Boys basketball: Lions fall to Trojans in opener

The Foran Lions boys’ basketball team fell to Lyman Hall, 57-40, in the season opener for both teams in Wallingford on Dec. 21.

“We were flat to start,” said Foran coach Tim Swaller. “We put ourselves in a hole. I thought we responded pretty nicely in that quarter, but we played too much from behind. We weren’t playing at an intense level that we need to be. I thought Lyman Hall for the majority of the game outworked us and out-hustled us. It’s frustrating because I know we have a group that’s a little bit tougher, has worked a little bit harder and our effort has been better. Tonight, we just couldn’t get things going.”

Zach Tavitian led the Lions with 13 points. Fellow junior J.T. Lanese added 10 points. Will Shield led the Trojans with 14 points. Matt Hultgren added 13.

The Trojans started the game on an 8-0 run on three layups and two Shields’ free throws. Jordan Townsend got the Lions on the board with a layup to kick off a 6-1 run. Townsend followed with two more layups, after Kevin Ransom hit 1-of-2 free throws for Lyman. At 9-6, Joe Wojtasik hit a corner three and Hultgren nailed a jumper to make it 14-6.

Tavitian answered with two baskets to bring it to 14-10. Wojtasik nailed another three to make it 17-10 after one.

In the second quarter, the Lions’ Mike Sciuto got the steal and the layup, to which Brendan O’Connell answered with a three-point play to make it 20-12. O’Connell then got the steal and dished it to Shields for the layup on the foul, giving the Trojans a 23-12 lead.

Jaciy Meircado started a 12-3 Foran run with a steal and a finger roll layup. Shields nailed a three before Lanese got a layup and the foul. On the next possession, Lanese went to the line and made both then followed with a three to make it a four-point game. Tavitian blocked a shot, which led to two foul shots from Matt Krempa to make it a 26-24 game at the half.

“We were inconsistent,” Swaller said. “We were down and then we made a great comeback…That consistency piece is not there. Our guards struggled and with that we just could not maintain that level of play throughout a quarter or ultimately four quarters. We didn’t play the way we’re capable of playing and it’s frustrating, very frustrating.”

Lyman Hall came out rolling in the second half, as the Trojans scored seven unanswered points. Tavitian answered with three baskets of his own, all in the low post to make it 33-30. Lyman answered with layups from Kyle Shea and Wojtasik and then a Hultgren 3-pointer to make it 40-34 after three.

In the fourth, the Trojans ran away with the victory. Lyman Hall started on an 8-1 run and outscored Foran 17-6 in the quarter. A 3-pointer from Krempa and three Tavitian free throws accounted for the Lions points in the quarter.

“We’re a team that’s expecting to be competitive, Swaller said. “If we can put that consistency together, we’re hopefully a team that’s pushing for state tournament bid. If we play like we did tonight, they won’t be the case.”