Gary Dudley, seen here against Hamden, scored 20 points against Lyman Hall, January 20, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Offensive struggles contribute to season-ending loss
(March 11, 2014) – The season has come to an end for the West Haven boys' basketball team. Traveling to play No. 10 Ridgefield, the 23rd-seeded Westies were no match in an opening round contest of the CIAC Class LL state tournament.
Led by Will Brady, Patrick Racy and Charlie Irwin, each scoring 13 points, Ridgefield kept West Haven at an arm's length throughout the contest to advance to second round play with a 53-39 win in Ridgefield Tuesday evening.
"We just could not perform," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "With our lack of experience, we could not make a shot.
"I thought the defense played well. We turned the ball over right away to start the second half and we could not find the basket."
West Haven's offensive woes continued as the loss marked the second straight contest West Haven failed to score more than 39 points. The Westies fell in both, with the first setback a loss to Xavier in the SCC tournament.
The Westies trailed 12-5 after one quarter. 17-13 at the half and 33-23 at the end of three quarters.
Ridgefield jumped out of the gates quickly, scoring the game's first four points and 10 of the first 13 for a 10-3 lead in the opening quarter. The Westies could not contain Ridgefield on the inside as the Tigers scored all 12 first quarter points in close.
"Ridgefield worked hard for loose balls and got the extra rebound," Bosley said. "They got that extra rebound and ran the offense pretty good. They are a solid team that does not make many mistakes. They are going to be tough."
The West Haven defense came up big in the second quarter as it held the Tigers to just 5 points. In a quarter which did not produce much offense, West Haven chipped away and trailed by just 4 points after an 8-5 run.
If the first half was not enough, the Tigers opened the final 16 minutes with an 11-3 run to put West Haven further in a hole. The Tigers were up double digits throughout the third quarter, forcing the Westies to spend plenty of energy in their attempted comeback.
West Haven trailed by 12, 41-29, with five minutes left, before Aaron Spann scored 5 points to get the Westies within 7.
"Aaron Spann got us back in the game a little bit, but we could not come back."
Gary Dudley, seen here earlier in the season against Hamden, tried to rally his team, but the late efforts fell short in an opening round loss to Ridgefield, March 11, 2014. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies got within 44-36 with three minutes to go but Ridgefield did its job at the free throw line, connecting for 5 free throws down the stretch to eliminate the Westies.
"We did not make the tournament the last couple of years," Bosley said. "I am proud we got to that point. We have some starters coming back. We should be even better next year.
"I am pretty pleased we made it back to the tournament and won 12 games. I look forward to next year and we hope to go further."
Spann led West Haven with 13 points, Gary Dudley added 9 and Thomas Brim had 5 in the season-ending loss. Dudley, Spann, Maurice Jones and Tehran Tripp each drained 3-pointers in the loss for West Haven.
WH falls to Xavier for third time in SCC tournament
By MIKE MADERA
(February 27, 2014) – Traveling to Middletown to open the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament, West Haven coach Harry Bosley knew what his team needed to do to defeat Xavier.
Falling twice in the regular season by a combined total of three points, the Westies were hoping the third time was the charm. Unfortunately for Bosley and his team, the ending was eerily familiar as a scoring drought in the fourth quarter sent the Westies to a 33-30 defeat.
The Westies had plenty of opportunities to take the game from the Falcons as there was no scoring in the final 2 minutes, 30 seconds of the game.
The Westies had two more opportunities in the final seconds, but their best went by the boards when a 3-point attempt by Gary Dudley went in and out with 14 seconds to go.
When West Haven gave the ball back to Xavier in the final seconds, its first appearance in the league tournament in three seasons, was over.
West Haven's offense was the key to this contest as the Westies were held to just 2 points in each of the first and fourth quarters.
Xavier, which did not provide much offense of its own, capitalized and turned the two quarters into a 13-4 run. The 9 points proved to be the difference in the game.
Leading 18-15 at the half, thanks to a 16-8 second quarter run, West Haven saw that lead disappear when Xavier went on a 9-2 run in the third quarter.
Elijah Pemberton scored 7 points in the run before West Haven closed the quarter with a 28-27 lead.
Dudley had the only bucket of the fourth quarter to get West Haven within 31-30, but the Westies got no closer.
Aaron Spann led West Haven with 13 points, while Dudley had 8 and Maurice Jones.
Westies thump Trojans
WH improves to 12-8 with easy win
By MIKE MADERA
(February 21, 2014) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team finished the season as it wished. With four straight victories to close the season, the Westies are hoping to go on a run in both the Southern Connecticut Conference and state tournaments.
The regular season ended in fine fashion as the Westies overcame a slow start and defeated Lyman Hall, 59-30, Friday evening in Wallingford.
A slow start to the game, coupled with a tough West Haven defense, allowed the Westies to take an 18-7 lead at the half.
West Haven erupted for 41 points in the second half and never looked back in the victory which helped the team improve to 12-8.
