BOYS BASKETBALL: In a storybook sports year, Sheehan hoop adds a fresh page

BOYS BASKETBALL: In a storybook sports year, Sheehan hoop adds a fresh page

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WALLINGFORD — Friday night was an evening of celebration at Sheehan.

The Titans honored the school’s 2019 Class S state championship football team at halftime of the Sheehan-Hand boys basketball game.

Sheehan senior Garrett Molampy, also a member of the championship football team, was honored before the game for becoming the 11th basketball player in Sheehan history to eclipse 1,000 points.

Then Molampy went on to score a game-high 23 points to lead the Titans to a 62-50 victory that puts them at 12-7 on the season.

“It’s just an incredible feeling to come out there with my brothers and playing the game I love,” Molampy said.

Sheehan coach Joe Gaetano said Molampy is playing his best basketball of the season.

“He’s really engaged, and when he plays like he did tonight, the team really feeds off of him,” Gaetano said. “We are getting everyone involved and sharing the ball well.”

Jack McDonnell added 17 points and Kris Jackson registered 15 for the Titans, who wrap up the regular season on Monday at home against New Fairfield.

Sheehan needed the win. The Titans had dropped five of their last seven heading into Friday night. 

Daniel Hand (6-14) ended its season on a seven-game skid. Hand’s last win, ironically, was at home against Sheehan on Jan. 31. The Madison school won that night 59-45.

On Friday in Wallingford, the Tigers got off to quick start going 5-for-7 from the field in the opening minutes to build a 12-5 lead. They were led by Scott Testori, who would finish with 15 points, and Christopher Porte (8).

Molampy and McDonnell hit late treys in the first quarter as the Titans closed within 16-14.

Sheehan then used a 9-0 run early in the second quarter to go up 23-18. Kris Jackson had back-to-back hoops in the run. The second was an up-and-under layup setup with a quick pass from McDonnell.

The shot gave the Titans their first lead of the game, 20-18, with 5:33 left in the first half.

McDonnell added a trey from the wing to put the Titans up 23-18. The 3-pointer was set up by a cross-court bounce pass from Tyler Guercia.

Jackson had a game-high nine points in the first half. He had a late bucket in the paint, again assisted by McDonnell, as Sheehan held a 29-22 edge at the half.

The Titans poured it on the second half with a 11-0 run to go up 44-26 with three minutes to go in the third quarter.

Molampy had nine points in the frame. McDonnell had three buckets as Sheehan offense was really cooking in transition. McDonnell had two assists and Molampy had a pair of steals in the 11-0 run that spanned 2:46 midway though the third.

“It was a great team win and a much-needed victory,” Molampy said. “We came out ready and we just got the job done.”

Jackson gave the Titans their biggest lead of the game, 49-31, with an old-fashioned 3-point play in the final minute of the third quarter. 

Hand ended the third quarter on a 6-0 run to close to 49-37. Morgan Veth had all 10 of his points in the second half for the Tigers.

The visitors closed to single digits, 53-44, with a 3:46 left in the fourth quarter with a Jesse Lutz 3-pointer. A Testori hoop with 1:54 to go closed the Tigers to within eight. Jackson counterd with another 3-point play to snuff any further comeback.

“We want to get as many wins as we can, so tonight’s game was very important,” Gaetano said. “Tonight, we came out ready and I think we’ve made a lot of progress. I like the way we are moving and sharing the basketball. Kris, Garrett and Jack had did the job tonight, but everyone pitched in and that makes for a good formula.”