Westies thump Indians
Spann, Brim help WH improve to 5-6
By MATT CILBRITH
(January 23, 2015) - In a game which started off slowly, once the Blue Devils started knocking down shots, they did not stop as the West Haven boys basketball team rolled past Guilford, 64-32, Friday night in West Haven. Guilford’s defense clogged up the lanes and slowed down West Haven’s offense, until West Haven started getting some help from its perimeter shooters.
“We don’t usually have our main shooters, Jason Frazer and Tehran Tripp, on the floor when we start,” said West Haven head coach Harry Bosley. “But, when we get those two guys in we can really open things up, especially Frazer because he is just a pure shooter.”
Taylor Greene scored nine points in a win over Guilford, January 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Guilford held West Haven close after the first quarter, which ended with the Blue Devils up 10-8. In the second quarter, Frazer knocked down back-to-back three-pointers, and Aaron Spann, who led the team with 13 points, got back-to-back buckets to follow that up. The Blue Devils ended the second quarter on a 13-0 run, all of those points coming from perimeter shots.
“In the beginning of the season, we had a really hard time beating the zone, but we have practiced it so much now that we can beat it in our sleep,” said Thomas Brim of West Haven who finished with 10 points. “We had a little bit of an identity crisis in the beginning of the season, but now everybody on the team knows their role and we work better as a team.”
With the Blue Devils up 23-10 at the half, Bosley said he wanted his team to start dictating the pace of the game.
“I think, in the second half, our defense really helped out our offense,” said Bosley “We were able to get some turnovers with the 1-3-1 trap we were running, and that let us get some quick transition points, and quick shots, which is the tempo that we want to play.”
Guilford improved its offense in the third quarter scoring 13 points, which is more than their entire first half total of ten. The Indians were led by Shaun Ross who had a team-high of 10 points, six in the third, and Jordan Krause, who had three of his five points in the third.
The Blue Devils kept their offense rolling with 23 points in the third quarter and started to pull away from the Indians. West Haven was able to run the floor against Guilford, while still knocking down three shots from beyond the arc.
The fourth quarter was much of the same unfortunately for the Indians. West Haven’s offense put up another 18 points featuring a 15-2 run to start the final frame.
“I thought we played great on both sides of the ball in the second half,” said Bosley. “So that’s number five and we are moving on to number six.” Bosley talking about wins as West Haven improves to 5-6, winning three of their last four games.
Taylor Greene and Eric Singleton each scored nine points in the win for West Haven.
Bosley is hoping the next win comes as soon as Tuesday when his team goes on the road to take on Lyman Hall at 7 p.m.
Westies beat ND
Spann, Greene key overtime victory
By MIKE MADERA
(January 20, 2015) - West Haven head coach Harry Bosley remembers very clearly a buzzer-beating loss to cross-town rival Notre Dame one year ago. No one could blame Bosley Tuesday evening if he had that queasy feeling when Notre Dame’s Michael Mullen drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to force overtime.
Fortunately for Bosley and his team, the end was result was different this time around as the Westies scored the first eight points of overtime and opened with a 12-2 run to defeat the Green Knights 72-68 in a Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division game at West Haven High.
Thomas Brim scored 12 points in a win over Notre Dame, January 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"It was wild,” Bosley said after his team improved to 4-6. “That was the way they beat us last year. Fortunately, this year it just tied us. We came back in the overtime. We got off to the quick start in the overtime, which was big. I have to give my guys a lot of credit. They kept battling.”
After Mullen’s heroics evened the game, West Haven was not to be denied in the extra four minutes. Taylor Greene opened the overtime with a basket and free throw, Thomas Brim and Eric Singleton followed with baskets and Aaron Spann hit a free throw to give the Westies a 66-58 lead with 1 minute, 24 seconds remaining.
The Green Knights did not get on the scoreboard until Benjamin Bagnoli drained one of his five 3-pointers with 55 seconds remaining. Patrick Doyle got the Green Knights within 70-63, but Greene hit a pair of free throws with less than 30 seconds remaining to increase the margin to 72-63.
“I think this can be a turning point,” Thomas Brim said after finishing with 12 points. “We had a team meeting yesterday and it was about everyone buying in to the system. What better time to get it together than now with the end of the season coming. We are together now. We worked our way through it when we got to overtime.”
The Westies started the game quickly, scoring six points in the first 48 seconds, including a monster dunk from Spann for a 6-0 lead.
Aaron Spann scored 17 points in a win over Notre Dame, January 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Green Knights kept up with the tempo and got within 19-17 on two free throws by Bagnoli, before Maurice Jones knocked down a 3-pointer for a 22-17 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
Bagnoli nailed a 3-pointer with 2:55 gone by on the second quarter to even the game at 25, and Notre Dame took its first lead of the game with one minute remaining in the first half when a pair of free throws by Karim Cisse put Notre Dame on top, 34-33.
“I just told my team we were part of a great high school basketball game tonight,” Notre Dame coach Jason Shea said after his team fell to 4-6. “We fell on the short end of it. I thought we did a good job continuing to fight back. We did not stop. They started the overtime with the three-point play and I think it took some wind out of our sails.”
Bagnoli drained a pair of free throws with 2:59 left in the third quarter for a 42-40 Notre Dame lead, but Singleton had an answer for West Haven as his bucket put West Haven out front 47-44 in the last minute of the third quarter.
“They are a tough team,” Bosley said of Notre Dame. “It is an inner-city rivalry. It is a bragging-rights game. We played hard. It was a tough game.”
Doyle gave the Green Knight s a 55-52 lead with a 3-pointer with 2:53 remaining in regulation, but a 4-0 run had West Haven ahead by one point, 56-55, with 1:38 remaining in regulation.
Singleton hit two free throws for a 58-55 lead with under 14 seconds remaining, setting up Mullen’s buzzer-beater to send the game to overtime.
Bagnoli had a game-high 19 points for Notre Dame, while Doyle added 16 and Cisse had 14 in the loss. The Westies had four players in double figures and were led by Spann’s 17. Singleton added 12 and Greene had 11 points, including 5 for 5 from the free throw line in the overtime.
West Haven was stellar from the free throw line, connecting on 14 of 17 shots, while Notre Dame was just as good at 9 of 10.
Prep too much for Westies
Jesuits use big fourth quarter to roll to 61-44 win
By MIKE MADERA
(January 16, 2015) - The West Haven boys basketball team was well aware of the challenge it faced in playing powerhouse Fairfield Prep Friday evening. For three quarters, the Westies hung with the Jesuits.
The fourth quarter was a different story. Going on a 20-9 run, Fairfield Prep sent West Haven to its sixth loss of the season with a 61-44 victory over the Westies at West Haven High.
The Jesuits had four players in double figures, led by John Kelly with 20 points, Ryan Foley with 14 and Patrick Harding with 13.
The Jesuits set the tone of the game early, scoring 18 points in the first quarter and taking a seven point lead. West Haven played strong defense in the second quarter, holding the Jesuits to just 10 points and cutting the deficit to 28-22 with 16 minutes to go.