"We started sluuggish," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "We kicked it into gear in the second half.
"We beat them the first time by 37 pooints, but they have improved too. We are playing more players, rotating eight or nine guys. It has definitely helped with our defense and rebounds."
Gary Dudley led the offense with 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Thomas Brim had 14 points and 10 steals and Kenneth Graham added 13 points, 8 rebounds and 4 steals.
Westies roll past Law
Defense key in 70-35 win
By MIKE MADERA
(February 20, 2014) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team is serious about getting a home playoff game. Whether it is too late or not is a different story.
Playing as if they were on a mission, the Westies cruised to a 70-35 victory over Jonathan Law Thursday evening at West Haven High. With the victory, West Havenimproved to 11-8 on the year with the regular season finale Friday evening.
The Senior Night crowd was treated to quite a show as the Westies jumped out to an 8-point lead, then took a 33-11 lead at the half with a 19-5 run in the second quarter.
The story of the game was West Haven’s defense as the Westies controlled the boards and forced Law into unwanted shots. The end result was Law hit on only 14 field goals and just 5 free throws.
The Westies were stellar in the second half as well. Law hit for just 24 points in the final 16 minutes, including only 9 in the third quarter as West Haven built a 58-20 lead with 8 minutes to go.
West Haven had 10 players in the scoring column, three of which were in double figures. Andrew Ford led the way with 15 points, while Gary Dudley had 13 and Kenneth Graham 10. Thomas Brim and Maurice Jones each scored 7 in the lop-sided victory.
Ford also had 12 rebounds for the Westies. Dylan Vienneau led Law with 14 points.
Westies win second in row with 54-50 decision over Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
(February 19, 2014) – After several gut-wrenching losses, the West Haven boys’ basketball team is back to its winning ways. Looking to get a home game in the postseason, the Westies know wins are imperative.
Riding the play of Aaron Spann, West Haven improved to 10-8 with a 54-50 victory over Hamden. Included in West Haven’s second straight victory was a big night from Spann who scored 25 points, including four 3-pointers.
"We battled back and forth," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "Aaron Spann bailed us out. He had some big baskets and free throws down the stretch. He hit some big shots."
West Haven needed every one of Spann’s points as Hamden turned a close contest into a nail-biter at the end. The Westies led by one point at the half and after three quarters, before holding on for the win.
"It was a battle," Bosley said. "I am very happy. It is the first time we beat Hamden twice in a season in a long time."
Gary Dudley also had a big day as he hit on two 3-pointers and finished with 12 points. Spann and Dudley combined for 37 of the team’s 54 points. Kenneth Graham added 5 points for the Westies.
West Haven hit 70% of its free throws, connecting on 14-of-20.
Bryant Backus led Hamden with 10 points.
Westies hold on to defeat Foran, 49-45
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (February 11, 2014) – After losing several heart breaking games this season, the West Haven boys’ basketball team was dangerously close to watching that happen again.
Aaron Spann was not about to let that happen. Scoring 12 points in the second half and 17 points in the game, Spann helped the Westies defeat Foran, 49-45, Tuesday evening at West Haven High.
“In the end, we needed someone to step up,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said after his team improved to 9-8. “We need to have someone step up down the stretch. That has been hurting us.”
Watching an 11-point lead disappear, West Haven rallied behind Spann in the fourth quarter. After Foran got within 43-37, Spann drained a 3-pointer to give West Haven a 46-37 lead.
The Lions used four free throws by Matt Gomes to get within 48-45 with 1 minute, 15 seconds left, but Spann’s free throw with 17 seconds remaining sealed the contest and helped West Haven snap a 3-game losing streak.
“We have to learn how to finish,” Bosley said. “We need to get in a rhythm and close out these games.”
West Haven started the game well, leading 20-8 after Gary Dudley’s basket in the first quarter. Eric Singleton, who connected on two straight buckets for a 14-5 lead, finished with 8 points in the opening quarter.
Foran started chipping away in the second quarter. Behind nine points from Bob Notholt, including a basket and free throw in the final three minutes of the first half, the Lions got within 28-24 with 1:05 remaining in the half on a basket by Sean Deegan.
A 3-pointer by Gomes got Foran within 35-31 in the third quarter, but Spann answered for a 37-31 lead. West Haven got in trouble in the third quarter with 1:57 remaining as Kenneth Graham picked up his fourth foul.
With Graham out of the lineup, Foran chipped away, but a basket by Spann followed by a free throw on the play gave West Haven a 43-33 lead after three quarters.
“We have to be smarter than that,” Bosley said.
Singleton finished with 12 points, while Dudley and Graham each had 6 points. Notholt finished with 17 points for the Lions, including 14 in the first half.
West Haven held the inside presence of Notholt to just 3 points in the second half.
Xavier beats West Haven in final seconds for second time this season
By MIKE MADERA
(February 9, 2014) – After falling to Xavier in the final seconds at home earlier in the season, the West Haven boys’ basketball team looked for a shot at revenge Sunday afternoon in Middletown.
