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BOYS BASKETBALL 2019-2020
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Retired Numbers - Michael McMahon (Class of 1985) #31; Jerry Gambardella (Class of 2000) #21
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Westies fall to Law
West Haven loses opener 55-52
By MIKE MADERA
(December 21, 2019) - With plenty of optimism surrounding the West Haven boys basketball team, opening day could not get here fast enough for the Westies. Unfortunately for West Haven, the ending was not what the Westies were looking for.
In a tight contest, Jonathan Law had just enough at the end to defeat the Westies 55-52 in the season opener in Milford Saturday evening. Even at 20 at the half, Law took a 4-point lead to the final quarter.
The Westies connected on just one field goal in the first quarter, that coming from Javaun Cahoun. Three-pointers by Shea Sheffield and Tyrese Hargrove in the second quarter led to the halftime tie.
Sheffield added a pair of 3-pointers in the third, and two more in the fourth, but it was not enough for the Westies.
Sheffield led the Westies with 20 points, including five 3-pointers. Khalel Francis and Hargrove each had nine points, while Malcolm Duncanson finished with eight.
Westies top Weaver
Duncanson leads way in 73-55 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(December 23, 2019) - The West Haven boys basketball team picked up its first win of the season in impressive style Monday evening. With eight players in the scoring column, and three in double figures, West Haven defeated Weaver 73-55 at West Haven High.
Malcolm Duncanson led the way with 17 points, Marlin Walker had 11, and Khalel Francis scored 10 in the victory. Laron Holmes and Mustapha Baio each scored nine for West Haven.
With a four-point game at the half led by West Haven 37-33, the Westies took control with a 20-10 run in the third quarter. Duncanson had seven points in the quarter, Francis added six, and Devin Clark-Harrington had four of his eight points in the quarter.
West Haven (1-1) led 16-15 after one quarter behind a balanced attack as six different players scored. Duncanson led the way with four points, while Holmes and Baio each had three in the quarter.
Westies top Career
WH improves to 2-1 with 65-63 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(December 27, 2019) - The West Haven boys basketball team improved to 2-1 with a 65-63 victory over Career. The win was West Haven's second in a row,
Read about the victory from Joe Morelli of GameTimeCt below:.
Tyrese Hargrove and Malcolm Duncanson had 14 and 12 points, respectively, for West Haven, which held off Career despite missing nine free throws in the fourth quarter.
“That made the game harder than it needed to be,” West Haven coach Tyrese Sullivan said. “Always happy about a win, way we won no, not happy, thought we made a few silly plays down the stretch.”
The game was tied at 43 heading into the fourth quarter. A 16-7 run gave the Westies (2-1) some breathing room.
West Haven led 63-55 with under a minute left, but missed several free throws. Jose Guzman-Ortiz hit back-to-back 3-pointers, the last with a eight-tenths of a second remaining,to make it 65-63. West Haven was fouled with no time showing on the clock — but it’s the horn that signifies the game being over.
The Westies missed another free throw, but there wasn’t nearly enough time for the Panthers (0-3) to get a shot off. West Haven shot 13 of 30 from the line overall.
“We didn’t execute down the stretch. I’ll take the responsibility for that as the coach,” Sullivan said. “I have to prepare them better and we need to keep our continuity. That’s on me.”
Saveeon Avery and Damon Williams both had 19 points while Guzman-Ortiz added 16 to lead Career.
Green Knights top Westies
WH improves to 2-1 with 65-63 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(January 3, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team felt as if it was up to the test entering Friday evening's contest with cross-town rival Notre Dame. Unfortunately for the Westies, Notre Dame was too much to handle in a 76-66 Notre Dame victory at Alumni Hall at Notre Dame.
Read about the contest below from Sean Patrick Bowley of GameTimeCt.
By Sean Patrick Bowley
Notre Dame-West Haven’s boys basketball team faced, perhaps, its biggest test of the young season when it played host to crosstown rival West Haven and its new coach Ty Sullivan.
Despite missing its starting and backup forward, which allowed Notre Dame to just about have its way inside for most of the game, the Westies still proved a formidable opponent, nearly fighting all the way back from a 21-point, second-half deficit.
