Foran-Law (game story)
Their pre-game strategies may have been totally divergent of each others, but both the Jonathan Law and Foran High boys basketball squads came into Friday night’s contest at the Edna Fraser Gym with an intense desire to pick up a victory.
The Lions were riding a mild two-game win streak, but it had given them some impetus after a 1-3 start.
The Lawmen were mired in a losing streak of five games so far in 2012-13 and one that stretches back three seasons and had reached 26 overall.
After a slow start and an 8-6 first-quarter lead, Tim Swaller’s Foran High team got its offense in gear and rode it to a 47-23 Southern Connecticut Conference Hammonasset Division win over Law.
Foran has now taken the last five games between the rivals dating back to the 2009-2010 season when then-coach Mike Hoggatt’s Law team posted a 16-8 record.
“We need to keep the ball in transition when we can and get the ball inside to Austin (6-foot-7 center Austin Woods) when we can,” Swaller said.
“We were very slow in the first quarter. Our guys were standing around. I thought Law did a nice job defensively. They packed it in trying to keep the ball away from our big guys (which also includes 6-5 junior Bob Notholt).”
Led by a fast-break offense from senior captain Kevin Green, who had a game-high nine points and added five assists, Foran outscored Law, 18-4 in the second quarter extending its lead to 26-10.
“Our point line, one in which we try to keep all opponents under, is 50 points,” said Law’s second-year coach, Tim Dooley. “If we can do that, we should have a chance to be in every game we play. Tonight, we did. But we didn’t do the other things we need to do.”
Dooley wanted fewer than 12 turnovers and his team made 17 (although Foran had more, with 21). He also knows they have to rebound well and they didn’t.
Foran held a 43-26 edge there as Woods, who scored seven points, had 16 boards. Notholt had six and Matt Gomes had five to go along with seven points.
“Our biggest problem is scoring,” Dooley said “Sometimes, I think there’s a lid on our basket.”
Law is averaging just 39 points a game and was led by J.J. Ciesla and reserve Hawkins French against the Lions. Each had five points. Ryan Siddall and Jack Campbell had five rebounds apiece.
Green said: “We couldn’t find our rhythm early. We are much better when we can get into a faster game.
“One thing we weren’t going to do was take them lightly. Coach told us that. Just because they hadn’t won a game, we still needed to play hard.”
Foran finished the night shooting at a 46 percent pace from the field (20-of-43) and the Lions were 6-of-11 from the foul line.
On the other side, Law made only 6-of-36 field-goal tries (16 percent) while the Lawmen were 9-of-18 from the charity stripe.
Swaller’s team faces a challenge this week. The Lions played at Cheshire last night and travel to Middletown on Friday to take on Xavier.
Meanwhile, Law played at Sheehan of Wallingford on Tuesday night and the Lawmen return home on Friday to meet Guilford.
It will be Coaches versus Cancer Night and the team’s home game on Jan. 23 against Foran will be a another charity contest. This one for the Smiles Foundation.