RIVALRY FRIDAY: In Wallingford, Sheehan girls, LH boys complete season sweeps

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WALLINGFORD — As it was in Round 1, so it was in Round 2 in this year’s Sheehan-Lyman Hall basketball rivalry doubleheaders.

The Sheehan girls defeated Lyman Hall 50-30, while the Trojan boys ended a six-game skid with a 53-44 conquest in the nightcap of Wallingford’s celebration of high school basketball at Sheehan High School.

The Sheehan girls, who boast the town’s best record at 10-2, completed their season sweep after winning by a similar score, 48-27, in their Dec. 17 season opener at Lyman Hall.

On Friday night, Titan freshman guard Megan Wresien scored a game-high 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds despite being face-guarded for much of the game. Junior point guard Liv Cassesse added 10 points, while freshmen Jenna Wresien and Susie Hotaling had 8 apiec.

“In a lot of ways, this was a very typical of the games we’ve played against them over the years,” Sheehan coach Mike Busillo said. “It was uneven offensively for both teams and we finally got our feet under us and hit some shots.”

The Trojans were paced by freshmen guards Grace Mik (11 points) and Ellie Madancy (7). Senior forward Callie Chordas grabbed nine rebounds.

Lyman Hall (5-7) opened with a quick 5-0 advantage behind two free throws from Madancy and a trey by Shea Barron (6 points).

Sheehan responded with a 9-0 run that bookended by treys from Megan Wresien and Isabella Perno (7 points). The Trojans finished the quarter with three points from Mik as Sheehan led 9-8 after one quarter.

Sheehan outscored Lyman Hall 11-2 in the second quarter to go up 20-10 at the half.

Cassesse and both Wresiens hit treys in the second quarter. Megan Wresien’s came in the closing seconds to put the Titans up by 10. Callie Casulla had the task of guarding Megan Wresien for much of the game. 

Lyman Hall was 3-for-27 shooting in the first half with 12 turnovers. Sheehan was 6-for-25.

“We came in with six in our rotation, which is tough against a team like them,” Lyman Hall coach Christie Madancy said. “I’m so proud of them. We came into a lot of games in our league and played teams really hard for a while and we run out of gas. My team, no matter what, never gives up and we are getting better every game.”

Hotaling, a freshman forward, hit two layups in the post to start the second half as the Titans lead continued to expand.

Hotaling had all three of Sheehan’s field goals in the third quarter, as the Titans did the rest of their damage from the line.  

Casulla’s steal and layup accounted for the Trojans’ lone made bucket of the quarter as the Titans led, 32-15, after three quarters.

Megan Wresien had eight of her 14 points in the fourth quarter as Sheehan maintained a double-digit to collect its 13th straight win over its rival.

“At halftime we talked about moving the ball around and diving and driving,” Cassesse said. “They were really pressuring us and creating a lot of turnovers early, but we calmed down in the second half.”

Now Sheehan turns to a matchup against Foran on Tuesday in Wallingford. The Lions (10-2) handed Sheehan its first loss of the season in December. 

“We are looking forward to it,” Busillo said. “We didn’t play well the first time and I’m sure they didn’t play their best. But this is a chance to see how much we improved and I know my kids are looking forward to it.”

In the boys contest, Lyman Hall outscored Sheehan 34-19 in the second half after trailing by five at the break.

The win was the first for LH (5-6) in nearly a month and it gave the Trojans a season sweep. (They beat Sheehan at home 44-31 on Dec. 17.)

The Trojans’ second-half explosion was headed by Cam Pragano’s game-high 19 points and Tyler Casey’s 13.

Casey had nine points in the second half. Pragano had 15. He was also 9-for-12 from the line in the second half.

Sheehan (2-9) held a 25-20 advantage at the break behind 7 points from freshman Brady Rossacci, who finished with 10. Sheehan led by as many as nine three separate times in the second quarter. Sheehan sophomore Kade Marcantonio (5 points) had two big blocks in the first half to ignite the crowd.

Sheehan led 9-7 after one quarter and opened up the second on a 9-2 run to go up 18-9. The bulk of that run was six straight made free throws.

Lyman Hall’s Sealy had the last four points of the second quarter as the Trojans clawed back to within five at the break.

Sealy led the way for Lyman Hall in the first half with six points. That was his total for the game. 

The Trojans came out strong in the second half and outscored Sheehan 17-7 to finish the stanza and hold a 37-32 lead heading into the fourth.

Pragano led the attack for the Trojans with eight points in the quarter. Jovanni Cole gave the Trojans their first lead since the early moments of the first quarter with a trey at the 49-second mark of the third quarter.

Sheehan went scoreless in the final 4:11 of the frame. That’s when Lyman Hall made its move and closed out the quarter on an 8-0 run.

Lyman Hall went scoreless the first 4:15 of the fourth quarter, but was able to maintain a 37-35 advantage. Then the Trojans used their defense to spark a 7-2 spurt to go up 44-37 with 1:59 to go.

Casey put the Trojans up seven with an old-fashioned three-point play. 

“We shared the ball a lot better in the second half and that led to a lot of our success,” Casey said. “We knew they would make a run at us, but we had to stay together as a team. This was a team win and we needed it after losing six in a row.”

Pragano, who missed his entire junior year on the baskeball court due to injury, did an up-and-under with 1:30 to go as the Trojans went up by nine, 46-37.

“We came out soft and we came out scared,” Pragano said of the first half. “They have a really good press. But we wanted to win this game and we found a way to execute … This gives up big momentum moving forward.”

Vincenzo Carbone, who scored a team-high 16 points for Sheehan, gave the Titans a much needed 3-ball to cut the gap to 48-42 with 34 seconds to go following a turnover.

Carbone hit the back rim on a 3-ball attempt following another LH turnover and the ball went out of bounds over to Lyman Hall.

Pragano went 1-of-2 from the line to put the Trojans back up by seven and, after a Sheehan turnover, Cole went to the charity stripe and hit both shots as the visitors went up 51-42. The Titans didn’t get any closer.

The Trojan defense got it done mainly by playing zone.

“We had too many turnovers in the first half,” Lyman Hall coach Rob Ruys said. “I told them we shouldn’t feel bad about anything; just settle down and not turn the ball over. We were only down five.

“Ty Casey played a tremendous game,” Ruys added. “He scored and rebounded when we really needed it. Cam was great, too. He came up big from the line. He and Chace handled the ball for us.”

Sheehan coach John Wodatch said the team’s defensive pressure was working in the first half, but not in the second for lack of discipline.

“It stopped working because we started to get very undisciplined with our traps and we were fouling, and that put us behind the mark a bit,” Wodatch said. “That has a lot to do with us as coaches. I take it upon us. When stuff started getting tough for us, we started to separate as a unit. We need to work on that. The coaches can take a bigger role in helping that out.”


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