But Notre Dame has Zach Laput, who poured in 26 points and helped the Green Knights beat back this challenge, 76-66, at Alumni Hall’s Tonelli Court Friday night.
“We lost a bit of composure,” said Notre Dame coach Jason Shea, whose No. 6-ranked team improved to 5-0. “But we were able to tough it out. I think Laput getting to the basket was a big key and Ben (Carroll) early in side in the second half. I thought that was the difference in the game.”
Carroll, Notre Dame’s junior forward, added 13 points and Kairon Hooks and Marquise McDuffie combined for 21 as the Green Knights built a 10-point halftime lead and a 21-point advantage toward the end of the third quarter.
But West Haven quickly turned things around. Led by forward Laron Holmes’ 15 points and 14 from guard Shea Sheffield, the Westies whittled that lead down to a mere six points.
Sheffield, who’d hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter, dropped his fourth 3-pointer of the game (and West Haven’s seventh 3 of the night) to pull within 61-55 with just over 5 minutes remaining.
But Laput immediately countered with a basket and the foul to push the lead back to nine. West Haven never truly threatened again.
“It was one of those games you wish you had three more minutes in,” said Sullivan, whose team fell to 2-2. “Maybe the outcome might have been a little different.”
Laput scored 10 of his points in the final quarter, including hitting on four of five foul shots down the stretch. Overall, Notre Dame made 14 of 19 free throws. Hooks had eight rebounds.
“We played hard, but we’ve just got to be better with the ball,” said Laput, who also had six assists and was being watched by both Brown and Sacred Heart University. “We were too sloppy. Film session on Sunday’s probably going to be rough for us. But it’s fine. A win is a win.”
It didn’t help that West Haven was playing without 6-foot-5 senior center Randall Gonzalez, who injured his shoulder during a 65-63 victory over Career the week before. Sullivan said he’ll be out for much of the remainder of the regular season.
“We were without our starting center and our backup center tonight. So size definitely hurt us,” Sullivan said. “But overall, I’m proud of my guys. They played hard. I think this was maybe one of the closest games they’ve played this year — they score a lot of points. We’re going to get better.”
Malcom Duncanson finished with 10 points and Khalel Francis had nine as West Haven’s guards often gave Notre Dame fits throughout.
“It’s just a matter about getting better,” Shea said. “Like I told the guys, it’s nice to win and learn from wins. But we’re certainly going to spend a lot of time on film. This can’t be who we are, we have to get a lot better.”
Back in the win Column
WH tops Cheshire
By MIKE MADERA
(January 7, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team got back to its winning ways with a 60-56 victory over Cheshire Tuesday evening at West Haven High. With the win, West Haven improved to 3-2 on the year.
West Haven had four players in double figures, led by Malcolm Duncanson and Marlin Walker with 14 points each. Shea Sheffield scored 13 points and Laron Holmes scored 10.
Cheshire jumped out to an early 19-9 lead after one quarter, but the Westies held the Rams to just 16 points over the next two quarters. West Haven hit on only three field goals in the opening quarter, before going on an 18-7 run in the second quarter for a 27-26 lead at the half.
Walker and Sheffield each scored five points in the quarter, while Duncanson added four to help turn the game around.
West Haven pulled away with another big run, this one 19-9 in the third quarter for a 46-35 lead. Holmes drained three field goals, Duncanson had five points, and Sheffield drained a big 3-pointer.
The Westies were outscored 21-14 in the final quarter, with all but five points coming from the free throw line.
Westies top Prep
Big second half key to win
By MIKE MADERA
(January 9, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team won its second straight contest and improved to 4-2 on the year with a 70-61 road victory over Fairfield Prep Thursday evening.
Laron Holmes led three players in double figures with 15 points, while Malcolm Duncanson added 11, and Marlin Walker had 10.
Despite leading after one quarter of play, led by Duncanson’s five points, the Westies trailed at the half by six.
West Haven’s offense awakened in the second half, including the third quarter when Walker drained a pair of key 3-pointers and Duncanson and Tyrese Hargrove each scored four points.
