Boys basketball: Jonathan Law opens season with big win
Jon Vitale slid backwards across the baseline and was quickly surrounded by his teammates.
Jonathan Law’s junior guard had just taken a charge to deny Whitney Tech a possession on its fourth trip down the court, when coach Jamie Anderson’s Lawmen defeated the Owls, 65-27, in Hamden on Thursday night.
“We were a little amped up,” Anderson said of missed shots early in the season opener for both teams. “We are pretty quick and this team plays super hard.”
Law is short in stature, but not in makeup.
Tyler McKenna-Hansen (21 points) had a steal to start the game and then rebounded an Owl miss.
Fellow senior and co-captain Will Contaxis blocked Whitney’s third try at the basket.
“We have a deep rotation and I love the way they all want to play defense," Anderson said. "Because we’re small we are going to have our defense help us score points.”
Producing points proved difficult for both teams in the first four minutes.
Law’s defense then added transition to its early position of denial.
Three steals out of their aggressive half-court 1-3-1 resulted in baskets for Vitale, Garrett Tutlis and Contaxis.
Vitale finished the first period with nine points, an assist and a steal.
McKenna-Hansen had four points, five rebounds and a steal.
Zane Birks (assist, rebound), Tutlis and Contaxis had the other baskets for a 19-3 lead.
Anderson used nine players in different combinations and each had the ability to handle the ball and defend.
Pressing on only three possessions in the first half, Law was still able to stretch its lead to 43-6.
Noah Tutlis (16 points) scored seven points in the frame.
Vitale’s no-look pass from the wing to the opposite block resulted in a three-point play for McKenna-Hansen, who added a one-handed dunk his next trip.
Noah Tutlis had a run-out hoop, assisted by Brian Felag.
Tutlis returned the favor when he fed Felag in the paint for a hoop.
Garrett Tutlis had a brace of free throws.
Whitney played hard, worked the ball well on offense, but couldn’t get a shot to drop.
The lid on the basket was peeled off after the break, however, when the Owls closed the gap to 52-21.
The Owls’ Kenny Ventura (22 points) made a pair of 3-pointers and finished off a spinning drive.
James Troutman added a trey and Doug Wandlaw buried a runner in the third quarter.
During the period, the Lawmen took time on each possession to work their sets.
McKenna-Hansen scored five points.
Felag and Ru Akhtar added baskets, with assists going to Vitale, McKenna-Hansen and Felag.
In the final stanza, Law responded to Whitney’s comeback as it worked its attack exactly as Anderson had drawn it up.
Two three-pass sets found McKenna-Hansen scoring inside. Contaxis and Noah Tutlis started each play, with Akhtar making quick second passes on both baskets.
Vitale’s found McKenna Hansen open off deep dribble penetration and the Law lead was back to a comfortable margin.
A give-and-go pass from Garrett Tutlis to Felag completed the scoring, and gave Tutlis his second assist of the period.
Law is back in action Monday when it plays at Platt Tech at 5:15.
Zane Birks 1 0-0, 2 Jimmy Coleman 0 0-0, 0 Will Contaxis 1 0-0, 2 Tyler McKenna-Hansen 10 1-1, 21 Garrett Tutlis 1 2-4, 4 Ru Akhtar 2 0-0, 4 Jon Vitale 4 1-1, 9 Brian Felag 3 1-2, 7 Noah Tutlis 7 1-2 16.
Totals: 29 6-10, 65
Kenny Ventura 6 5-7, 22 Marion Brown 0 0-0, 0 James Troutman 1 0-0, 3 Tremaine Jarvis 0 0-0, 0 Doug Wandlaw 1 0-0, 2 Mike Lopez 0 0-0, 0 Anthony McKnight 0 0-0, 0.
Totals: 8 5-7 27
LAW 19 24 9 13—65
WHITNEY 3 2 16 6—27
3-pointers: L—Noah Tutlis 1; WT—Ventura 5, Troutman 1