Scoring drought hurting Eagles
Like most girls high school basketball teams that are young in age and short in experience, the players at Jonathan Law are experiencing one of those seasons of ups and downs.
The Eagles took a two-game losing streak into its home contest with East Haven on Thursday and came up on the short end of a 45-33 score.
“Defensively, we were good tonight,” said Law coach Dan Young. “Offensively, we never got it going. We didn’t have any rhythm. We came out and forced turnovers at the start of the game (East Haven had eight in the first quarter and 14 in the first half) and got into our transition offense.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t make layups and we missed way too many short shots.”
Still, Law, which saw its Southern Connecticut Conference record fall to 6-7, trailed by three after one quarter and 22-15, at the half.
After that, East Haven’s steady, ball-control offense led by quartet of guards (Tori Carlson, Brianna Wiel, Miranda Gladwin and Angela Ranciato), made the difference.
The Yellow Jackets went on a 6-1 run and closed out the third quarter ahead, 32-21.
“I told my kids at halftime what we needed to do was cut down our turnovers, keep the edge on the boards (where East Haven finished with a wide 47-23 advantage) and we’d put ourselves in a position to win this game,” said East Haven coach Anthony Russell, whose team has now won five of six games in January after going through December with a 1-6 record.”
“We’re making really good progress. We don’t have much in height, but we have guards who can run our offense. That, in itself, is worth its weight in gold.”
East Haven scored its final eight points from the foul line, as the Easties made 9-of-13 in the last quarter.
Law had cut the Easties’ lead to eight, 37-29, on a basket by Erin Saley (10 points, five rebounds) with 1:58 to play.
Sophomore guard Laura Dulin led the Eagles with 16 points. Combined, Saley and Dulin had 26 of their teams’ 33 points.
“Obviously, we need to find more balance in our offense,” Young said. “We would’ve been nice to get a win tonight. It just wasn’t meant to be.”
Law, which made only 12-of-42 shots from the field, opened the season with a pair of wins before losing three of its next four.
Another three-game win streak (victories over Foran, Guilford and Hillhouse) brought the teams’ record to 6-3.
East Haven, which made 14-of-44 attempts from the field, was led in scoring by Jenna Gaudioso with 10 points and Jessica Benevento added nine. Gaudioso also had 12 rebounds.
The Easties committed 24 turnovers to 21 for Law.
“We’re a young team and we’re still trying to find our identity,” said Young. “We do need to find it soon.”
Law dropped a 65-59 road decision to Cheshire High on Friday.
Saley scored 17 points, Dulin 15, Jessica Centore 12, Lianne Maynard seven and Jenna Bernard six against the Rams (9-5).
Law will visit Foran at 6 p.m. on Saturday and host North Haven on Monday at 7.