Ceballos, McLaughlin lead way
Taylor Ceballos and Teneya McLaughlin combined to score 29 points to lead the Foran High girls basketball team to a 39-28 victory over Guilford High at Fraser Gymnasium on Thursday night.
Ceballos, a freshman, notched a double-double with a game-high 18 points and 12 rebounds, while McLaughlin, a junior point guard, added 11 points and four steals in the Southern Connecticut Conference Hammonasset Division matchup.
Foran (3-3) used a 16-4 run that spanned nearly 10 minutes in the first half to take control of the game. The Lions never trailed in the second half.
“I felt in the beginning, we had a lot of empty possessions,” Foran coach Scott Nails said. “Guilford is always so tough, they’re so physical.”
Rebekah DeRosa knocked down two free throws to answer a 3-pointer from Guilford’s Carla Puchini with 3:26 left in the first quarter, cutting Foran’s deficit to 6-4.
Tori Loukakes countered with a basket for the Indians (2-2), before Ceballos reeled off five consecutive points — capped by a deft left-hand finish in the lane — to put Foran ahead for good, 9-8, with 1:51 left in the stanza.
McLaughlin then scored on a driving layup and Indian guard Presley Altieri closed the quarter with a jumper, pulling Guilford within 11-10.
“I think we go as Teneya goes,” Nails said. “Once Teneya started getting into the lane, that opened up a lot of things.”
The locals extended their lead to 18-12 at the end of the second quarter, despite shooting just 2-for-7 from the foul line.
Ceballos scored in the post to open the quarter and McLaughlin buried a 3-pointer from the left wing during the frame.
Foran held Guilford scoreless for nearly the entire quarter, until Altieri (eight points) dropped in a runner.
Afer Puchini’s layup narrowed the Guilford gap to 18-14 to start the second half, Foran put the game away with a 10-0 flurry.
Ceballos tallied twice in the low block and converted a putback during the stretch, while Alex Librandi netted a pair of baskets — one coming off of an assist from McLaughlin.
“Alex played her normal tough game,” Nails said of his senior guard.
Loukakes drove the baseline and tossed in a layup to stop the deluge for the Indians, but when the dust settled Foran held a 28-16 lead.
McLaughlin then sank a 3-pointer with two seconds left in the quarter, pushing the Lions’ edge to 31-16.
Guilford never got within single digits the rest of the way, as Foran leveled its record at 3-3.
“We made the plays when we needed to,” Nails said.
Up next, the Lions will compete in the Stamford-Milford Challenge, starting tonight when they take on Stamford High (4-0) at Westhill High at 5 p.m.
Crosstown rivals Jonathan Law will face Westhill (3-1) in the nightcap, with Foran then facing the Vikings on Saturday night. Law will lock horns with Stamford on Saturday.
“It should be fun for the kids, it should be fun for everyone,” Nails said of the SCC-FCIAC matchups.