For 30 minutes, it looked as if the Westies would get that shot. Unfortunately for West Haven, it was the final two minutes which did them in. Giving up a 3-point lead in the final 1 minute, 5 seconds, West Haven fell to the Falcons 53-52.
West Haven, which dropped its third straight and fell to 8-8, lost to the Falcons by a combined three points in two games this year.
"We are still working on closing out games," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "It comes down to senior leadership. We are working on the two-minute drill and clock management."
Leading 50-47, West Haven never put the game away. The Westies missed a free throw and Xavier answered with two free throws of their own by Brandon MacPherson to get within 50-49.
West Haven turned the ball over on its next possession and MacPherson again scored for a 51-50 Xavier lead with less than a minute to play.
The inexperience of the Westies continued to show as the Westies turned the ball over again on their next possession and Elijah Pemberton made a pair of free throws after being fouled with 32 seconds left.
Without any time outs remaining and after Kenneth Graham connected for just two points, West Haven watched as Xavier let the clock run out in the slim victory for the Falcons.
The Westies led by four points after the first quarter but trailed 25-22 at the half. The game was even at 36 after 24 minutes.
Xavier, which improved to 12-4, pressured West Haven and the Westies finished 42% (22-of-53) from the floor.
Aaron Spann led West Haven with 16 points. Gary Dudley and Kenneth Graham each scored 11 and Thomas Brim had 8 points in the loss. West Haven was just 3-of-8 (38%) from the free throw line.
MacPherson led Xavier with 18 points, while Elijah Pemberton had 14 points.
Not this Time
Westies fall to top-ranked Fairfield Prep
By MIKE MADERA
(February 7, 2014) – In the last meeting between Fairfield Prep and West Haven, the Westies gave the top-ranked Jesuits all they could handle, holding a 10-point lead late in the contest before falling to the Jesuits. Looking to do the same on Friday evening, West Haven knew it would have to be at its best.
The Jesuits never allowed that to happen. Jumping out to a 15-point lead after one quarter and a 22-point halftime advantage, the Jesuits easily defeated West Haven 85-59 at Alumni Hall in Fairfield.
West Haven, which dropped its second game ina row and fell to 8-7, never got on track on the offensive end and only got to the free throw line eight times. While the Westies shot 88% (7-of-8) from the line, it was not enough to overcome the shots which did not fall from the field.
The high-scoring Jesuits, who improved to 16-0, never missed a beat, scoring 26 points in the opening quarter and connecting on 38 field goals in the game.
West Haven had four players in double figures, led by Eric Singleton’s 16 points. Thomas Brim finished with 13 points and Kenneth Graham and Gary Dudley each had 11.
The Jesuits, who seem to have someone different leading the way each game, had nine players in the scoring column and were led by Thomas Nolan’s 24 points.
Nolan also added 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals in the win for the state’s top-ranked team. Paschal Chukwu had 17 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked four shots.
With head coach Harry Bosley (l.) encouraging his team, the Westies fell to Notre Dame, January 31, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Westies fall to Notre Dame as Green Knights take season series
By MIKE MADERA
(January 31, 2014) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team waited for this moment. After falling to Notre Dame in the first meeting of the teams on a buzzer-beater, the Westies were looking for a chance to pay the Green Knights back.
Any thoughts of that quickly faded. Behind an 18-5 run in the first quarter, the Green Knights never looked back and defeated West Haven 68-51 at West Haven High Friday evening.
"Give Notre Dame all the credit," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "They hit all their shots and they were ready for us. They knew everything we were going to do and were ready for our 1-3-1.
"We came out flat. There was a big crowd and the kids did not respond like they would have liked to. We took some really bad shots and that prevented us from coming back."
With the loss, West Haven saw its five-game winning streak snapped and fell to 8-6. The Green Knights improved to 10-3.
"We went on a run to get it to eight," Bosley said. "Tahj Eaddy is a West Haven killer. Give him credit. He refused to allow us to get back in the game."
The Green Knights had seven players in the scoring column and were led by Tahj Eaddy’s 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Kalane Ham scored 14 points, while Ben Bagnoli and Karim Cisse each scored nine points.
The first quarter proved to be the difference in the game as the Westies and Green Knights played evenly over the final three quarters. Notre Dame led by 15 points at the half and West Haven never got close enough for Notre Dame to panic.
"They beat us in the first quarter," Bosley said. "We missed a lot of layups. Notre Dame is a senior led group and they have that experience. They hit some big shots and they made all their free throws."
Aaron Spann connected for 13 points, but it was not enough in a loss to Notre Dame, January 31, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Aaron Spann led West Haven with 13 points, while Gary Dudley had 10, Thomas Brim finished with 9 and Eric Singleton had 8.
Win over East Haven gets Westies back in postseason
By MIKE MADERA
(January 28, 2014) – West Haven coach Harry Bosley has consistently reminded his team of the goal at hand. Not only is that goal to play in the postseason, it is to take care of business and qualify as soon as possible to start playing for seeding.