The Westies closed out the game in the fourth quarter draining ten free throws, getting a big 3-pointer from Shea Sheffield, and nine points from Holmes.
Westies rally past Hall
Duncanson leads WH to 63-61 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(January 13, 2020) - With its third straight victory, the West Haven boys basketball team improved to 5-2 on the season Monday evening. West Haven’s latest victory came at Hall, where the Westies posted a 57-51 victory.
The Westies had three players in double figures, led by Marlin Walker with 18 points. Malcolm Duncanson and Laron Holmes each scored 15 points, with Walker draining four 3-pointers. Shea Sheffield finished with eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers.
West Haven trailed 14-12 after one quarter despite six points on a pair of 3-pointers by Marlin Walker, and 23-22 at the half.
West Haven got things going in the third quarter to take a 41-38 lead with a 19-15 advantage. Duncanson had nine of his points in the quarter. West Haven hit seven free throws in the final quarter to pull out the six-point victory.
Westies run past Law
WH improves to 6-3 with win
By MIKE MADERA
(January 17, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team has won four of its last five contests. The fourth win came Friday evening in a 58-43 home victory over Jonathan Law.
Read about the win from Joe Morelli and GameTimeCT below.
Ty Sullivan knows full well the importance of his West Haven High boys basketball team faring well in this stretch of games.
With a loss to Amistad in its rear-view mirror, and games next week against SCC contenders Hamden and Notre Dame-West Haven, the focus Friday night was on Law, and a victory was much in need for the Westies’ program.
West Haven got the victory it needed, defeating Law 58-43 at home.
“This one was very important because they beat us to start the season, so we definitely owed them,” junior captain Malcolm Duncanson said. “We have a big week next week.”
Said Sullivan: “It was almost a make-or-break game after the last two, Amistad and Hall. I don’t believe we deserved to win that game (at Hall, 63-61) and Amistad was another poor showing in front of our home crowd. But I’m proud of our guys, they showed some resilience tonight.”
The Westies (6-3) took the lead in the second quarter, took control in the third quarter, then spread out Law in the fourth and went to work to finish the Lawmen off.
“A couple of our guys gave maximum effort, but that’s not enough for us,” Law coach Jamie Anderson said. “We need eight or nine guys to give us maximum effort every time they are on the floor.”
As Duncanson noted, Law won the first matchup between the two SCC schools 55-52 back in the season opener on Dec. 21. As Anderson noted, “We caught them at the right time (back in December).”
Antonio Brown led Law with 12 points while Noah Tutlis added 10. West Haven was able to bottle up everyone else, including senior guard Diontae Eady, who finished with four points.
“We challenged guys like Malcolm and Shea (Sheffield) that ‘If you want to be considered one of the top players in the state, you have to step up to the challenge against top players. I feel like (Amistad’s) Eli Blackwell won the last battle. I challenged Malcolm personally to step up to Eady tonight and I think he did a good job.”
Eady sat out the first quarter for what Anderson called “a violation of team policy.” Eady started the second quarter, but he struggled to get into the flow and took some turns on the bench the rest of the way.
“When the bell rings, you have to be ready to go. We didn’t have that from every guy,” Anderson said. “I couldn’t put my finger on why they weren’t.”
Law dominated the first quarter with a 10-0 run to take a 14-4 lead.
Law (6-3) expanded the lead to 17-4 early in the second quarter — then West Haven began its rally. All told, it was a 21-2 run for the Westies, establishing a 25-19 lead.
“Coach had faith in us,” Duncanson said. “We knew shots would fall as long as we stayed aggressive and stayed confident.”
The Westies got up by 10 at one point in the third quarter, then into double digits for good early in the fourth after spreading out Law. Duncanson had seven points and a pair of assists in the final quarter.
Shea Sheffield and Laron Holmes scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Westies.
When everything clicking together, it frees everybody up,” Sullivan said. “Our shooters start to hit shots, the lane starts to get wider. … We can make this good win turn into a great week ahead of us. That’s what we are looking forward to.”
