-point goals: Foran (Simonelli 1, McVoy 1, Prosser 2, Griffin 2, Shannon 1, Giambra 1); Shelton (Belade 3, Basimakopolous 3, Belden 1