GIRLS BASKETBALL: Back to business in Ramland, but not quite full-time

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CHESHIRE — In the first game in nearly three and a half weeks for both the Cheshire and West Haven girls basketball teams, it was the unbeaten Blue Devils who pulled away to a 60-29 SCC crossover win Monday night at Cheshire High’s West Gym.

West Haven (4-0) was led by Kassidy Carrano’s 17 points. Dea Howard added 12 points and Amani Abuhatab piled up 11 points, 7 rebounds, 7 steals in the win

Cheshire (2-3) was playing in its first game since defeating Shelton 49-29 win on Dec. 21. The Rams were on a 10-day pause through the weekend due to COVID protocols.

West Haven, which won its first three games by an average of 34 points, had not played since Dec. 23. West Haven, though, had not been on hold due to protocols. Their last three game were postponed due to issues with the opposing teams.

“It’s been a challenge,” WH coach Jessica Moriarty said. “We can practice as hard as we can, but the pace of the game and the environment of the game and the atmosphere (are) completely different. It wasn’t a surprise to have a slow start, but we recovered for the most part.”

West Haven led 40-17 at the half as the visitors controlled the boards and forced many Cheshire turnovers.

Abuhatab had her way inside for WH. She had all of her 11 points by the half.

Sharp-shooting sophomore Isabella Fiorillo came off the bench in the second quarter and drained three straight shots, including two 3-pointers. All eight of her points came on that spurt.

Cheshire started the game hot, hitting its first three shots from the field. A jumper by Jenna Stickney started the scoring, and then Taylor Fitzgerald hit back-to-back hoops as Cheshire went up 6-2.

West Haven answered with a 14-1 run fed by six Cheshire turnovers.

Stickney, who scored a team-high seven points, hit a field goal in the closing seconds of the quarter that drew the Rams within 16-9 after the first quarter.

West Haven, though, was in the midst of an extended 27-5 run. Abuhatab scored the Blue Devils’ first three hoops of the second quarter as the Blue Devils opened the frame on a 8-0 run that ballooned the lead to 24-9.

Fiorillo then hit her three straight shots and West Haven continued to be in control. The Blue Devils finished the half up 40-17.

West Haven outscored Cheshire 10-2 in the third quarter and led 50-19 after three. Carrano had eight points for West Haven in the third.

“We’re off to a good start,” Moriarty said. “We are pretty experienced. We have a lot of scorers and we are a well-balanced team.”

Cheshire was without two starters, Grace Lurz and Amelia Perlini, as well as freshman Eva Catalanotto, who is a reserve varsity player. All three are expected to play in the next game on Wednesday against Amity. Cheshire has four games this week.

“We have quite a few players in the return-to-play protocol,” Cheshire coach Angelica Ariola said. “They just missed playing tonight. It felt good for the team to be back out there again. We’ve been practicing, but there’s nothing like being out there and seeing what you are applying in practice to use in the game.

“It’s good to be back. I just wish it was under a different circumstances.”

Ariola said the Rams will be improved when they are at full strength.

“We are just taking it day by day and working with everything that is being thrown at us this year,” Ariola said.

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