Bosley’s words have not gone unheard. With a decisive 70-34 victory over East Haven Tuesday evening at East Haven High, the Westies qualified for the postseason for the first time after a three year absence by picking up their eighth win of the season.
"It is great, but we are not settling for just getting in," Bosley said. "We did not celebrate. I am happy because it ends a three year drought. This team showed when it stays focused and disciplined, anything can happen."
The resilient group made sure there were no doubts as to whether the Westies would qualify in Tuesday’s game as the Westies held the Yellowjackets to just 13 first half points, including four in the first quarter.
West Haven’s defense was solid from start to finish as the Westies allowed the Yellowjackets to score in double digits in just the fourth quarter with the game already out of reach.
West Haven had its shooting game on from the start as the team connected for 30 field goals in the contest. The Westies also drained six 3-pointers with Jason Frazer nailing two.
"I am happy with the balance," Bosley said. "We are pretty well rounded. We can score a lot of different ways. We need to keep the ball moving."
The Westies had nine players in the scoring column and were led by Kenneth Graham with 16 points.
Graham had help as Thomas Brim finished with 11 points, Gary Dudley, Eric Singleton and Zatrell Lyons each had 8 and Frazer had 6.
The game started in impressive fashion for West Haven as East Haven was held to just four points and trailed by 11 after one quarter. West Haven continued the pressure, extending the lead to 32-13 at the half and 47-22 entering the fourth quarter.
Nick Durso led East Haven with 14 points.
Gary Dudley continued to stay hot as he scored 19 points in a 69-42 win over Sheehan, January 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven wins fourth in a row with route of Sheehan
By MIKE MADERA
(January 24, 2014) – West Haven coach Harry Bosley has continually said his team needs to win the games it is supposed to win. Consider Friday night one of those games.
Using a 19-2 run in the second quarter, West Haven rolled to a 69-42 victory over Sheehan at West Haven High. The win was West Haven’s fourth in a row, lifting the Westies to a 7-5 record, one game short of a postseason berth.
"Tuesday night is huge," Bosley said. "We want to get a win and get in the tournament. We want to make sure we take care of business."
Friday evening’s contest was determined early. West Haven led by six points early before the big second quarter.
While the team put up 19 points in the quarter, it was the Westie defense which stood out. Sheehan managed only two points in the quarter, turning a close contest into a 34-11 West Haven halftime lead.
"My guys came out and said they were on a mission," Bosley said. "We were in a 1-3-1 and I did not expect it to work to perfection like it did. Sheehan never recovered.
"The kids made the correct passesand got layups. We turned turnovers into easy baskets. We got a lot of uncontested baskets. We must have forced them to turn the ball over 20 to 25 times."
The Westies continued their offensive outburst as they outscored the Titans by 13 points in the third quarter to take a 59-23 lead to the fourth quarter.
Gary Dudley continued his hot hand, scoring a team-leading 19 points. Eric Singleton added 13 points, Aaron Spann had 10 and Kenneth Graham had 8 as nine players were in the scoring column.
Kenneth Graham, seen here against Lyman Hall, scored 8 points against Sheehan, January 24, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"I am happy with the offense," Bosley said. "I have been happy with it since the beginning of the season. We have moved the ball around very well. We have improved with that. The guys are getting open. In my first five, each is a threat."
Mike Tiedemann led the Titans with 16 points.
On a Roll
Westies dump Lyman Hall for third straight win
By MIKE MADERA
(January 20, 2014) – West Haven coach Harry Bosley knows his team has a ton of potential. Bosley also knows his team has lost some tough contests this season.
Looking to get on a roll, Bosley and the Westies continue to play well lately. Behind the scoring of Gary Dudley, Thomas Brim and Eric Singleton, the Westies made quick work of Lyman Hall Monday night with a 66-37 victory at West Haven High.
The win was West Haven’s third in a row and fourth in five games to improve to 6-5. The only loss in the mix was against the number one team in the state, Fairfield Prep, a game in which the Westies were winning in the fourth quarter.
“I am pleased,” Bosley said. “This is what we expect. We have to win the games we are supposed to win. In the big games, we need to learn to execute and give that extra effort. That’s what makes Fairfield Prep so good.”
Dudley was a key factor in the game, scoring 20 points and controlling the floor. Brim added 15 points and Singleton scored 9.
Thomas Brim scored 15 points against Lyman Hall, January 20, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I am always looking for the little things,” Bosley said. “We have not won a big game yet. There are a lot of intangibles like rebounding and staying focused.”
West Haven won this game in the first half, leading 15-4 after one quarter and 39-13 at the half. After Griffin Pierson’s basket evened the game at two for Lyman Hall, West Haven went on a 13-2 run to close the opening quarter.
Dudley gave West Haven a 6-2 lead with the next four points, and after Chris Ames scored for Lyman Hall, West Haven closed the quarter on a 9-0 run. Brim hit consecutive baskets and Dudley scored the final five points of the quarter for a 15-4 lead.
