BOYS BASKETBALL: Sheehan erases double-digit deficit, wins third straight going away

WALLINGFORD — Trailing by double digits entering the fourth quarter, Sheehan came back to defeat Foran 65-59 in a SCC Oronoque game on Monday night.

The Titans improved to 5-6 and extended their win streak to three, while the Lions fell to 3-8.

The Titans started off with a 7-0 lead, forcing an early timeout from the visiting Lions, who committed three straight turnovers in as many possessions to open the game.

Foran reached four turnovers before scoring its first basket at the 5:20 mark.

Sheehan wasn’t protecting the ball well either, however. The Titans committed nine turnovers in the first quarter, while the Lions had eight. Foran managed to turn its defensive successes into offense, converting on a few fast-break layups to tie the game at 11.

Foran presented different defensive sets, starting the game in a 2-1-2 zone, but shifting to a half-court and full-court 1-2-2 press defense throughout. Sheehan ultimately finished the game with 25 turnovers.

“When they ran the 1-2-2 press, when we executed, we shredded it,” Sheehan head coach Joe Gaetano said. “In the half court, they played a zone and they tried to take Ky, my center, out. And what we didn’t do a good job at first was moving the ball. We needed more passes to move the defense. 

“We were settling for two passes, three passes, trying to force it. Once we stopped doing that and we started to move the ball better, we got some easy baskets.”

After failing to hold the early lead, Sheehan fell behind by as many as eight points in the first half and ended the half down, 33-27. Foran senior Charlie Diamantis led all scorers with 13 points, while senior Kyron Coviello led the Titans with 10.

“Our halftime was a little bit animated,” Gaetano said. “And, honestly, we weren’t playing smart basketball. We were just playing headless. Everybody has to do their thing.”

The second half had a similar story with the number of turnovers, and Sheehan slipped into a double-digit deficit early. Foran split free throws and converted a fast break and-1 to go up 37-27.

While the Titans flirted with a comeback, closing the gap to just two points, the Lions forced six Sheehan turnovers to close the quarter. 

Foran led by 12 to start the fourth, but Sheehan quickly cut it to single digits and eventually to just one point just before the halfway mark of the quarter. The teams traded points via the free-throw line before Sheehan senior captain Jaidin Kapoor nailed a mid-range jumper.

Diamantis tried to answer for Foran on the ensuing possession, but Coviello slid into position and earned a charging call.

He said he performed a similar play last game against Lyman Hall, but it was called for a block.

“The first thing that I thought of was just, ‘Don’t turn; take the charge the right way,’” Coviello said. “But right before I took it, I was like, ‘What does the team need right now?’ And the main thing I thought was, ‘If I get this foul and it’s a block, then we’re out of the game, basically, but if I get this (charge), it’s a big play.’” 

It turned out to be a big play, and Coviello followed it up with an and-1 layup, putting the Titans up by five points with under a minute remaining.

Coviello finished with 17 points. Kapoor and senior Alex Morales tallied 14 apiece.

Sheehan plays again on Wednesday in the Platt Tech Tournament, a makeup date from the holiday break, then travels to East Haven on Thursday. 


More From This Section