North Haven defeats Lauralton in double OT

After an uneventful first half filled with mixed shots and turnovers, the 12th-seeded Indians of North Haven and the fifth-seeded Crusaders of Lauralton Hall put on a show to remember as the Indians won 52-50 in their double overtime Southern Connecticut Conference first-round tournament match up in Milford on Thursday.

North Haven (11-10)  led by five coming out of the half, before Lauralton Hall (12-9) went on an 8-0 run powered by three offensive rebounds from sophomore Trish Gildea.

A steal and cross-court pass from Maggie Salandra to Colleen McCarthy for a 10-foot jumper from the right corner gave Lauralton its first lead since the first quarter.

The teams exchanged buckets throughout the fourth  period until Salandra put Lauralton up two with 25 seconds left after making two free throws.

North Haven’s Jillian Johnson, who was a terror driving the lane all night, took the ball to the rim once again, was fouled, and made both free throws to tie the game and send it to overtime.

After trading buckets and free throws again during the first extra session, Salandra stole the ball and fired an outlet pass to Emily Spahn, who got to the basket, pump faked a North Haven defender, and scored what would have been the game-winning basket.

However a traveling violation was ruled, sending the game to a second overtime.

North Haven started the second overtime with a bang, with back-to-back field goals, one of which was a 3-pointer from Haley Amaoutis to open up a five-point lead.

Lauralton battled back thanks to a nifty drive from Salandra to tie the game at 50 with 15 seconds left, and the drama began again.

North Haven ran its half court offense, bleeding the clock as long as possible, before Johnson with her signature drive scored in traffic with 2.8 seconds left to give the Indians the lead.

Lauralton inbounded the ball to Salandra at half court, and with great vision she found McCarthy under the basket with a great look to send the game into a third OT, but the layup rolled off the back iron, giving North Haven the win.

Johnson scored a game high 36 points for North Haven, followed by Salandra 19, and Gildea with 13 for Lauralton Hall.

This was the first double OT game in SCC playoff history, dating back 21 years.

The win gives the Indians their first trip ever to the SCC girls basketball quarterfinals. North Haven now visits fourth-seeded Sheehan of Wallingford Saturday at 11:45 a.m.