The Westies, who were led by Jason Frazer's 12 points and Taylor Greene's 10, remained six points down, 41-35, after three quarters of play.
Prep pulled away n the fourth quarter, holding West Haven to just nine points to win by 17.
The Jesuits were successful from the outside as Kelly drained three 3-pointers and Thomas Nolan hit a pair to finish with 10 points. The Jesuits were also 9 of 10 from the free throw line.
Aaron Spann finished with nine points and Thomas Brim drained seven points. Frazer led the Westies with four 3-pointers, while Brim, Greene and Spann all knocked down two 3-pointers in the loss.
Westies snap 4-game skid with 43-30 win over East Haven
By MATT CILBRITH
(January 14, 2015) - West Haven was able to come out with a 43-30 win on the road in East Haven Wednesday night. The Blue Devils were led by Eric Singleton and his 13 points, as well as their strong defensive effort against a heavy three-point shooting team.
“They (East Haven) came out and were prepared for what we were going to do on defense,” said West Haven head coach Harry Bosley after his team improved to 3-5.
East Haven hit two three-pointers on their first two possessions.
"I had to call a time out to get in my guys’ face a little and have them step their game up,” Bosley said.
Shortly after that timeout only a minute into the game, West Haven got a handle on its defense, but not before East Haven knocked down a few shots from beyond the arc, two from Nick Durso and one from Malachi Campbell.
West Haven’s Jason Frazier did answer with a couple of 3-pointers of his own in the first quarter, which ended with East Haven leading 11-10.
In the second quarter, neither team was able to put up many points. The scoring in the quarter was 9-3 in favor of West Haven, who took the lead in the game 19-14 at the half.
“The last game we played, the pace was very high. So we had to change our style and come into this game and play chess,” said Bosley. “We knew we would have to be more strategic and slow this game down against this kind of team.”
Following the half both teams got off with a bang, both teams exchanging buckets for the first few minutes. West Haven then went off on an 8-0 run for the middle part of the third with East Haven struggling to get open looks from the perimeter.
East Haven was saved with two big three’s from Campbell in the 1:30 to keep the Yellow Jackets in the game, only trailing 31-25 by the end of the quarter.
West Haven was still able to hold onto the lead in the final frame, knocking down five of its seven free throws down the stretch to lock up a victory. This win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Blue Devils.
“I feel like we have had everything going for us the past few games, everybody hitting htier shots and playing defense well, it just has to all come together at once,” said Thomas Brim who finished the game with 11 points for the Westies. “I think when we are all playing together there is nobody who can play with us, honestly.”
The Blue Devils will need an entire team effort if they want to knock off their next opponent.
“I’m happy that we got the win, but during this game I was really trying to have the guys get ready for what we have Friday night which is Fairfield Prep,” said Bosley. “I’m trying to get the team to transition from one style of play to another. This way we can make other teams play the style of game that we want to play.”
Prep is currently ranked fourth in the state, but just knocked off second ranked Career 62-56 on Wednesday night as well. Fairfield Prep will be the Blue Devils toughest opponent so far this season, with the game tipping off at 7 p.m. Friday night at West Haven High School.
Westies suffer fourth straigh loss
WH drops to 2-5 with loss to Hamden
By MATT CILBRITH
HAMDEN (January 12, 2015) - The gymnasium at Hamden High School was packed to watch the Green Dragons take on rival West Haven Monday evening. The Blue Devils put up a hard fight, but Hamden was able to hold them off and win its fifth game of the year by a score of 61-53 at Hamden High Monday evening.
“This was a real grind it out game for us,” said Hamden head coach Jarrad Beck. “We were a little lethargic at times and lacked some energy. But, we had the benefit this year of having a deeper bench than we have in the past and we had some real big contributions from our bench players.”
West Haven, which fell to 2-5 with its fourth straight loss, played without two of its key players for a majority of the game as Aaron Spann did not play and Thomas Brim missed considerable time.
“We faced some adversity tonight, but we battled hard,” said Bosley. “We were playing without Aaron Spann for the whole game and Thomas Brim for part of the game, which was hard. But, these guys battled and competed hard which is all I can as for. I’m very proud of the way they played.”
The first quarter started off with Hamden coming out and getting some baskets early. The Green Dragons forced West Haven into some mistakes, and got a few steals, and they ended the first quarter up 17-12.
Hamden built on that lead at the beginning of the next quarter. But, halfway through the second quarter, Taylor Greene of West Haven started a nine-point run for the Blue Devils by scoring five consecutive points, helping West Haven keep it close at the half, only trailing Hamden 34-27.
West Haven knew it was not going to be able to match Hamden’s size, so the Blue Devils attacked the Green Dragons with some different looks on defense.
“With their height, we weren’t going to be able to play man to man defense against them,” said West Haven head coach Harry Bosley. “So we wanted to throw a couple different zone defenses at them to try and beat them that way.”
In the first half, the Blue Devils’ defense did a good job of neutralizing Hamden’s size advantage to some extent, but Hamden countered that with its guards Dylan Noble and Blair Johnson knocking down their shots. Both Noble and Johnson ended the game with 16 points.
The third quarter was even with the two teams scoring 12 points apiece, but the Green Dragons began to get into foul trouble.
Eric Singleton and Green made it tough on the Green Dragons’ defense, constantly driving the lane hard all game and drawing lots of contact. Greene knocked down 12 of his 15 attempts from the charity stripe, but Singleton was only able to shoot 50% on his 12 attempts.
“We missed a lot of shots, especially free throws,” said Bosley “We probably missed double-digit free throws in the game which is tough.”
In the fourth quarter, Hamden started to feed the big man, Christian Scott, down low in the paint. But, Scott was only able to make one basket, and only hit two of his four attempts from the free throw line.
Those two made free throws came at the right time, right after Johnson knocked down a three from beyond the arc with only 2:30 to play. That was enough for the Green Dragons to hold on.
The Westies remain on the road to take on East Haven at 7 p.m. Wednesday night.
Xavier too much for Westies
Slow start hurts in 61-56 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(January 9, 2015) - Through the first three games of the season, the West Haven boys basketball team had to like the position it was in with a pair of wins. Three games later, that position has changed.
With a 61-56 loss to Xavier Friday evening in Middletown, West Haven dropped its third game in a row and fell to 2-4 on the season.
When the Westies look back at the contest, they will particularly think about a first quarter which saw West Haven score just six points and trail by 13 points. The rest of the contest was to West Haven's advantage as the Westies outscored Xavier 50-42 in the defeat.
West Haven never recovered in the first half, trailing 31-17 at the break. A 21-13 run in the third quarter got West Haven within six, but the Westies could not get closer.
Aaron Spann led three Westies in double digits with 19 points. Thomas Brim added 14 points on three 3-pointers, and Jason Frazer also hit three 3-pointers for 11 points.
The Westies were hurt at the free throw line, attempting just 14 shots and connecting on only 8 in the game. On the flip side, Xavier was 17 of 26 as the nine extra points proved to be the difference in the game.
Alex White led Xavier with 15 points and Kaleb Lutton added 13 rebounds in the win for the Falcons
See highlights at WTNH SportzEdge here.
