WALLINGFORD — The Sheehan boys basketball team broke out in the third quarter to earn a 60-40 victory over crosstown rival Lyman Hall on Friday night.
Up until then, the underdog Trojans were right there with the Titans. Sheehan led just 25-21 at halftime.
The reserves wound up lighting the fire for the Titans, as Sheehan coach Joe Gaetano made the decision to start the third quarter with three starters on the bench, including two of his leading scorers.
The players in the game responded with energy, fighting for loose balls, switching and deflecting passes on the defensive end, and crashing the boards at both ends.
“They played hard, scrappy,” said Lyman Hall coach Rob Ruys. “They disrupted us a little bit and they played that 2-3 zone, and we struggled a little bit against it.”
Garrett Molampy, who led the Titans with a game-high 17 points, credited teamwork for
Sheehan’s offensive turnaround in the second half, admitting that the team had been playing “selfish” during the first half.
“We made that adjustment at halftime, that we were going to play more as a team, passing the ball and getting the open shots that we wanted to,” he said.
Jack McDonnell added 10 points and nine rebounds for Sheehan. Kris Jackson scored 9 points.
Junior guard Tyler Voisine led Lyman Hall with 13 points.
Sheehan completed a season sweep of the Trojans and improved to 9-2. Lyman Hall dropped to 1-9.
Sheehan led 15-10 at the end of the first quarter behind a pair of 3-pointers from Arthur Cordes (8 points). Sheehan also got a big duece on an emphatic dunk by Jackson that sent the Sheehan fans into a frenzy.
Sheehan’s offense slowed down during the second quarter, scoring only 10 points. The Titans fell in love with the three for most of the quarter, but couldn’t get many shots to fall.
Sheehan also had some trouble protecting the basketball, committing seven turnovers in the first half. Lyman Hall came out aggressive, crashing the boards and pushing the ball to keep pressure on the Titans.
After a timeout with 1:30 left in the half, having only scored five points the entire quarter, Sheehan adjusted its strategy to attack the rim more and get away from the threes. This worked well. The Titans scored five more points in the final 90 seconds of the quarter to match their output over the previous six minutes.
“We have a weapon like that, we need to take advantage of it more,” Gaetano said about Jackson’s dunk in the first quarter. “We got the ball inside and we started to do damage.”
Sheehan exploded offensively in the third quarter while also locking down on defense, holding the Trojans to six points in the quarter.
With under two minutes left in the third, back-to-back 3-pointers by Molampy stretched Sheehan’s lead to 42-27. Sheehan eventually took a 44-27 lead into the fourth quarter.
Lyman Hall’s next game will be at Wilcox Tech on Monday. Sheehan hosts Fairfield Prep on Tuesday.