Westies fall in Finale
Season ends with 56-38 loss to SHA
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 15, 2016) -
 All season long, the West Haven girls basketball team has had its offensive struggles. The pattern did not change in the season finale against Sacred Heart Academy. 
Without a player in double digits and struggling to score in the second and third quarters, West Haven fell to Sacred Heart Academy 56-38 Monday evening in Hamden. The loss ended West Haven's season with a 2-18 record. 
"We didn't stick to our fundamentals and got killed on the boards," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "We gave up way too many offensive rebounds, giving them three or four more opportunities each possession. We did not box out at all and played with a defeated demeanor. I love these girls. They are a wonderful, great group of kids and it's sad not to be able to spend so much time with them anymore. But, now during the off season is when they need to commit and make themselves better."
West Haven struggled in both the second third quarters, combining for just 13 points. Trailing by four points after one quarter and 26-19 at the half, the Westies had a chanceto get back in the game. That chance slipped away when West Haven managed just five points in the third quarter to trail 40-24 after three quarters of play. 
Jaymesha Sanders led West Haven with eight points, Amanda Carr had seven and Marianna Kalander scored six in the loss for West Haven. 

Westies fall to Tigers
Mercy cruises to 62-38 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 12, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team hoped to be in striking distance with Mercy as the second half began. Playing against a team with only one loss, the Westies knew this was not going to be an easy task. 
That task became even harder when the Tigers jumped out o a quick start and never looked back in a 62-38 win over West Haven at West Haven High Friday evening. With the loss, West Haven fell to 2-17 on the year, while the Tigers improved to 18-1. 
"I am very proud of the effort and how hard the girls played," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "They competed and gave everything they had and that's all you can ask for when playing a team at that caliber in Mercy. They are number two in the state for a reason." 
Knowing they could not afford a slow start, West Haven looked to match Mercy early on. That never materialized as the Westies scored just nine points in the opening quarter and trailed by 12 points. 
Mercy never slowed down, again holding West Haven to another nine points in the second quarter, taking a 40-18 lead after 16 minutes of play. The 22-point deficit was too much for the Westies to overcome despite playing better in the second half. 
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 15 points. Natalia Frazer added seven points, Amanda Carr scored six and Lauren Lewis hit West Haven's lone 3-pointer on the night. 
The Tigers had three players in double figures and were led by Destine Perry with 14 points. 

Westies fall on Senior Night
Lack of offense hurts in loss to Crusaders
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 11, 2016) -
 West Haven girls basketball coach Jessica Moriarty was looking for her team to get off to a solid start to its game Thursday evening. Unfortunately for Moriarty and the Westies, that start did not last as the Westies were defeated 37-24 on Senior Night at West Haven High. The loss was West Haven's fifth in a row, dropping the team to 2-16 on the year. 
"We didn't play a complete game tonight." Moriarty said. "We played well in spurts. We didn't have an aggressive offensive mindset and it showed, shooting 8-of-45 from the floor. We played okay defensively, but mental lapses really hurt us tonight. Lack of experience and depth hurt us tonight."  

















West Haven fell against Lauralton Hall, February 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies, who shot just 18% (8-45) from the floor in the game, scored nine points in the opening quarter, but only scored 15 the rest of the way. While the Westies trailed by only four points after the first quarter, they managed just one point on a free throw in the second quarter. 
The lack of offense, in which the Westies were outscored 9-1, put the Westies behind 22-10 at the half. The Westies never recovered, scoring only 14 points in the second half, including just six in the fourth quarter.






















 

Amanda Carr, seen here against Shelton, and the Westies fell against Lauralton Hall, February 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Sophomore Amanda Carr led the Westies with 11 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Carr's shots from beyond the arc were just two of three made on the night by the Westies as Caitlyn Arpino sank the other. 

























Kaitlynn Cooke, seen here against Shelton, and the Westies fell against Lauralton Hall, February 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Carr was the only player in double figures for the Westies as six other players combined for 13 points. 
Trish Gildea led Lauralton Hall with 12 points. 

Hamden too quick for Westies 
Slow start key in 48-34 loss for Westies
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 6, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team has been hurt by slow starts throughout the season. Saturday afternoon at Hamden was no different. 
Scoring only two points and trailing by 18 after one quarter of play, the Westies fell to Hamden 48-34 at Hamden High. With the loss, West Haven's fourth in a row, the Westies fell to 2-15 on the season. 



























Keegan Riccio (20), seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies fell against Hamden, February 6, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven scored only 10 points in the first half, trailed by 16 points after two quarters, and never got back in the game. Despite holding a 16-12 edge over Hamden in the third quarter, the Westies trailed 38-26 after three quarters of play. 
Jaymesha Sanders, West Haven's team leader in points this season, led the team with eight points on the day. Diamond Dixon scored seven points and Natalia Frazer scored five, with each draining a 3-pointer on the day. 