Branford slips by Westies
Hornets defeat West Haven, 60-52
By MIKE MADERA
(December 29, 2014) - The West Haven boys basketball team was looking to start the season quickly. After five games of the 2014 season, that start has been a bit slower than the Westies had hoped.
Losing to Hand to start the Branford Holiday Tournament, the Westies suffered the same fate Monday evening, falling to Branford 60-52 at Branford High. With the loss, West Haven dropped to 2-3 on the year.
Eric Singleton and the Westies came up short in a loss to Branford, December 29, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven was in chase mode all game as the team struggled in the first quarter, scoring just four points. West Haven's offense never got going in the first half and the Westies trailed 27-14 after 16 minutes of play.
West Haven fought back in the third quarter, scoring more points than it had in the entire first half, with a 16-9 run, to trail only 36-30 entering the final quarter.
While the Westies battled, they could not make up the deficit as Branford scored 24 points in the final eight minutes to hold on for the victory.
Aaron Spann and Jason Frazer led the Westies with a combined 34 points. Spann scored 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, while Frazer drained four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points. Eric Singleton added 8 points in the loss.
Branford had four players in double figures, including Kory King, who led the way with 15 points. Joe Carbone finished with 13, Jake Miller had 12 and Rich Jacobson added 11 points for the Hornets.
West Haven shot 65% from the free throw line, connecting on 11 of 17 shots.
Westies fall to Tigers in Branford Holiday Tournament
By MIKE MADERA
Thomas Brim contributed to this article
(December 27, 2014) - The West Haven boys basketball team lost a tough contest to Daniel Hand, 67-60, in the Branford Holiday Tournament at Branford High Saturday evening.
The Tigers, who were led by Pat Kerins and John Discroll, got off to a quick start and forced to Westies to have to rally for the remainder of the contest. The Tigers led by eight points after the first quarter and took a 34-26 lead to the half.
Kerins , who scored 18 points, and Driscoll, who added 15, were too much for the Westies. Hand went on a 16-11 run in the third quarter and took a 50-37 lead with eight minutes to play.
Aaron Spann led West Haven with 19 points, Jason Frazer had 12 points on four 3-pointers and Thomas Brim added 7 points and 11 rebounds.
Jason Frazer (33), seen here against Sheehan, scored 12 points in a loss to Hand, December 27, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven drained nine 3-pointers in the contest with Frazer and Spann with four apiece and Brim with one.
The Westies are back in action in the tournament against Branford Monday evening at 5:15 p.m.
Back on Track
Westies defeat Law, 72-44
By MATT CILBRITH
(December 23, 2014) - The West Haven Blue Devils boys’ basketball team handily defeated Jonathan Law, 72-44, Tuesday night in Milford.
Eric Singleton led the Blue Devils and their fast-paced offense with 21 points, most of them coming on the fast break. West Haven played strong defense, getting a lot of turnovers against Jonathan Law’s offense, which in turn created opportunities for them.
“We really wanted to do a good job of scoring on our transition offense,” said Singleton. “And that all starts with defense, everything has to start with defense.”
The Blue Devils did a good job running the floor all night and the Lawmen could not keep up. West Haven head coach Harry Bosley said this is what the team needs to do to get wins.
"We are not a very big team so we try and push the ball up the floor to get those easy buckets,” said Bosley.
The Lawmen held the game close early on, only down 15-9 after one quarter of play, but the Westies opened up the second quarter with a 19-4 run which put them up 39-18 at halftime.
The second half was no different as the Blue Devils continued to pressure the Jonathan Law offense and create turnovers. West Haven had six steals in the second half and Bosley said he was pleased with his team’s defense.
“The defense tonight did real well,” said Bosley. “They were a lot crisper on defense then they were in the last game and they did a really good job of creating turnovers.”
After a 3-pointer from Dylan Vienneau, who scored 11 points, and a quick bucket from Justin McFadden, (9 points), to start the third quarter, the Lawmen quickly fell behind as they failed to get any points on their next seven possessions.
Jonathan Law did start to close the gap in the fourth quarter, getting the game to 62-39. Then Taylor Greene, who scored 19 points in the game, really put the game to bed, scoring seven points on the next three West Haven possessions.
After losing their last game, Singleton said it felt good for the team to be back on the winning side and the Westies now are going to try and string together a couple of wins.
Thomas Brim was the third West Haven player in double figures as he scored 11 points in the win.
West Haven’s next game is Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Daniel Hand Tigers.
Westies fall in Home Opener
Sheehan too much in 57-50 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(December 19, 2014) - The West Haven boys basketball team was eagerly awaiting its home opener. After defeating Guilford on the road to open the season, West Haven opened its home season Friday evening against Sheehan.
Despite eight 3-pointers in the game, West Haven got off to a slow start in the contest and that was the difference in the game as West Haven fell to the Titans, 57-50, at West Haven High. The loss dropped the Westies to 1-1 early in the season.
With a potent offense, the Westies are looking for balance in each contest this year. Coach Harry Bosley would have liked to have seen a bit more of that on Friday as only two players were in double figures.
Aaron Spann led West Haven with 19 points in a loss to Sheehan, December 19, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Aaron Spann led the Westies with 19 points, including three 3-pointers and Jason Frazer had 15 points with five 3-pointers. The pair combined for 72% of the team's offense, with five others scoring in single digits.
Thomas Brim led that group with 7 points, while Eric Singleton scored four points in the loss.
The Westies were hurt in two different aspects as they scored just 7 points in the opening quarter, trailing by 7 after eight minutes of play. West Haven also struggled from the free throw line, connecting on just 56% of its shots (10 of 18).
West Haven's offense struggled in both the first and fourth quarters, while Sheehan picked up the victory by scoring in double digits in each quarter. The Titans led after each quarter and were not to be denied.
Eric Singleton defends in a loss to Sheehan, December 19, 2014. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies trailed 14-7 after the first quarter, 35-28 at the half and 45-41 after three quarters. Trailing by four points, the Westies could not pull out the victory.
Turner French led Sheehan with 14 points, while Kyle Brennan had 12 points in the win for the Titans.
Spann also added 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in the loss.
Westies thump Guilford
Team effort leads to 65-38 win in opener
By MIKE MADERA
Thomas Brim contributed to this article
(December 17, 2014) - The West Haven boys basketball team has lofty expectations this season. Looking to get off to a quick start, the Westies did not disappoint.
With a balanced scoring attack, West Haven rolled to a 65-38 win over Guilford in the season opener for both teams in Guilford Wednesday evening.
"The kids looked good," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said after his team improved to 1-0. "We played well in the first half. We had three guys in double figures.
"We have a little more depth this year. We can shoot the ball. We have more options. We have guys who can come off the bench and contribute. We have some balance."
West Haven put on a very dominant performance against Guilford. Jumping out to an early lead, senior leadership took over the game.
Senior guards Aaron Spann and Eric Singleton, and senior forward Thomas Brim led the Westies to the victory.