Lyman Hall’s Kyle Smith opened the scoring in the second quarter, but Dudley, Kenneth Graham and Singleton combined for the next eight points and a 23-6 lead. Leading 33-13, baskets by Brim, Dudley and Singleton closed the half with West Haven on top 39-13.
Eric Singleton scored 9 points against Lyman Hall, January 20, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Lyman Hall again opened the third quarter with a basket by Ames and a free throw byAmes, before the Westies went on a 10-0 run.
Aaron Spann started the run with a bucket and Dudley ended it with a 3-pointer for a 49-16 lead with 3:14 left in the third quarter.
West Haven got the lead as high as 35 points on a pair of free throws by Maurice Jones in the fourth quarter.
Smith led Lyman Hall with 9 points, while Ames added 7 in the loss.
BOYS BASKETBALL 2013-2014
Congratulations to Gary Dudley on being selected to the 2013 -2014 Southern Connecticut Conference All-Quinnipiac Division First team.
Westies beat Lions
Big third quarter propels WH
By MIKE MADERA
(January 17, 2013) – With all the tough losses in the first half of the season, one could not blame the West Haven boys’ basketball team if it was ready for the second half of the season. Before that could happen, West Haven needed to travel to Milfordto play a scrappy Foran team.
Using a solid final 16 minutes of play, the Westies rallied to overcome a one-point halftime deficit and defeated Foran 67-55 Friday evening at Foran High.
"We are already talking about how we have to go on a run," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "We want to have made the tournament before we get into our division games again. We have to win the games we are supposed to win."
With the win, West Haven finished the first half of the season with a 5-5 record.
West Haven saw only five players in the scoring column, but those five were more than enough. Gary Dudley, who has picked up his game in the last few contests, led the way with 27 points, including a pair of 3-pointers and 7-of-8 shooting from the free throw line.
"I am happy with how well we are playing together," Bosley said. "I like the chemistry."
Thomas Brim, who has also been a key player for the Westies, also had a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 13 points. Kenneth Graham made his presence felt on the inside with 11 points, and Aaron Spann hit five field goals for 10 points.
"Thomas Brim hit some key shots in the fourth quarter," Bosley said. "Kenneth Graham played a good game. Once we got the lead, we spread the floor a little bit."
Trailing 30-29, the Westies responded in the second half. West Haven’s defense was the key in the third quarter, holding Foran to just eight points.
"It was close early," Bosley said. "We trapped early, but they were able to break the trap. We went man to man in the second half.
"We did not make any stops in the first half. They broke our traps. Their guards are quick. We made adjustments at the half and played them head up."
The Lions, who had 22 field goals in the game, were unable to get going in the third quarter as Foran trailed by seven points heading into the fourth quarter. With West Haven making its free throws, the Lions were kept out of the win column.
Bob Notholt led Foran with 16 points. Nick Weissauer added 15 points and Matt Gomes had 13 in the loss.
Eric Singleton chipped in six points in West Haven’s win.
Back on Track
Westies pound Law, 84-47
By MIKE MADERA
(January 13, 2014) – Losing three of four games, including heartbreakers against Xavier, Note Dame and Fairfield Prep, West Haven coach Harry Bosley knew his team needed a less than stressful win.
Going on a 20-6 run in the second quarter and taking a 24-point lead at the half, West Haven cruised to an 84-47 victory over the Eagles at Jonathan Law Monday evening.
"We are coming along," Bosley said. "We want to stay sharp on the court and in the class room.
"I thought our half court trap worked very well. I loved the way we moved the ball. That makes us efficient. We had three guys in double figures. I am very pleased with the way we are distributing the ball around. We have three, for, five guys who are threats."
The Westies led by 10 points after one quarter, then exploded in the second quarter to take a 44-20 lead. Leading by 28 points through three quarters, Bosley was able to empty his bench.
Gary Dudley had a monster game, leading three West Haven players in double figures with 30 points. Thomas Brim added 13 points, Kenneth Graham had 10 points, Eric Singleton 8 and Aaron Spann 7 points.
Kenneth Graham was a key player in West Haven's win over Law, January 13, 2014. Graham had 10 points, 7 steals and 9 rebounds. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Kenneth Graham is a big part of our team," Bosley said. "He had 10 points, seven steals and nine rebounds. He is a very big part of this team."
The Westies connected on 33 shots in the game, but were just 12 of 21 (57%) from the free throw line.
"The traps were there," Bosley said. "We were very unselfish throughout the game. We got a lot of easy baskets. We just have to work on closing games out when they are close.
"We need to go on a run. We need to win these games coming up. We have to stay focused."
Dylan Vienneau led law with 17 points.
Fourth Quarter Blues
Westies drop big game against Prep
By MIKE MADERA
(January 10, 2014) – Less than a week ago, the West Haven boys’ basketball team held a 10-point lead over Notre Dame with three minutes to go in the game. The Green Knights used a last second 3-pointer to pull out the victory.