Notre Dame nips Westies
WH rally falls just short
By MIKE MADERA
(January 24, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team trailed Notre Dame by 20 points, before mounting a late rally. West Haven was within one possession of a stunning comeback, before falling to the Green Knights, 67-61 Friday evening.
Read about the game from Joe Morelli of GameTimeCt.com.
WEST HAVEN — Friday’s city boys basketball rivalry had a similar feel — and outcome — to the first matchup three weeks ago.
Notre Dame-West Haven led comfortably for much of this game, yet couldn’t put West Haven away. The Blue Devils fought all the way back to get within three with less than a minute remaining.
But the fourth-ranked Green Knights were able to close their rivals out on the road, 67-61, to remain undefeated.
“This happened the last time we played West Haven,” said guard Brett Hutchison, who finished with 18 points for Notre Dame. “We were up a lot, they pressured us and we almost folded. But we eventually come together as a team and get it done.”
Notre Dame (11-0) led by 18 (58-40) early in the fourth quarter and by 17 (60-43) with 5:09 left. But it had been a sloppy quarter by both teams, having combined for 13 turnovers in the quarter to that point.
Notre Dame ended up committing an uncharacteristic 13 turnovers in the final quarter as the Green Knights struggled against West Haven’s full-court pressure.
“If a team pressuring you, it presents opportunities for easier scores,” Notre Dame coach Jason Shea said. “We lost our mental edge in the fourth quarter. We got too complacent and I give them a lot of credit. They did the same thing the last time. They brought their energy up a couple of notches and forced us into some uncomfortable situations.”
West Haven slowly worked its way back into the contest with a 16-4 run, capped by Shea Sheffield’s 3-point shot with 56.6 seconds left to get the Westies (6-5) within 64-61.
Both teams then missed a pair of free throws and the score remained the same with 22 seconds left. Then Notre Dame played keep away against West Haven’s press, wasting almost 12 seconds before Hutchison was fouled. He made one free throw to increase Notre Dame’s lead to four.
“The play was if the big man came up, foul,” West Haven coach Ty Sullivan said. “We were not fouling (Zach) Laput. Laput had it, the trap was supposed to come, it didn’t come, then he passed it to the other guy we didn’t want to foul (Hutchinson). Things like that, they happen. I can live with that.”
Sheffield missed a 3-point shot and Laput (21 points) was fouled with 1.9 seconds left and made two free throws to seal the win.
“We got a little bit closer this time,” Sullivan said. “I thought (Notre Dame) got a little tight on their end. I felt like we had them where we wanted them. … I think we we earned some respect, but that’s not enough. I want to win these games.”
It ended up being a pair of close wins this week for Notre Dame, which won by one at Fairfield Prep Tuesday (Prep knocked off No. 5 Hillhouse Friday). But it’s two road wins in what is proving to be a deep Southern Connecticut Conference.
“That’s exactly what we expect on the road against two rivals who are game to play us,” Shea said.
Malcolm Duncanson had a monster game, scoring 29 points to keep West Haven with a pulse before the team stormed back.
“The season starts in March. These games are learning experiences for us,” Sullivan said. “I love it. Playoff atmosphere games in December and January. We’re going to be ready in March.”
Hutchison came out firing against the West Haven zone. He hit the game’s first three shots, all from 3-point territory, to give Notre Dame the 9-0 lead and force West Haven to use its first timeout less than 3 minutes in.
“I credit it to my teammates,” Hutchison said. “We are very unselfish. Zach obviously can attack the lane very well, but if he sees me in the corner on the wing or anyone, he is kicking it (to the wide-open shooter) and they are going to fall.”
Sullivan had to burn another one timeout before the first quarter ended.
“We let them jump on us early. That’s been an issue with us all season, our first quarters, not attacking the game plan,” Sullivan said. “I believe we lost the game in the first quarter. … We blew a few (defensive) assignments early and it was costly.”
Westies top North Haven
WH improves to 7-4
By MIKE MADERA
(January 28, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team topped North Haven 52-46 Tuesday evening at North Haven High. With the victory, West Haven improved to 7-4.