Spann had a great all around game with 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists. Singleton led the fast break with 11 points, 3 steals and one assist, and Brim had a great defensive game, landing 15 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks.
The Westies started quickly and never looked back. West Haven's defense held the Indians to 6 points in the opening quarter, taking a 12-point lead after 8 minutes of play.
"We have to do that all the time," Bosley said of his team's quick start. "They are calling the game tighter. If we start slow and have to come from behind, that can become a problem. I am very pleased with how we started."
West Haven pushed the tempo and added 18 more points in the second quarter, taking a 36-14 lead at the half. West Haven increased the lead to 25 points after three quarters and never looked back.
"Last year, we played good defense, but our issue was scoring," Bosley said. "We worked on that all summer. We are trying to score more points. I am very pleased. We have three, four, five guys off the bench who can shoot. If we combine the defense with our scoring, we can do some good things."
The Westies hit 24 shots from the field, also hitting 4 3-pointers. West Haven was also consistent from the free throw line, connecting on 76% (13 of 17) of the shots.
Eight different players got in the scoring column for the Westies. Taylor Greene scored 6 points and Tehran Tripp scored 5 points in the win.
Shaun Ross led Guilford with 8 points.
On a Mission
Westies have high expectations in 2014-2015
By MIKE MADERA
(December 17, 2014) - The West Haven boys basketball team is ready for the upcoming season. While most teams would be happy to just play in the postseason, such a scenario would be disappointing to this year's squad.
With several talented players returning from a team which was ousted in the league tournament by Xavier and the state tournament by Ridgefield last season, a one-and-done repeat performance this season won't cut it.
"We are going for the whole thing," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said of the upcoming season. "My guys were upset when they heard it was said we were going to be just pretty good. They feel they have what it takes. We have a good team this year."
If the Westies are to advance as far as Bosley and his squad hope, they will need to replace the combined 500-plus points which left with the graduations of Gary Dudley and Kenneth Graham. Dudley was a big threat from anywhere, but he also knocked down 34 3-pointers.
This season, the Westies will turn to senior tri-captains Thomas Brim, Aaron Spann and Eric Singleton. Brim is a forward who scored 203 points last season with 19 3-pointers, Spann is a guard/forward who popped in 229 points with 39 3-pointers and Singleton is a guard who scored 160 points.
Aaron Spann and the Westies are looking for big things in 2014-2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Aaron Spann is the key for us," Bosley said. "To win the big games down the stretch, we need someone to take over. He has to be the kid who takes over. I think he can be that player. Our success will depend on how well he does.
"Thomas Brim can shoot. Taylor Greene, no one can stay in front of him with his ball handling, and Maurice Jones has nice bounce to his game. We have some great shooters. Jason Frazier and Tehran Tripp can shoot."
Seniors Taylor Greene and Maurice Jones will also play a key role this season as Greene is a slick-handling point guard and Jones is a solid guard. Junior Tyshawn Wooten will be the center, junior Tehran Tripp is a forward and junior Jason Frazier is a guard.
"This is the first time in three or four years, we have a solid bench and shooters," Bosley said. "The only issue I am concerned with a little is our rebounding. I think we will do well. We have some smart kids on this team."
Senior co-captain Thomas Brim will play an important role in the success of the 2014-2015 West Haven basketball team. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies look to have a solid starting five with Wooten at center, Greene running the point, Jones as a guard, Brim as a forward and Spann as a guard/forward.
"Aaron Spann has big potential," Bosley said. "He can do it all. I think he is under that radar. I think he will make some noise this year.He can play every position on the floor."
West Haven opens the season, Wednesday, December 17 at Guilford at 7 p.m. and plays its home opener, Friday, December 19 at 7 p.m. against Sheehan.
Thomas Brim scored 9 points against Jonathan Law, January 30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Taylor Greene nails a 3-pointer against Jonathan Law, January 30, 2015. Double click to view full screen. Video courtesy of Matt Cilbrith.
BOYS BASKETBALL 2014-2015
Maurice Jones with a basket against Notre Dame, February 17, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
For all your screen printing and embroidery needs, please call Vio's Sports Plus at (203) 934-3368, stop by at 487 Campbell Avenue, or visit here
Taylor Greene scores for West Haven against Jonathan Law, December 23, 2014. Double click to view full screen. Video courtesy of Matt Cilbrith.
Aaron Spann hits a jumper against Notre Dame, January 20, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Eric Singleton (5) scored 11 points for West Haven against Jonathan Law, January 30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS
Tehran Tripp drains a 3-pointer against Notre Dame, February 17, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Jason Frazer drains a 3-pointer against Hamden, February 10, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
Jason Frazer drains the first of his six 3-pointers against East Haven, February 20, 2015. Double click to view full screen. Video courtesy of Matt Cilbrith.
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
Congratulations to Aaron Spann on being selected to the Southern Connecticut Conference All-Quinnipiac First Team.
Westies ousted by Simsbury
Season ends with 49-36 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(March 11, 2015) - The West Haven boys basketball team had plenty of reasons to be optimistic when it traveled to play in the second round of the CIAC Class LL state tournament. Fresh off an upset victory of No. 11 Xavier, the 22nd-seeded Westies were prepared to pull their second consecutive upset Wednesday evening when they traveled to play sixth-seeded Simsbury.
Unfortunately for West Haven, a lack of offense proved costly as the Westies fell to the Trojans, 49-36, in Simsbury. The loss dropped the Westies to 13-11 to close the season.
"We just came out flat," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "It took each team three or four minutes to score. I knew whoever had the lead would control it. But, all in all, I am not disappointed. I am real proud of the team and how hard we worked to get where we got.We just came up short."
Taylor Greene and the Westies fell to Simsbury in the second round of the Class LL state tournament, March 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies were out of sorts from the start, failing to score midway through the opening quarter. By the time 16 minutes of play had passed, West Haven had scored just 11 points and was down by 12 points at the half.
The Westies never led in the contest, getting within 33-31. With a chance to tie or take the lead, West Haven did not convert and Simsbury answered with a 3-pointer to take a 36-31 lead.
The Westies were within five points with two minutes to go, but Simsbury put the game away at the free throw line.
"We were right there," Bosley said. "We just did not hit our shots in the beginning of the game and that was big."
Third Time's the Charm
Westies upset Xavier in Class LL 1st round, 58-55
By MIKE MADERA
(March 9, 2015) - The West Haven boys basketball team twice came away just a handful of points shy of defeating Xavier-Middletown during the regular season. Turns out, the Westies would make up the difference in the postseason.
Traveling to Middletown to open the Class LL state tournament, No. 22 West Haven upset No. 11 Xavier, 58-55, to advance to second round action, where the Westies will travel to play sixth-seeded Simsbury Wednesday evening at 7 p.m.
"I felt that we put it all on the line," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "It was a do or die game. You give it your all either way. We felt confident. We did not panic down the stretch. Aaron (Spann) made some key free throws. He made all his free throws. We put it all out on the floor. Foul shots were extremely important, especially when you go down and spread the offense. We were able to finish."
Aaron Spann, who missed a handful of games with a wrist injury during the regular season, made his presence felt against the Falcons as he scored a team-high 26 points.