Leading once again in the fourth quarter against Fairfield Prep, the No. 1 team in the New Haven Register Top 10 poll, West Haven was hoping the lesson of a week ago had sunk in.
Despite the efforts of Aaron Spann, West Haven was unable to pick up the win in a 68-59 loss.
“We played extremely well,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “We did not finish. We missed some easy layups at the end. We could have won the game.
“We came to play. We were up 10 in the third. We missed some layups and had some turnovers at the wrong time. We did not finish atr the basket.”
Spann led four players in double digits with 20 points, Gary Dudley had 12 and Kenneth Graham and Eric Singleton each scored 10.
“Kenneth Graham did well,” Bosley said. “He came close to a triple double. Aaron Spann also played well.”
Unfortunately for West Haven, the Jesuits rallied from a fourth quarter deficit, outscoring the Westies 17-7, to post a 68-59 win at West Haven High.
The Jesuits had four players in double figures, led by Thomas Nolan with 24 points. Keith Pettway added 14 points, Ryan Foley had 15 and Paschal Chukwu 11 in the victory.
West Haven led by one point after the first quarter and 36-32 at the half. Leading 52-51 entering the final eight minutes, West Haven went into an offensive lull and lost by nine points.Graham had 10 rebounds and nine assists to go along with his 10 points in the loss.
Aaron Spann and the Westies defeated Hamden, 61-55, January 7, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Much Needed Win
Westies gut out win over Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
(January 7, 2014) – If there ever was a team which was in dire need of a win, that team was the West Haven boys’ basketball squad. Losing its last two games in the final seconds, the Westies were looking for anything to lift their spirits.
That lift came Tuesday evening. Behind the play of Gary Dudley, Eric Singleton, Aaron Spann and Kenneth Graham, West Haven got back on the winning track with a 61-55 victory over Hamden at West Haven High.
The win allowed West Haven to improve to 3-4 and more importantly, provided coach Harry Bosley with the leadership he has been looking for.
"It was huge," Bosley said. "After losing to Xavier, then coming back to lose to Notre Dame in two heartbreaking losses, we needed something to get us going. We had to have it."
Dudley and Graham combined for 38 points and the Westies shot 75% (24-32) from the free throw line, led by Dudley, who was 15 of 16 from the stripe.
Gary Dudley scored 27 points in a 61-55 win over Hamden, January 7, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven did not start the game as it would have liked as Hamden scored 19 points in the opening quarter and led by three points. The next two quarters would define the game.
West Haven’s defense tightened and allowed just 15 combined points over the next 16 minutes. This defensive stand allowed West Haven to take a 27-25 lead at the half and a 42-34 lead after three quarters of play.
Dudley, who gave the Westies a 34-28 lead in the third quarter, finished the game with 17 points, Singleton had 14, Graham added 11 and Spann scored nine in the victory.
Kenneth Graham scored 11 points against Hamden, January 7, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Hamden struggled from the free throw line, connecting on just 61% (17 of 28) of its shots. Blair Johnson led Hamden with nine points.
ND nails 3-pointer at buzzer to sink Westies
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (January 4, 2014) – Alex Puzone could not believe his eyes. Left wide open with the clock ticking away, the Notre Dame senior had one thing on his mind.
Left all alone in the right corner, Puzone drained a 3-pointer as the clock expired in regulation, giving Notre Dame a thrilling 55-53 comeback victory over West Haven at Notre Dame Saturday afternoon.
The shot by Puzone allowed Notre Dame to erase a ten point deficit with three points remaining and lifted the Green Knights to 4-0 on the year.
“We never quit,” Puzone said. “We knew we had to get a little momentum going and keep the energy level up.
“The play was designed to get me the shot. I caught the ball with two seconds left and I was able to make the shot.”
After losing a heartbreaker to Xavier in their previous game, the Westies looked to have the game in hand when Thomas Brim’s bucket with 3 minutes, 18 seconds remaining gave the Westies a 48-38 lead.
“That is two games in a row now we lost down the stretch,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “We can’t hang on. We outplayed them the whole game.“We need more leadership down the stretch. We need someone who wants the ball in their hands.”
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Xavier beats Westies in final seconds
By MIKE MADERA
(December 30, 2013) – Coming off a hard fought victory over Branford two days earlier, the West Haven boys’ basketball team was looking to rid that momentum into Monday evening’s home contest against Xavier.
The Westies did this for all but five seconds in the contest. Elijah Pemberton knocked down the game-winning shot with less than five seconds to go as Xavier rallied to defeat West Haven 48-46 at West Haven High Monday evening.
Pemberton was a thorn in West Haven’s side all night as he scored 14 points for Xavier. Tom Jackson also played well for the Falcons with 12 points.
West Haven trailed early in the contest but used a run in the second quarter to take a 22-21 lead at the half.
Leading by two points after three quarters, with the game going back and forth, the Westies scored only 11 points in the final quarter and fell on Pemberton’s late shot.