Westies fall to Cross
WH drops to 2-14 with third straight loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 3, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team was hoping to finish the season on a high note. Wednesday evening's loss to Wilbur Cross will not help the Westies in that cause. 
Despite a solid outing by Jaymesha Sanders, West Haven could not come back in a 47-44 loss to Wilbur Cross at West Haven High. With its third straight loss, West Haven fell to 2-14 on the year. 
"This was a really tough loss," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "The kids played extremely hard. Our youth and inexperience in tight games showed. We had a couple of mental lapses which cost us the game. We were up four with a minute to go and we had some costly turnovers." 

















Jaymesha Sanders, seen here against Shelton, and the Westies fell against Wilbur Cross, February 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Sanders was on fire in the game, scoring 25 of the team's 44 points. Unfortunately for the Westies, four other players combined to score just 19 points as the Westies could not overcome a slow start in the game. 
"Jaymesha played unbelievable, but we rely on her way too much to rebound the ball," Moriarty said of Sanders who had 19 rebounds. "We need others to step up and help her in that department particularly, and provide some type of productivity on the court."
West Haven scored just 16 points in the first half, including only five in the second quarter. Despite the sluggish offense, the Westies still went to the half even at 16.  


























Amanda Carr (10), seen here against Shelton, and the Westies fell against Wilbur Cross, February 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Unfortunately for West Haven, Cross held a 17-14 advantage on the scoreboard in the third quarter, which proved to be the difference in the game. Cross held a 31-28 second half advantage in the win. 
The Westies did not get much going from the outside as the team hit on just one 3-pointer, that coming from Kaitlynn Cooke, who finished with seven points.  






















West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty and the Westies fell against Wilbur Cross, February 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Lauren Lewis added eight points in the loss for the Westies. The Westies were hurt at the free throw line where they converted just 60% (15-of-25) of their shots.

Guilford thumps Westies
Poor shooting hurts WH in 54-28 loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(February 1, 2016) -
 It is not very often a team wins when shooting just 16% from the floor. That is exactly what the West Haven girls basketball team did Monday evening in Guilford and the end result was as expected as the Indians rolled to a 54-28 victory over the Westies. 
West Haven connected on just 8-of-50 shots from the field and suffered its second straight loss to drop to 2-13 on the season, ending any postseason hopes. 
"We didn't come ready to play," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "We were extremely flat from the start. We played with no intensity, no eagerness and no desire. We had a lot of good looks, but shot very poorly from the floor. Missed shots are going to happen, but we control our mentality, and tonight we didn't show up." 

















The West Haven girls basketball team fell to Guilford, February 1, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The contest was decided in the first half as West Haven was outscored 17-5 in the first quarter and trailed 36-16 at the half. The 20-point deficit was too much to overcome for West Haven as the Indians held the Westies to just six points in the third quarter to increase the advantage to 25 points. 
Amanda Carr led West Haven with eight points, Jaymesha Sanders and Lauren Lewis each scored five, and Marianna Kalander scored four in the loss. 

Westies fall to North Haven
Sanders scores 18 points in loss  
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 30, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team hoped to build off its thrilling win over Shelton five days earlier. Despite 18 points from Jaymesha Sanders, the Westies could not extend their winning streak, falling to North Haven 55-48 at West Haven High Saturday evening. 
The Westies, who dropped to 2-12 on the year with the loss, had eight different players in the scoring column, with Lauren Lewis scoring 14 points and Natalia Frazer adding five points.
West Haven got off to a nice start to the game, taking a three point lead after one quarter and maintaining that advantage with a 23-20 halftime advantage.
The difference in the game was the third quarter in which the Indians held a 21-14 advantage and took a 41-37 lead. The Westies battled but could not overcome the deficit. 
The Westies were hurt at the free throw line, sinking just 12 of 22 shots (55%) in the game.   

Westies slip past Shelton
Lewis keys win with clutch free throws 
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 25, 2016) - 
Lauren Lewis and the West Haven girls basketball team knew converting free throws down the stretch would be the key to victory Monday evening. Luckily for the Westies, Lewis came through. 
Converting all four free throws in the final 2 minutes, 10 seconds of regulation, Lewis led the Westies to a 39-35 victory over Shelton at West Haven High. 






























Lauren Lewis (15) and the Westies defeated Shelton, January 25, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"The girls played a complete game tonight," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said after her team snapped an eight-game losing streak and improved to 2-11. "Everyone contributed and it was a great team win. Defense really won the battle. This game means a lot because we lost to them the first game of the season. It shows our growth as individuals and as a team. We are getting better and continue to take steps in the right direction. I am very proud of them. It was a gritty, gutsy win tonight." 
Leading 35-32, Lewis scored the final four points of the game for the Westies at the free throw line. Lewis gave the Westies a 37-34 advantage with two free throws with 2:10 remaining, then iced the contest by giving the Westies a 39-35 lead in the final 26.1 seconds with two more free throws. 
The Westies trailed Shelton early in the fourth quarter, but a field goal by Marianna Kalander evened the game at 31 with 6:31 remaining. Kalander gave the Westies a 33-32 lead with 5:39 to go and Jaymesha Sanders increased the margin to 35-32 with 3:10 left. 






























