City rivals meet
The Foran High girls basketball team needed someone to step up when the Lions paid a visit to Jonathan Law in the first of two city-rival games on Wednesday.
That’s where Teneya McLaughlin came in. McLaughlin scored a game-high 16 points to go with four assists and the same number of rebounds to lead Foran to a 48-35 victory in the James Riccitelli Sr. Gym.
“This is a game that we talk about all the time. For us, it’s like a state championship game,” McLaughlin said.
The junior guard’s ability to penetrate the Law defense opened up the court for Foran’s other players.
“We’ve been begging her (McLaughlin) to do this, and what a game that she picked to do it in,” Foran coach Scott Nails said after his team improved to 6-6 overall and 3-0 in the Southern Connecticut Conference’s Hammonasset Division.
McLaughlin drew support, from among others, from senior guard Kelly Quinn and freshman center Taylor Ceballos.
Quinn had 14 points, including one stretch early in the second quarter where she scored nine points, including two baskets from long range.
Ceballos finished with 12 points and had a game-high 16 rebounds.
“We wanted to win this game,” Quinn said. “It’s important to us. We’ve lost a few games by two or three points, by a single possession. This gets us a step close to making states and even closer to winning our division.”
Foran took an 11-5 first-quarter lead behind four points each from McLaughlin and Ceballos, before Quinn made her second-period run.
The Lions pushed it out to a 22-7, before Law battled back and scored the quarter’s final six points. The Eagles trailed, 24-14, at halftime.
“The difference in the game was their confidence and our lack of it,” said Law coach Heather Borges. “We need to find it (confidence). This is a nice group of girls. They work hard every day, either in games or in practices. But tonight, we missed way too many layups and too many foul shots.
“It’s hard to watch them try so hard and not get the reward at the end of the night.”
Ceballos and McLaughlin paced Foran in the third quarter, when the Lions took a lead that reached 18 points (40-22) at one time.
“Not only Teneya and Taylor played well tonight,” Nails said. “We got a great effort from eight kids.”
Sam Murphy paced the 1-10 Eagles (0-4 in the SCC’s Hammonasset Division) with 15 points, while Jenna Bernard had eight and freshman Laura Dulin chipped in with six.
“I’ve got to tip my hat to them,” Nails said. “They have a bright future ahead of them with those freshmen. And, there isn’t a tougher kid playing girls basketball in Connecticut than Sam Murphy.”
Foran shot 36 percent from the field (21-of-57) while the Eagles hit on only 24 percent (12-of-50).
Each team had 42 rebounds, as Bernard had six and Murphy five for Law.
Law had two fewer turnovers with 14 compared to 16 for Foran.
“We’ve got some freshman (Erin Saley, Dulin and Jessica Centore) who’re going to get much better,” Borges said. “We did graduate six players, so this group has a new role to play. Once they figure that out we’re going to improve.”
Murphy and Dulin scored 16 points each and Miller had 15 points when Law defeated Hillhouse of New Haven, 68-45, in Devon on Friday.
The Eagles and Academics are both 2-11 on the season.
Law took a 15-9 lead after one quarter, extended it to 34-19 at the half, and took a 51-32 lead into the final period.
Miller, who was 6-for-6 from the foul line, scored a career-best in this SCC game.
Foran built up leads in each of the first three quarters and defeated Daniel Hand High, 52-39, in Madison on Thursday.
The Lions improved to 7-6 on the season, while the Tigers dipped to 7-5.
McLaughlin scored a career-high 22 points, with seven assists and five steals. The junior hit a pair of 3-pointers and was 4-for-5 from the foul line.
Ceballos scored eight points, Quinn seven, Rebekah DeRosa five, Alex Librandi and Kyra Blackletter four points each, and Lucy Weissauer two.