Aaron Spann, who hit four 3-pointers for the Westies, finished with 19 points. Gary Dudley hit a pair of 3’s and finished with 11 points, while Kenneth Graham had 8 points and Thomas Brim six points.
Back on Track
Westies defeat Branford to improve to 2-2
By MIKE MADERA
(December 28, 2013) – After falling short against Hand a few days earlier, the West Haven boys’ basketball team looked to bounce back Saturday evening against Branford. In what was a battle from the start, the Westies held to defeat Branford 62-56 in the Branford Holiday Tournament at Branford High.
The game saw plenty of lead changes and had West Haven on top by three points after one quarter and one point at the half. The Hornets evened the game at 43 after three quarters of play, but West Haven hit key shots in the fourth quarter to post a six-point victory.
The Westies only had five players in the scoring column, four of which were in double figures. Gary Dudley led the way with 19 points, Eric Singleton and Aaron Spann each had 13 points and Thomas Brim added 12 points.
All four connected from 3-point range. Dudley led the way with three 3-pointers, while Spann and Brim each hit two from long range.
West Haven struggled from the free throw line, connecting on just 65% (15-of-23) of its shots.
Alexander King led Branford with 19 points, while Joseph Carbone had 13 points.
Slow start hurts Westies in loss to Hand
By MIKE MADERA
(December 26, 2013) – When the West Haven basketball team scored 10 of the game’s first 11 points, head coach Harry Bosley had to be ecstatic. What happened next in the first half was lees than pleasing for Bosley.
Going on a 34-10 run to end the opening half, Hand-Madison held on to defeat West Haven 68-55 in the Branford Holiday Tournament at Branford High Thursday evening.
The Westies roared all the way back in the third quarter and got within two points, but that was as close as the Westies got as each time West Haven got within two points, Hand pulled away for good.
“We were down fifteen at the half and came all the way back to get within two points,” Bosley said. “They were bigger than us. We had chances, but we expended a lot of energy.
“In the last two minutes of the game, they started to make their shots. We did not play the defense necessary.”
The Westies jumped out to a 10-1 lead before Hand hit a 3-pointer and a bucket to get within 10-8. The momentum changed and West Haven could not stop the run which gave Hand a 35-20 halftime lead.
“The guys are coming in and making too many mistakes at the wrong time,” Bosley said. “We were up 10-1 and we missed three or four easy lay ups. We need to understand the tempo. We need to understand how important tempo is.”
Trailing 35-20, West Haven inched closer with a 22-9 run in the third quarter which got the Westies within 44-42.
West Haven never pulled ahead as too many communication issues on defense proved costly to the Westies.
“We are having a hard time bringing what we did in practice to the game,” Bosley said. “We have to find a way to turn it around.”
The Tigers got hot late in the fourth quarter, in particular the final two minutes, to hold off the Westies by 13 points.
Thomas Brim played well for us,” Bosley said. “He made some plays for us.”
Brim led three players in double figures for West Haven with 20 points, including three 3-pointers. Kenneth Graham added 14 points and Gary Dudley had 12 in the loss.Neither team got to the free throw line enough as West Haven was just 6-of-10 and Branford was 9-of-11.
Westies suffer first loss in 60-55 defeat at Sheehan
By MIKE MADERA
(December 20, 2013) – Coming off a lop-sided victory over East Haven in the season-opener, the West Haven boys’ basketball team was hoping to build off this.
Traveling to Wallingford to play a tough Sheehan team, the Westies battled throughout. Unfortunately for West Haven, the team was not able to pull ahead late in the game and fell to the Titans 60-55 at Sheehan High.
"We did not capitalize," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "We took some bad shots and had some turnovers. We had some missed assignments on the defensive end. We never got into a rhythm.We need to establish ourselves and dictate tempo."
The key to the game came at the free throw line, or lack of visits to the line. West Haven attempted just six free throws in the game, connecting on four.
Bosley wants his team inside more and getting to the free throw line is a big part ofWest Haven’s game.
"They played a 3-2 zone and made it hard to get inside," Bosley said. "We need to get the ball down low to get to the free throw line. You live and die with the jump shot when you don't get it down low.
"Their 3-2 zone forced us to have to make shots. We could not get the ball down low."
The Westies received balanced scoring in the game, with six players in the scoring column. Gary Dudley led the way with 18 points as he was the only Westie in double digits.
Thomas Brim had nine points and Kenneth Graham and Aaron Spann each added 8 points, while Eric Singleton and Jason Frazer each scored six.
West Haven was big from the outside, connecting on seven shots from beyond the arc.Dudley connected on three 3-pointers, while Spann and Frazer each drained a pair of three-pointers.
West Haven and the Titans were evenly matched in the contest as the Titans led by four points after one quarter and just 31-30 at the half. West Haven trailed 42-41 entering the final quarter, but could not come up with the big shot to gain the victory.
"Each time we were up one late, we did not capitalize," Bosley said. "We have to get that shot. When we made a good play, the next play we missed. We did not score when we were supposed to."