While Spann hit a 3-pointer and had 14 points through three quarters, it was his play in the fourth quarter which was vital as Spann scored 12 points, 10 coming from the free throw line.
"He started kind of slow, but he got into a rhythm," Bosley said of Spann. "He made all of his free throws. He was 13 of 13. As a team, we were 20 of 25. We showed efficiency. We hung in there and showed resiliency. We did not panic overall. It was a big win on the road up there. We hung in there."
Aaron Spann led West Haven to a 58-55 victory over Xavier in the opening round of the Class LL state tournament with 26 points, March 9, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Spann's solid shooting from the charity stripe proved to be crucial as Xavier tried to come back on three different occasions in the final minutes, but the Westies responded by hitting their free throws.
The game was a battle throughout as West Haven broke a 16-16 tie with a 10-7 run in the second quarter. Tehran Tripp had a big 3-pointer and Taylor Greene and Spann followed with buckets to give West Haven the lead.
"It was a good team effort," Bosley said. "They made a big push before the half. We came out in the third quarter and hit some big shots."
Taylor Greene scored 9 points against Xavier, March 9, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing by three points entering the third quarter, the Westies showed the resiliency which would lead to the win. Jason Frazer hit both of his 3-pointers in the game in the third and Spann drained a bucket to give West Haven a 42-40 lead.
"They keyed on him (Frazer) all the way, but he was able to get free and hit a couple big shots," Bosley said. "He is a definite shooter. When that ball leaves his hand, you know it is going in. Plus, he plays good defense."
The Westies had six different players in the scoring column, including Greene who had 9 points. Thomas Brim sank a pair of 3-pointers and finished with 8 points, while Frazer and Eric Singleton each finished with 6 points, and Tripp added 3 points.
"This was a great win for the kids," Bosley said. "It was Xavier, they are in our division and they had beaten us five straight. We were able to knock them out. It is a good win for the kids. It is a big confidence boost. We beat a conference foe in the first round. We are the 22nd seed. They are 11. That's big. I am really happy for the guys and for the city of West Haven."
Aaron Spann (l.) and Thomas Brim (r.) celebrate West Haven's win over Xavier, March 9, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Frazer hit two 3-pointers in the contest to increase his team lead in 3-pointers to 65 on the year.
Kaleb Lutton led Xavier with 16 points.
Westies fall to Career in SCC quarterfinals
Loss ends league title bid
By MIKE MADERA
(February 28, 2015) - The West Haven boys basketball team saw its bid of a Southern Connecticut Conference title slip away Saturday afternoon. The sixth-seeded Westies were able to put up some points, but third-seeded Career was too explosive as the Panthers defeated the Westies, 69-59, at Branford High in the quarterfinals of the SCC tournament.
Aaron Spann, seen here against Lyman Hall, led West Haven with 19 points in a loss to Career in the SCC quarterfinals, February 28, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies were in the contest throughout, but a slow start to the contest hurt. West Haven managed only eight points in the first eight minutes and trailed by seven points. The Westies got hot in the second quarter and trailed just 30-26 at the half.
The third quarter was much of the same as both teams went up and down the court. Career scored 17 of the combined 31 points to take a 47-40 lead, which was too much for the Westies to overcome.
Aaron Spann led West Haven with 19 points. Jason Frazer connected on four 3-pointers for 12 points and Thomas Brim added 11 in the loss.
Career had four players in double figures, including Tyrell Eaddy with 20 points and Tyreek Perkins with 19.
West Haven will now wait nine days to play in the Class LL state tournament, which begins next Monday.
Singleton, Spann lead WH past Branford
Westies advance to SCC quarterfinals
By MIKE MADERA
(February 26, 2015) - The West Haven boys basketball team has been looking to get into a groove. They may have found that at just the right time.
Behind 22 points from Eric Singleton and 18 more from Aaron Spann, No. 6 West Haven won its fourth consecutive game with a 59-38 victory over No. 11 Branford in the opening round of the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament at West Haven High Thursday evening.
Eric Singleton, seen here against Lyman Hall, scored 22 points against Branford, February 26, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The win helped West Haven improve to 12-9 and set up a quarterfinal match up against third-seeded Career at Branford High on Saturday at 4:15 p.m.
Branford opened the contest with a 12-2 run, but before the first half was over, West Haven turned the game around with a 27-4 run to take a 29-16 lead at the half.
Spann and Jason Frazer had the big shots in the opening half as a Spann bucket gave West Haven a 19-14 advantage and a 3-pointer a short time later by Frazer increased the margin to 22-14.
After Branford got within 10 points, West Haven never slowed down in the fourth quarter, using a 20-9 advantage to pull away with the win.
Aaron Spann, seen here against Lyman Hall, scored 18 points in a win over Branford, February 26, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Maurice Jones and Frazer each scored six points, while Taylor Greene had four and Thomas Brim three. Kory King led Branford with 13 points and Joe Carbone had 11 in the loss for Branford.
Westies defeat Lyman Hall
Jones, Spann key victory as WH improves to 11-9
By MATT CILBRITH
(February 23, 2015) - Focus. That’s what West Haven players and coaches say the Blue Devils need to do in order to win. The Westies did so Monday night against Lyman Hall in a 68-40 win at West Haven High.
“Coach Bos doesn’t give us a chance not to be focused,” said Thomas Brim. “Any deviation from our game plan is corrected immediately.”
It was also senior night, which meant five Blue Devils would be playing their final regular season home game of their high school career.
“It’s so bitter sweet,” said Brim. “We wanted to win obviously which we did. But just playing here for four years at West Haven has been amazing with coach Bosley and the guys that I came up playing with. I’ll take my experiences here throughout the rest of my life wherever I go.”
West Haven coach Harry Bosley said it has been great to see his group of seniors come together over the course of the year and he is happy to win for them on this night.
“We were a lot more focused in the second half,” said Bosley. “There was a lot of excitement early in the game because it is senior night. In the second half, we focused as a team and played good defense and moved the ball well.”
The Westies’ lack of focus in the first half can be seen in their three-point shooting. West Haven missed all four of its three-point attempts in the first quarter and chucked up 11 shots from beyond the arc in the second quarter, only knocking down three of them.
With all of those missed shots, the Blue Devils were still able to go into the half with a 28-16 lead over the Trojans mainly because the West Haven defense held Lyman Hall to just five points in the second quarter.
Senior forward Maurice Jones had a big first half for the Blue Devils, scoring nine points. He would finished tied for the team-high in points with fellow senior Aaron Spann, both finishing with 14 points.
Maurice Jones, seen here in an earlier season photo, had 14 points in a win over Lyman Hall, February 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Bosley’s team got focused in the locker room at the half and came out with 22 points in the third quarter, giving them a 50-28 lead going into the final eight minutes.
Brim added much more offense after the half. After only scoring two points in the first half, he put up 10 in the final half of the game.
The seniors would get some time to rest at the end of the game as the team rolled onto victory, finishing the regular season with an 11-9 record. This win made it three in a row for the Westies, and five wins in the final seven games of the season.
