Foran's long-range baskets too much for Law
As he watched his team play its first two minutes of basketball on Jan. 31, Jonathan Law boys basketball coach Tim Dooley probably thought that his troubles were over.
The Eagles connected right away. First, when Dylan Vienneau hit on a short jumper after taking a pass from Louis Birks. Then, when Kevin Wall dropped in a 3-pointer, Law took a 5-0 lead.
If Dooley had a smile on his face, it soon drew to a frown as the night’s opponents, cross-town Foran High, got warmed up after a slow start en route to a 56-29 victory, and a sweep in the two-game series.
“Minus the first two minutes of the game, we played very well,” said Foran coach Tim Swaller. “Hitting those threes early on (five in the first quarter) opened up our offense. I didn’t think we were able to get the ball inside for any good touches. But our outside game got us going.”
Foran got its offense in gear when Matt Gomes dropped in a 3-pointer a little over two minutes into the quarter. What followed was a barrage of three-point shots by the Lions who opened up an 18-8 first-quarter lead and led 25-14 by halftime.
Scoring droughts and a stagnant offense hit Law all-game long. A four-point third quarter left Law trailing, 39-18, after three quarters.
The Eagles (3-11) took 10 shots in the third quarter and were only able to make good on two of them.
“We lack movement in our offense,” Dooley said. “We start staring at the ball instead of moving around. Foran came right at us. We knew they were going to do that.”
The win by the Lions (6-8) came during a stretch where they earned a tough 52-45 win over Hamden and lost a difficult 59-57 decision to Cheshire at the buzzer.
“Our mental approach to the game has been very good,” Swaller said. “We’ve handled the adversity very well.”
Foran has a tough stretch this week with SCC Hammonasset Division games against Hillhouse and Hand of Madison.
The Lions were led by Bob Notholt, who had 14 points 10 of them in the second half, and Gomes who scored 11.
“We really stepped up tonight,” Notholt said. “I played poorly in the first half, but other guys were there to keep us going. I was getting more confident in the second half.”
Foran made 21-of-53 shots from the field (39 percent), while Law was 11-for-40 (27 percent).
Foran, behind 14 rebounds from Notholt and 12 from Sean Deegan, held a commanding 49-24 edge off the boards.
The Lions also had nine assists on their 21 baskets, as Gomes led the way with four.
Birks had nine points and Vienneau eight for Law.
“We work hard in practice, but it seems to come undone when we get into games,” Dooley said. “We had a great crowd tonight, a noisy one. This is always a great rivalry. I’d like to be able to win one soon.”