GIRLS BASKETBALL: Buzzer-beater begone! Lady Titans gain revenge on Foran with wire-to-wire effort

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WALLINGFORD — Sheehan avenged an early season loss with a 60-47 victory over Foran in a SCC Quinnipiac girls basketball tilt on Tuesday night at home.

The Titans did so in dominant fashion after leading by as many as 21.

“This game has been circled on the calendar since the moment they beat us at the buzzer,” Sheehan coach Mike Busillo said. “We have a lot of respect for Foran. They did a lot to give us trouble the first time we played and we wanted to show some growth as a group. We wanted to show we are getting better.”

The 30-28 defeat at Foran on Dec. 20 and last Tuesday’s 60-32 loss at Hamden, the No. 1 team in the state, are the only setbacks for Sheehan this season. At 11-2, the Titans trail only 12-1 Northwestern in the Class MM playoff rankings.

“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Busillo said. “The eight girls that played tonight all contributed. I’m really proud of this group.”

The Titans were clicking on all cylinders right away, building a 35-17 lead at the half. Sheehan spread the wealth with eight different scorers and shot an even 50 percent (13-for-26) from the field in the opening 16 minutes.

The Wresien twins headed the scoring. Megan Wresien totalled 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 blocks, 3 assists and a steal. Jenna netted 13 points off the bench.

Junior guards Liv Cassesse and Ella Dorsey had 9 points apiece and the Titans torched the Lions for 12 total 3-pointers. 

“Liv has developed into a tremendous point guard,” Busillo said. “I’m happy and proud of what she’s become.”

Sheehan’s halfcourt defense was dominant, especially in the first half. Gracie Brooks had the lone field goal in the first quarter for Foran (10-3, 3-2 Quinnipiac) with 12 seconds left on an and-1 play down low.

Brooks converted on the free throw, but Sheehan had a 21-7 lead after one quarter.

Sheehan, also 3-2 in the Quinnipiac Division, scored the first seven points of the second quarter to go up 28-7. Cassesse and Jenna Wresien sandwiched layups around a Megan Wresien trey.

Jenna Wresien and Cassesse had buckets later in the quarter and Ella Dorsey capped a brilliant first half for Sheehan with a trey. Dorsey opened the second half with a 3-pointer as the Sheehan lead swelled to 38-17.

This is when the Lions made their run. The visitors ripped off 12 straight points to close to within 38-29 with 2:29 to go in the third quarter. Foran guard Faith Doyle canned two 3-pointers and fellow sophomore Ava Deitelbaum added a 3-ball for the surging Lions.

The Wresiens scored Sheehan’s next seven points, including a 3-pointer from Megan assisted by fellow freshman Susan Hotaling.

“We knew coming in it was going to be a close game,” Megan Wreisen said. “It was close the last time we played them. We had to stay calm and play good defense and get the the run going back on our side.”

Jenna Wresien had back-to-back transition layups as Sheehan finished the third quarter ahead 45-33.

“We have high expectations,” Jenna Wresien said. “Coming into this game, we knew we had to play good defense to pull it out. We want to keep getting these wins.”

Hotaling finished with 10 rebounds despite some early foul trouble.

“Susie has done a lot of great things,” Busillo said. “Sometimes people get caught up in points, but she has grown tremendously and does a great job, especially playing zone defense.” 

Foran would never get back within single digits as the Titans were raining 3’s in the fourth quarter. Sheehan’s first five field goals of the fourth were from long distance and were from five different players — both Wresiens, Cassesse, Hotaling and Isabella Perno.

Meanwhile, the defense held Foran without a field goal for more than five minutes as the lead grew to 21.

This game was completely different from a 30-28 Foran win in Milford on Dec. 20. Doyle provided the buzzer beater on a drive to the hole as time expired.

Doyle led all scorers in Tuesday’s rematch with 21 points.

“Doyle is one of the top players in our league and we had some defensive breakdowns and gave her some open looks,” Busillo said. “But that’s what good players do.”


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