“Having a team come together and end the season strong is something I have hoped for, for a long time,” said Bosley. “Having this team gel at the end of the season will help with the upcoming games because there will be much more pressure as we enter a do or die situation,
West Haven's first round opponent has yet to be determined as teams are still finishing the regular season. The first round of the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament will be Thursday, February 26.
Frazer leads Westies past East Haven
WH wins in Spann's return
By MATT CILBRITH
(February 20, 2015) - The return of leading scorer Aaron Spann fueled the West Haven boys basketball team to a big victory over East Haven, 77-47, Friday night at West Haven High School. Spann had been sidelined with a fractured wrist for the past seven games, in which the Westies were able to go 4-3.
“I felt fine back on the court tonight,” said Spann, who came up with 17 points despite not playing any minutes in the first quarter. “I had to be tough and play for my teammates.”
The Blue Devils (10-9) had a great night all around and did not wait long to get started. Pressuring East Haven with a full court press, the team came up with three steals in the first minute and a half and led 8-0 before the Yellow Jackets knew what hit them.
But, quickly Nick Durso took control for East Haven and came up with two steals of his own and five points in the next couple of minutes to narrow the West Haven lead to 10-7. That didn’t stop the Blue Devils completely as they would close out the first quarter strong, leading 19-11.
“We absolutely were able to play our game tonight,” said West Haven head coach Harry Bosley. “We applied pressure, forced some turnovers, and moved the ball really well which got us into a rhythm. We were able to get into a rhythm to start the game tonight and the last game against Notre Dame (West Haven) which I think is really important.”
Spann made his impact as soon as he checked into the game, scoring the first points of the second quarter, knocking down a three.
Jason Frazer followed that up with a three of his own, which was just a warm-up for him on the night. Not only did Frazer knock down two more shots from beyond the arc in the second quarter, but he would knock down three more in the game giving him a total of six three-pointers and a team high of 18 points.
Jason Frazer, seen here earlier in the season, scored 18 points against East Haven, February 20, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Getting Aaron (Spann) back helps so much because he is a threat,” said Bosley. “So now teams have to worry about Aaron. They have to worry about Jason (Frazer) and it opens up opportunities. Taylor Greene had 10 assists tonight and did a great job distributing the ball.”
The Blue Devils went into the half up 20 points, leading the Yellow Jackets 37-17. Durso did all he could for East Haven, as he scored 10 points in the third quarter and finished with a game-high of 22 points.
West Haven’s offense never slowed down, scoring 20 points in each of the final two quarters, to roll past East Haven by 30 points.
“It’s great to come back and play in our final two games getting ready for the playoffs,” said Spann. “We are a lower seed right now so we know we are going to have to play a good team with a high seed.”
Bosley said he was very pleased to see his team play well tonight with only one more game remaining next Monday night at home against Lyman Hall before the SCC tournament.
“We are really starting to come together as a team right now,” said Bosley. “And I think this is the best time to start heating up, right before the tournament.”
With all of the SCC teams wrapping up in the next week, this win tonight and a win Monday are very important to ensure the Blue Devils the highest seed possible come tournament time.
West Haven defeats Green Knights
Westies use quick start to defeat Notre Dame
By MIKE MADERA
(February 17, 2015) - West Haven’s outside sharp shooter Jason Frazer did not score much Tuesday evening. The basket he did sink proved to be the biggest of the game.
With his team clinging to a 5-point lead after being up 21 points, Frazer drained a 3-pointer with 2 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to help lift West Haven to a 52-39 Southern Connecticut Conference Quinnipiac Division victory over the Green Knights at Joe Tonelli Court.
Frazer’s bucket came at just the right time as the Westies went eight consecutive possessions without a bucket and watched as a Ben Bagnoli basket got the Green Knights within five points. West Haven then hit 9 of 11 free throws down the stretch, 8 from Taylor Greene, to seal the win.
“It was a momentum swing for us,” Frazer said of his 3-pointer. “It was a big basket. They had come back, but we were able to play good defense at the end. We just came together before the game and said we had to play team basketball. We played a good team game tonight.”
Frazer’s team came out of the gates on fire as the Westies held Notre Dame to just 12 first half points, six in each quarter. The West Haven defense forced the action and the Westies, behind 6 points from Eric Singleton, led 18-6 after one quarter.
When Thomas Brim drained a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter, a dominant eight minutes had West Haven rolling. A pair of 3-pointers by Tehran Tripp gave West Haven a 26-8 lead.
“I thought we came out soft defensively,” Notre Dame coach Jason Shea said after his team fell to 9-9. “The guys might have gotten caught up in the gym being packed. It was the first time in a while it has been like that. Some of the younger guys may have been a little wide-eyed. We were a step slow. We were tentative on offense and we did not execute.”
While the Green Knights, who were one of the hottest teams in the area with wins over Hamden and Xavier, came out flat, West Haven coach Harry Bosley was thrilled with his team’s first half.
“The guys played together,” Bosley said after his team improved to 9-9. “We have been preaching togetherness. We had a great first half. Everyone did what they were supposed to do. We got that big shot from Jason Frazer and I thought that was the key. We hit our free throws. Taylor Greene hit all of his at the end. I am very happy with the win.”
Bosley could not have been happy with the way the second half began as a 21-point lead was shaved to 33-18 after two quick baskets from Karim Cisse. When Singleton picked up his fourth foul 1:36 into the third quarter, a scoring threat was taken out of play for the Westies.
The Green Knights capitalized, going on an 18-7 run which concluded with a pair of 3-pointers by Bagnoli, the latter at the buzzer to cut the West Haven lead to 40-30 after three quarters.
“We knew it was going to happen,” Bosley said of Notre Dame’s run. “It was a long half and we expected them to make a run. We have to be more disciplined though.”
A bucket by Cisse and another by Bagnoli got the Green Knights within 40-35, but Notre Dame never got closer, despite holding West Haven without a field goal for over five minutes.
“We had it down to 40-35 at one point in the fourth,” Shea said. “We had a couple of good looks and opportunities, but we could not get within one possession. When you are down 20 points, it takes a lot to come back and you can’t make any mistakes.”
Greene then put the game away, hitting eight consecutive free throws to give West Haven a 49-35 lead.
“I thought Maurice Jones executed well in the first half and he got to the basket,” Bosley said. “Tysean Wooten rebounded very well. It was a team effort.”
Greene led West Haven with 15 points, Maurice Jones added 12 and Singleton, Tysean Wooten and Tehran Tripp each scored 6 points.
Bagnoli led the Green Knights with 23 points and Cisse added 12 for Notre Dame.
Prep too much for Westies
Jesuits cruise to 71-53 win over WH
By MIKE MADERA
(February 13, 2015) - The West Haven boys basketball team was well aware of the talent Fairfield Prep has on its roster. Playing a solid three quarters the last time the two teams met, the Jesuits used a strong fourth quarter to take home the victory.
Fairfield Prep did not need to wait until the fourth quarter in the second contest as the Jesuits scored early and often, defeating the Westies 71-53 in Fairfield Friday evening. With the loss, West Haven fell to 8-9 on the season.
