Scoring drought plaguing Lions
The inability to score points has been a haunting part of the Foran High boys basketball season.
Heading into Saturday night’s Southern Connecticut Conference intra-divisional re-scheduled match-up with East Haven, the Lions had been averaging 39.7 points per game and had scored under 40 in eight of their previous 14 games.
The outcome wasn’t that much different in a game played at the Edna Fraser Gym.
East Haven earned a 47-34 victory and gained two positives from the contest. It was the visitors’ ninth win against six losses, and the victory avenged a 48-46 loss to Foran.
“We have these scoring droughts in games and, just about every time we do, it’s costly,” said Lions’ coach Tim Swaller. “I thought we played with good energy tonight. I told our guys we need intensity in every game as well as a need to play with passion. I saw lots of both tonight.”
This week is a big one for the Lions (3-12), who played host to Daniel Hand of Madison on Tuesday and then will travel across town to meet Jonathan Law on Friday night at 7. One of Foran’s three wins came over the Eagles by a 48-44 score.
Foran came out strong against the Easties, took an early 6-5 lead on a basket by David Enders. It trailed 15-11 after one quarter.
The Easties, behind strong guard play from juniors Conor Reynolds, who scored a career-high 17 points to go along with six rebounds, and Nick Durso, 17 points, nine rebounds, took a 28-17 halftime lead.
After seeing the deficit balloon to 33-20, the Lions went on a run.
After Hawkins French converted a pair of free throws at the 3:29 mark, Foran had trimmed the Yellow Jackets lead down to 33-26.
East Haven pushed it out to 10 again when Reynolds dropped in a soft jumper after taking a pass from Durso with 2:25 remaining in the third quarter.
Neither team scored again until right before the buzzer, when Foran’s Mike Scuito hit on a 3-pointer and once again the Lions were within 36-29.
But Durso, who came up big all game long, threw in a three to start the fourth quarter and followed it by making one of two free throws. East Haven was up 40-29 and never really looked back.
“We’re playing much better now than we were in the first game against them,” said East Haven coach Rick Narracci. “I told my kids going into this game that we were going up against one of the better-coached teams in our conference. I warned them that we needed to do much more than show up and expect to win.”
East Haven spread the floor offensively on Foran, using a four-corners alignment at times and the Easties held the ball several times, eating time off the clock.
“When we cut it to seven, I thought maybe we’d get back in the game,” Swaller said. “Then they made that big three (by Durso). Once they went up by 10 again, I knew we were a little too far behind to recover.”
Sophomore center Zach Tavitian scored 17 points and had eight rebounds. Scuito had six rebounds.
The Lions hurt themselves by shooting only 29 percent from the field (14-of-47) while East Haven knocked down 16-of-42 attempts (38 percent). The Easties made eight threes, four of them by Durso.
East Haven also held a 38-31 rebounding advantage.
The Easties turned the ball over 10 times while Foran had only six miscues.
Durso paced East Haven with three of his teams’ six assists. Enders had three of Foran’s five.
Hawkins French scored 22 points in Foran’s 54-45 loss to Guilford High on Thursday.