Eagles come back to win (game story)
That Foran High’s Tenya McLauglin was the most experienced and talented player on the court was no secret when coach Scott Nail’s Lions visited Jonathan Law at the James Richetelli Sr. Gymnasium in Devon for an SCC girls basketball game on Jan. 4.
What wasn’t known was which player on coach Dan Young’s Eagles could stay with Foran’s mercurial Assumption College-bound guard.
“You have to give credit to No. 1,” Nails said of Law’s Kailee Frank after Law defeated his team, 51-47.
“Wherever Teneya went, she was right there and kept her body between her and the basket.”
McLaughin scored 18 points to lead Foran, which saw a 39-24 third quarter lead evaporate in the final period.
“That was a great job to come back like that in the fourth quarter,” Young said. “This was Kailee Frank’s first varsity start and to go against a player like Teneya was quite remarkable.”
Foran (3-5) still led 41-38 after Jenna Zacarelli’s transition basket off an assist from McLaughlin.
But Law (4-4) saw Laura Dulin bury a 3-pointer to tie the game for the sixth time at 41 with 3:45 remaining.
Jessica Centore then switched wings and used a great ball fake after a skip pass from Erin Saley, before she drove by a defender for a basket to give Law the lead.
Dulin hit a runner before she tipped away the ball and fed Centore for a breakaway lay-up.
Foran called for time with 1:12 remaining trailing, 47-43.
The lead grew to 49-43 on Centore’s press-break bucket off an assist from Erin Saley.
McLaughlin assisted on Kyra Blacketter’s jumper and Foran forced a five-second violation on Law’s ensuing inbounds attempt.
But Foran missed a hoop and Law’s Jenna Bernard grabbed the rebound with 15 seconds remaining.
With only three team fouls, the Lions couldn’t send the Eagles to the line for another 6.8 seconds.
Dulin made both free throws with 8.2 remaining before Blacketter closed out the scoring with a basket.
Centore finished with 14 points, Dulin 13 and Saley 12. Jenna Bernard had three baskets, Frank two and Danielle Nantel one
“After losing three games and coming home to win one of the close ones, it was building up to this kind of tension,” Young said.
“Erin Saley, Jenna Bernard and Danielle Nantel did a great job crashing the boards, and as a team we got some key rebounds.
“We started four sophomores against a good Foran team that won the division last year.”
Senior tri-captain Lianne Maynard started the game with Dulin, Centore, Saley and Frank. Tri-captains Kira Topalian and Nantel, and fellow senior Bernard soon joined the fray.
Law took a 16-13 lead after one period, with Dulin, who buried a 3-pointer early, and Saley and Centore accounting for all the points before Nantel’s putback gave the Eagles a three-point lead.
With Foran’s sophomore center Taylor Ceballos sidelined by injury, Foran looked to senior co-captain Lucy Weissauer, Blacketter, Monica Malangone, Lindsay Broderick and Notholt to battle inside.
“Our girls fought, and I always tell the team if after 32 minutes that’s not enough, we’ll tip our hats to our opponent,” Nails said.
Broderick had a steal and breakaway basket to start the game, Zacarelli had a putback, and McLaughlin scored on a drive to tie things at 6.
McLaughlin found Blacketter inside with a good look, hit a free throw, and Weissauer muscled her way for a basket off the glass with two minutes left in the first.
Foran won the second period, 9-7. Malangone found Notholt for a bucket, Weissauer again scored in traffic and McLaughlin banked home a runner.
Blacketter added three more points to cut the Law lead to 23-22 at the half.
Bernard scored two baskets for Law, one off a an assist by Centore, and Frank scored in transition.
Foran built its five-point lead in the third quarter, with McLaughlin and Zacarelli locating Blacketter on the block for hoops.
Zacarelli scored off an inbounds play and McLaughlin tallied on a scoop for a 32-29 lead with 3:37 left in the period.
Saley’s free throw and Dulin’s putback tied the game at 32.
Blacketter’s backdoor pass to McLaughlin gave the Lions the lead, and McLaughlin knocked down a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Frank assisted on Centore’s corner jumper before the Eagles’ defense held Foran on seven straight possissions, featuring shot blocks by Centore and Bernard and a pair of turnovers.
Zacarelli’s basket gave Foran a 41-38 lead at the four-minute mark of the final period. Dulin’s trey started Law’s come back.
Law visits Amity of Woodbridge Monday at 7 p.m.
Foran is home to Daniel Hand of Madison on Friday at 7.