Eric Singleton (5) and Taylor Greene (3), seen here earlier in the season, combined for 17 points, but it was not enough as West Haven fell to Fairfield Prep, February 13, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Jesuits again proved tough to defend as they had four players in double figures, led by Rich Kelly with 20 points. Ryan Foley had 15 points, and Patrick Harding and John Kelly each scored 10.
West Haven saw a glimpse of the Fairfield Prep offense in the first quarter as the Jesuits scored 21 points in the first eight minutes and led by 11 points. West Haven got going offensively in the second quarter, but the Jesuits continued to score, taking a 41-26 lead at the half.
The 15-point deficit was too much for West Haven to overcome although the Westies held the Jesuits to 13 third quarter points, trailing 54-41.
Jason Frazer led the Westies with 15 points on five 3-pointers, giving Frazer 47 three-pointers on the season. Taylor Greene scored 11 points and Tysean Wooten added 10 in the loss.
The wide open contest saw only 13 combined free throws from both teams in the game.
Win over Lyman Hall puts Westies in postseason
By MIKE MADERA
(February 11, 2015) - Just one day after a slow start cost the West Haven basketball team against Hamden, the Westies were not going to let that happen again. Getting out to a quick start and leading by 15 points at the half, West Haven picked up its eighth win of the season and qualified for the postseason with a 61-38 victory over Lyman Hall in Wallingford Wednesday evening.
Junior Jason Frazer continued his torrid season as he drained six more 3-pointers to bring his season total to 42. Frazer finished with a game-high 18 points as he was on fire from the outside.
Jason Frazer, seen here earlier in the season, nailed six 3-pointers and led the Westies with 18 points in a win over Lyman Hall, February 11, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The West Haven defense was on its game, allowing double digits in points in just the fourth quarter when the game was out of reach. The Westies (8-8) held Lyman Hall to just five points in the first quarter, eight in the second and nine in the third.
West Haven led 12-5 after one quarter and 28-13 at the half. When the Westies went on a 20-9 run in the third quarter, they led 48-22.
With the game in hand, coach Harry Bosley finally got a chance to rest some players with Fairfield Prep on deck for Friday evening.
West Haven had seven different players score, with Thomas Brim nailing two 3-pointers and finishing with 15 points.
Taylor Greene and Tehran Tripp each hit a pair of 3-pointers with Greene finishing with nine points and Tripp finishing with eight.
Chris Ames led Lyman Hall with 13 points,including two 3-pointers.
Slow start hurts Westies
WH falls to Hamden, 65-48
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (February 10, 2015) - After defeating one of the top teams in the state in Fairfield Prep, the Hamden basketball team found out wins are not going to be handed out immediately after in a close victory over Amity. Looking to make sure another win did not come with as much drama, Hamden set the tone early and often Tuesday evening.
Using a strong defensive effort which held the Westies to just one field goal and three first quarter points, the Green Dragons, No. 9 in the Register/GameTimeCt.com Top 10 poll, used a 22-3 run in the opening quarter to defeat the Westies 65-48 at West Haven High.
So much went right for the Green Dragons in the opening quarter as it almost looked too easy for them. Hamden, which improved to13-3, connected on four 3-pointers in the quarter, held West Haven to just a Thomas Brim field goal to get the Westies within 5-2 and used an 11-0 run to end the opening quarter.
That run by the Green Dragons was part of a 15-0 spurt which extended into the second quarter and gave the Green Dragons a 26-3 lead.
“We understand we have to come out ready to play,” Hamden senior guard Blair Johnson said after connecting on three 3-pointers in the opening quarter and finishing with 19 points. “We have to be mentally ready to go. This team has a lot of potential. It is all about coming to work every day, playing hard and being our best.”
Consecutive 3-pointers by Johnson gave the Green Dragons an 11-2 lead in the first quarter, before a bucket by C.J. Seaforth and another 3-pointer by Johnson extended the margin to 18-3.
“You have to give credit to Amity in what they did to us,” Hamden coach Jarrad Beck said of Hamden’s previous game. “They played very well and it was what they did which made us look like we did not play well. We need to understand we have to be mentally tougher after a big win like we had. That win (Fairfield Prep) was a big one because, yes the streak, but for us, it was also a division game. We have to understand we have gone from the hunter to the hunted.”
Trailing by 23 pints, the Westies mounted a comeback over two quarters which saw them get within 47-37 on an Eric Singleton basket on West Haven’s opening possession of the fourth quarter.
But, just as soon as the Westies started to get excited about drawing closer, another 3-pointer by Johnson put Hamden up 50-37 and sealed the Hamden win.
“We came out flat,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said after his team fell to 7-8. “We fought back, but I have to do something more to get these guys to play better in a big game at home. They bring that fear on. We have to have that focus where we are ready to play in the big games at home. We came back after that big win on Sunday. We started flat and you can’t do that.”
Taylor Greene got West Haven within 50-39 with a pair of free throws, but a basket by Dylan Noble and Johnson’s fifth 3-pointer of the game extended the margin to 55-39.
“Defense is our ally,” Beck said. “Our shots aren’t always going to fall. We want to force the play and get some easy baskets. Those easy baskets can help us and be the difference in the game. We can compete with any team if we bring the right intensity. But, we can also be beat if we don’t bring that intensity. We have to keep building.”
After the slow start, West Haven used a 15-6 run in the second quarter to get within 32-18 at the half. Junior Jason Frazer was the key as he nailed a pair of 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 26-11, before Greene’s 3-pointer at the end of the half cut the margin to 32-18 with 16 minutes to play.
“Our goal is to get into the (state) tournament,” Bosley said. “We need to win tomorrow. We have to move on, learn from this and get that win tomorrow.”
Noble scored 15 points, Andrew Rice added 13 and Christian Scott had 12 as part of four players in double figures for Hamden.
Greene led West Haven with 15 points, while Frazer and Singleton each scored 12 in the loss.
Westies defeat Sheehan
Quick start propels WH to win
By MIKE MADERA
(February 8, 2015) - The West Haven boys basketball team knows the importance of each game from here on out. Looking to qualify for the postseason, the Westies took one step towards accomplishing this with a 72-64 victory over Sheehan in Wallingford Sunday afternoon.
With the victory, West Haven improved to 7-7 and needs one more win to qualify for postseason action.
The Westies got offensive production from seven different players and saw three reach double digits. Taylor Greene led the way with 19 points, while Eric Singleton poured in 18 and Maurice Jones had 15.
West Haven won this game in the first half, taking advantage of a 14-4 run in the second quarter to turn the contest around. Leading by one point, West Haven stole the momentum by holding the Titans to just four points before the half, taking a 29-18 lead.
The Westies needed that run as the Titans were up to the task in the second half. After scoring less than 20 points in the first half, Sheehan nearly matched that total with 17 points in the third quarter, while pouring in 46 points in the second half.
The Titans were led by Brandon Rentas, who scored 25 points with three 3-pointers in the mix. Turner French added 14 points and Brad Landry scored 10 as the trio tried to bring the Titans back.