Brandon Rentas led three Titans in double figures with 16 points, while Mike Tiedemann had 13 and Tommy Laydon had 11.
Sheehan also came up big at the free throw line, hitting 11-of-13 shots. The 11-4 differential in free throws made turned out to be the difference in the game for the Titans.
Westies open season in impressive fashion
By MIKE MADERA
(December 18, 2013) – West Haven boys’ basketball coach Harry Bosley feels his team can have a special season. Bosley knows focus and hard work will be the keys to any success West Haven has this year.
If West Haven’s performance in the season opener was any indication, Bosley may be in for an enjoyable campaign.
Led by 20 points and 6 rebounds from Gary Dudley and 11 points and 9 steals from Aaron Spann, the Westies defeated East Haven 70-41 Wednesday evening at West Haven High.
Gary Dudley. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
“I like the fact we have several threats,” Bosley said. “It is not just one or two guys. I want teams to worry about every one of our starting five.
“I am pleased with Aaron Spann. He nearly had a quadruple double. He had seven rebounds and nine steals. Eric Singleton was really clutch and Gary Dudley is going to do what he does. He had twenty.”
While the 70 points scored were impressive, the defensive play of West Haven may be what is noticed the most by Bosley.
After allowing 27 points in the first half, the Westies tightened up and allowed just 14 points in the second half, while the offense was scoring 33 points.
“We allowed just 14 points in the second half,” Bosley said. “That was nice. But, we allowed too many three’s from the corner. We have top clean that up.”
West Haven had its offense going the entire game, scoring in double digits in each quarter. The Westies also hit from the outside, connecting on seven 3-pointers, including four from Dudley.
The Westies never trailed at the end of any quarter, leading by seven after the first quarter and 37-27 at the half. West Haven put the game away with a 33-14 run in the second half.
West Haven had a balanced scoring attack, with four players in double digits. Thomas Brim had 15 points and Eric Singleton scored 13 to go along with Dudley and Spann.
“We had four guys in double figures,” Bosley said. “It is great for the guys to win the first home game with a decent crowd. The kids played well.”
Robert Proto led East Haven with 16 points.
Kenneth Graham. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
On the Way Back
Westies looking for return trip to postseason
By MIKE MADERA
After falling one game short of qualifying for the postseason last year, the West Havenboys’ basketball team has had nine months to atone for the missed opportunity.
With the start of the regular season here, the Westies are eager to prove they belong in the extra season. In fact, if one talks to Harry Bosley, the West Haven head coach will not be satisfied to settle for just a spot in the postseason. Instead, the Westies want to be playing in the championship game for a state title.
“We have been saying it all along,” Bosley said. “We want to be going to Mohegan (Sun). Our standards are up there now. We have to make the tournament to get there and we plan on going to the tournament.
“We could be very good with experience. Our center, Kenneth Graham, with his ball handling, will be tough to cover. We can come from anywhere. This is also the first time in a long time we are not waiting on a football player to return. We have been doing well.”
The Westies will be led by tri-captains Thomas Brim, Kenneth Graham and Gary Dudley. Dudley is a senior swing player who will do his damage as a forward, Graham is a senior center and Brim is a junior forward.
“Kenneth has been here the last four years,” Bosley said. “We expect big things from him. He has enough experience to shine. Gary Dudley has been around a little while as well. He has led on the court with his shooting. He can be a complete player.
“Thomas Brim is an intelligent, smart kid who works very hard. He does all the intangibles. By midseason, you will be hearing about him.”
Brim, Graham and Dudley are three players in the starting five with juniors Aaron Spann and Eric Singleton rounding out the starting lineup. Spann will run the show from his point guard position, while Singleton is also a guard.
“The potential is there,” Bosley said. “All we have to do is execute. I like Eric Singleton. He is very athletic and he comes at you. He is tough with that. Gary Dudley gives you the stop and pop. I like all that. We just have to keep them focused.
“Guys have been buying into what we are doing. I am also very happy with their grades. All the guys have passed the C-rule. We want to forget that and look to get A’s and B’s.”
Bosley also has three key sophomores to come off the bench and provide needed depth. Jason Frazer and Malik Colbert are guards, while Tehran Tripp is a forward.
“Focus and discipline are the keys,” Bosley said. “I have seen it at times. We saw it atNew Britain, where we felt West Haven gets no respect and we played well.
“We have to win. That’s how you get it. We are in a tough division, playing the number one team (Fairfield Prep) in the state twice, Xavier twice. It is what it is. We look at it as we have to win every game we play.”West Haven opens the season Wednesday, December 18 at home against East Havenat 7 p.m.
State Champions - '87
All-State Players - Mike McMahon '85; Paul McMahon '87; Terry Rountree '91; Ivoree Stanley '95; Bruce Wesley '96; Matt Turner '98; Sly Williams '06
Retired Numbers - Michael McMahon (Class of 1985) #31; Jerry Gambardella (Class of 2000) #21
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