The Westies had three different players in double figures as Marlin Walker led the way with 13 points. Malcolm Duncanson added 12 points and Shea Sheffield had 11.
The Westies took control of the contest, leading by nine points after one quarter, and 33-20 at the half. Sheffield led the offense in the first quarter with five points, including a 3-pointer, while Duncanson and Will Young each scored four points.
West Haven increased the lead to 13 points in the second quarter. Duncanson scored six points, while Randy Gonzalez had five points in the quarter. Walker scored eight of his points in the second quarter as the Westies kept the lead at double digits.
Westies roll past Foran
Defense key to victory
By MIKE MADERA
(January 30, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team rolled to a 67-33 victory over Foran Thursday evening. With the second straight win, West Haven improved to 8-4.
West Haven held Foran to single digits in each of the first three quarters, including just a pair of field goals in the opening quarter. The Lions hit on just a 3-pointer and a bucket in the second quarter, before hitting three field goals and a 3-pointer in the third.
Shea Sheffield led the way with 26 points, including six 3-pointers. Laron Holmes added seven points, Malcolm Duncanson scored six, and Marlin Walker, Khalel Francis, Manny Belcher, and Randy Gonzalez each scored five points in the win.
West Haven put the game away early, taking a 12-4 lead after one quarter, and a 27-9 lead to the half. When the Westies stormed out with a 21-9 run in the third quarter, the lead was 48-18 after three quarters of play.Sheffield drained a pair of 3-pointers in the opening quarter and Duncanson scored four points, while Sheffield added four more points in the second quarter. Sheffield continued his torrid shooting with 10 points in the third quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Westies top Fairfield Prep
WH wins third straight
By MIKE MADERA
(February 3, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 74-67 home victory over Fairfield Prep Monday evening. With the third straight win, West Haven moved to 9-4 on the year.
The Westies were on target from the start, leading 21-11 after one quarter, and 39-23 at the half. When the Westies went on a 17-12 run in the third quarter, the lead climbed to 56-35.
Prep went on a 33-18 run behind 16 fourth quarter points from Logan Corey, but it was not enough to catch the Westies.
Malcolm Duncanson led West Haven with 24 points, Khalel Francis scored 11, and Marlin Walker added eight in the victory. Manny Belcher scored seven, and Laron Holmes and Randy Gonzalez each added six in the win.Duncanson led the way in the opening quarter with eight points, while Walker scored five points, and Holmes added four. Francis, Belcher, and Moustapha Baio each scored four points in the second quarter, while Duncanson added seven points in the third quarter, and six in the fourth.
Westies tip Career in OT
WH wins fifth straight
By MIKE MADERA
(February 11, 2020) - The West Haven boys basketball team won its fifth game in a row and improved to 11-4 on the year with a 55-52 overtime win over Career Tuesday evening in West Haven.
Malcolm Duncanson and Shea Sheffield led the way with 20 and 14 points, respectively.
West Haven trailed 19-17 in the first quarter despite five points from Sheffield and four from Duncanson. Duncanson scored six points in the second quarter as West Haven trailed 32-31 at the half.
Eight points by Duncanson in the third helped West Haven take a 44-41 lead, West Haven managed only a pair of 3-pointers by Sheffield in the fourth as the game went to overtime.Career managed just two points in the overtime, while Moustapha Baio hit three free throws and Duncanson hit two for the Westies in the extra session.
Westies defeat Hamden
Duncanson leads WH to sixth straight win
By MIKE MADERA
(February 14, 2020) - Every team wants to be peaking as the postseason approaches. The West Haven boys basketball team is doing exactly that.
With a 55-44 victory over Hamden, the Westies won their sixth in a row and improved to 12-4 on the year. Malcolm Duncanson led the way with 17 points, while Khalel Francis had 12.
West Haven set the tone of the game early, taking a 21-11 lead in the first quarter as Duncanson scored seven points, Shea Sheffield drained a pair of 3-pointersand Manny Belcher scored four points.
Hamden rallied to get within 29-25 at the half, but the Westies were up 11 at the end of the third quarter as Francis scored six and Duncanson drained eight of the team’s 16 points in the quarter.