Sheehan hit on eight 3-pointers in the game, but was just 6 of 11 from the free throw line. West Haven was solid from the free throw line, connecting on 86% (18 of 21) of the shots
Xavier slips by Westies
Falcons hold off West Haven, 50-45
By MATT CILBRITH
(February 6, 2015) - Size and strength against speed and athleticism could describe the matchup between Xavier and West Haven which took place Friday night at West Haven High School.
The Falcons weigh in with four players 6-foot-4 inches or taller, against a smaller but quick Blue Devils team. Xavier imposed its size in the first half against the Westies, but the home team made a late push against the Falcons. West Haven came up just short with the game ending 50-45 in favor of Xavier.
“We did a variety of things on defense to beat them, but once they (Xavier) get into the paint, it’s hard to defend them,” said West Haven head coach Harry Bosley.
“Even with that, I felt that we squandered a few opportunities that we had that could have helped us beat them.”
Thomas Brim (12), seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies fell to Xavier, 50-45, February 6, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After the Falcons gained their biggest lead of the game, up 10 points a couple minutes into the fourth quarter, it looked to be all over for the Blue Devils. But, West Haven went on a 7-0 run over the next couple of minutes with two timely buckets from Thomas Brim, who finished the game with 10 points.
With the momentum on their side, the Blue Devils began to charge back, but would miss four three- point shots in the final three minutes of the game. This allowed Xavier to close out the game, knocking down just half of their six free throws down the stretch.
“We knew coming into this one that we had a size advantage over West Haven, and we took it to them inside early, but they really battled back especially in the fourth quarter,” said Xavier head coach Micahel Kohs. “We were up by ten early in the fourth and they came back and played us tough.”
In the first half, Xavier fed the big men Alex White, nine total points, and Kaleb Lutton, 14 total points, down low. Out of Xavier’s 22 first half points, four points came from the free throw line, the other 18 all came from high percentage shots in the paint.
Xavier went the entire game without making a shot from beyond the arc and only putting up a handful of them.
What didn’t help West Haven in the first half of the game was its poor three-point shooting. With Xavier clogging up the lanes, West Haven’s shooter Jason Frazer, Brim and Taylor Greene took a total of six three’s, and were only able to knock down one of them.
Frazer made three total three-point shots in the game and tied Greene with the team-high in total points with 11.
“West Haven is a difficult team to defend because they have quickness and can penetrate,” said Kohs. “But, on the other hand, they have some good shooters, especially Frazer and Brim. So, as soon as you take away the middle, they hit a couple three’s, and when you go out to guard that, they get to the basket.”
Bosley said Frazer has proven himself to be such a good long range shooter, the other teams have taken notice.
“When he gets going, he can really hit that shot,” said Bosley. “But everyone knows that now. So I have to get Jason to move a lot more and maybe set him some double screens so he can get that open look.”
Both of these teams came into this game with a win streak. West Haven’s three game streak was snapped, while the Falcons now extend their streak to six wins in a row.
West Haven will go on the road to face Sheehan Sunday afternoon at 2:15 p.m. at Sheehan High School.
Greene leads Westies by Law
Team-leading 18 points key to 52-40 win
By MATT CILBRITH
(January 30, 2015) - A big question for the Blue Devils coming into Friday night’s match up against Jonathan Law was who would step up to fill the void left by their leading scorer Aaron Spann, who sat out with a wrist injury.
Senior captain Thomas Brim was the answer for the Blue Devils in a big way, scoring nine points in the game, and leading the team on the defensive side of the ball, helping the Blue Devils squeak past the Lawmen 52-40.
"With Aaron (Spann) going down, we all have to step up our game, especially me being that this is my third year starting,” said Brim. “With Aaron, our leading scorer out, my team does a good job getting me some open looks to knock down shots, while still playing well defensively.”
Spann injured his right wrist in the Blue Devils’ last game against Guilford when going for a dunk on the fast break. West Haven head coach Harry Bosley expects Spann to be out about four weeks, which could be the rest of the regular season.
Bosley was pleased to see Brim come up big for his team.
“He really is the nucleus of our team," said Bosley. "He has to do multiple things on this team. He is really an intelligent player. Not only does he score, but defensively, every game, he is matched up against someone bigger than him so he has to play twice as hard.”
Brim and the Blue Devils saw a different Jonathan Law team this time around, opposed to the last time these two teams met when West Haven won pretty easily by 28 points. The Lawmen came out with a lot of intensity, full court press, fast ball movement on offense, and a ton of effort on defense.
After falling behind early to start the game, the Lawmen stormed back from being down 7-2, going on a 12-2 run to take a lead late in the first at 14-9.
The whole Law team was ignited with energy as the bench erupted when Justin McFadden knocked down his third consecutive shot at the tail end of that scoring run. McFadden dominated the scoring for the Lawmen scoring 20, half of the team’s total points.
“They came out with a lot of intensity,” said Taylor Greene, who led the Blue Devils in scoring with 18 points. “We didn’t play good defense in the first half.”
Greene knocked down a long shot from beyond the arc and Eric Singleton made an acrobatic play to sink a layup in the closing seconds of the first quarter to tie the game at 16-16.
Brim helped his team rally in the second quarter, scoring seven points and adding two steals and two blocks. Brim was the only Westie knocking down perimeter shots consistently as the team was just two of eight from three-point range in the first half. The Blue Devils led at the half 30-22.
The Lawmen charged back again in the third even though both teams had a hard time generating offense.
The big impact in the third quarter was Brim picking up his fourth foul with just about one minute remaining, causing him to go the bench until late in the fourth. Law outscored West Haven 8-5, only trailing 35-30 after three quarters of play.
The Westies got what they were looking for in the fourth, a big time three from their best three-point shooter, Jason Frazier, just a couple of minutes into the final frame, giving them a 38-32 lead.
After that, the Blue Devils went off as Greene and Singleton, who finished with 11 points, finally started to drive the lanes and draw some fouls to get to the free throw line. But, West Haven only made two out of seven free throws to start the fourth, leaving the window open for Law with the score 42-37 in favor of West Haven.
Singleton slammed that door shut with under two and a half minutes to play as he blew straight past Law’s full court press, going coast-to-coast on three straight possessions, putting up five points and giving the Westies a 47-37 lead.
Greene knocked down four more free throws to ice it for the Blue Devils.
“We were not focused tonight,” said Bosley. “Missing open three's and free throws down the stretch was our guys taking this team (Law) for granted and not being prepared. And the guys on the other side played great."
It may not have been pretty, but the Westies were able to extend their win streak to four games, winning five of the last six.
Things will not get any easier for the Westies as they will now have to find ways to win without their leading scorer.
Taylor Greene scores against Notre Dame, January 20, 2015. Double click to view full screen.
West Haven coach Harry Bosley gives instructions against Jonathan Law, January 30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
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Eric Singleton scores against Jonathan Law, December 23, 2014. Double click to view full screen. Video courtesy of Matt Cilbrith.
Thomas Brim scores against Notre Dame, January 20, 2015. Double click to view full screen.