Marianna Kalander (40) and the Westies defeated Shelton, January 25, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
After trailing by five points to end the first quarter, West Haven went on a 13-6 run in the second quarter to take a 21-19 lead at the half. The game was even at 29 after three quarters, setting up the thrilling fourth quarter. 
Jaymesha Sanders led West Haven with 11 points. Kalander and Kaitlynn Cooke each scored eight points, while Lewis added seven in the win.  
See additional highlights from WTNH SportzEdge 
here.

Pacers squeak by Westies 
West Haven falls to SHA, 45-40
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 22, 2016) -
 West Haven girls basketball coach Jessica Moriarty has been searching for consistency. While Moriarty got some of that consistent play Friday evening, the Westies could not pull out the victory. 
Paced by 12 points from Allie Brennan, Sacred Heart Academy defeated West Haven 45-40 at West Haven High.
"The girls played great," Moriarty said after her team fell to 1-11."They gave everything they had and left everything on the court. I am very proud of them for their effort against a very good team in Sacred Heart Academy. If we played like this more consistently, our record would be different. But, it was definitely a step in the right direction. I am very proud of them. Hopefully, this type of play continues in each of them." 

















Lauren Lewis (15) and the Westies fell to Sacred Heart Academy, January 22, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies were in the game throughout, trailing just 18-10 after one quarter and 26-20 at the half. The Westies trailed by five points after three quarters, but were unable to finish the comeback. 

















The Westies fell to Sacred Heart Academy, January 22, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Amanda Carr led West Haven with 10 points, while Natalia Frazer had eight points and Jaymesha Sanders added seven. Marianna Kalander and Lauren Lewis added six and five points, respectively. 
The Westies failed to hit a 3-point shot and hit only 12 of 18 (67%) free throws. 
See highlights of the game on WFSB-3 
here.

Westies fall to Crusaders
Lauralton too much in victory over WH 
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 19, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team has been looking for others to step up in the scoring column. While the Westies got that Tuesday evening, it was not enough in a 43-30 loss at Lauralton Hall. 
"We gave up too many points in the paint," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said after her team dropped its seventh straight contest and fell to 1-10. "Our rotation and transition defense was not consistent tonight. They packed it in, forcing us to shoot from the outside which hurt us. This is the first game it really showed that not having Madison Watts hurt us."






























Destinee Francis (24), seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies fell to Lauralton Hall, January 19, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies had eight different players in the scoring column, with Jaymesha Sanders leading the way with nine points. Natalia Frazer and Kaitlynn Cooke each had five points, while Amanda Carr finished with four points. 
West Haven again started slowly in the contest, trailing by six points after one quarter and 24-13 at halftime. An evenly played second half did not help the Westies as they trailed by double digits at the half. 






























West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty, seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies fell to Lauralton Hall, January 19, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies nailed just one shot from the outside as Cooke had the team's only 3-pointer in the loss. The Westies had only 10 field goals in the game to go along with Cooke's 3-pointer.

Marianna Kalander with a basket against Shelton, December 17, 2015. Video courtesy of Mike Madera. Double click to view full screen.  

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Natalia Frazer scores against Shelton, December 17, 2015. Video courtesy of Mike Madera. Double click to view full screen. 

Keegan Riccio (20) drains a 3-pointer against Platt, December 30, 2015. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.

GIRLS BASKETBALL 2015-2016

Tigers too much for Westies
Mercy thumps West Haven, 67-25
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 15, 2016) -
 The West Haven softball team entered Friday evening's contest against Mercy as a clear underdog. The Tigers came into the game with a perfect record and were clicking on all cylinders. 
Mercy left no doubt why it is undefeated on the season. Scoring in double digits in every quarter and playing solid defense, the Tigers defeated West Haven 67-25 in Middletown. 
The loss was West Haven's sixth in a row and dropped the team to 1-9 at the halfway point in the season. 































Jaymesha Sanders, seen here earlier this season, led West Haven with eight points in a loss to Mercy, January 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies knew they would have to contain Mercy if they were going to ride home with a victory. That never materialized as the Tigers allowed the Westies to score in double figures in just the first quarter as Mercy held a 22-11 advantage. 
From that point on, it was all Tigers as they had 10 players in the scoring column, with two in double digits. Isabelle Santoro led Mercy with 17 points. 
Mercy also clamped down defensively, holding West Haven to just six points in the second quarter to take a 32-17 lead. West Haven failed to score in the third quarter and was outscored 35-8 in the second half. 
Jaymesha Sanders led West Haven with eight points, while Lauren Lewis and Amanda Carr each scored four in the loss. 

Hillhouse runs past Westies
Strong first and fourth quarters propel Academics to 66-34 win
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 13, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team was looking to snap is losing skid Wednesday evening when it traveled to New Haven. Unfortunately for the Westies, strong first and fourth quarters by the Academics led to a 66-34 win over the Westies. 
The loss was West Haven's fifth in a row and dropped the team to 1-8 on the season. 

















West Haven, seen here against Waterbury Career, fell against Hillhouse, January 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We came out very flat to start, had no energy, and they jumped all over us," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "We dug ourselves in a hole, then started to play well once we composed ourselves, but it was too late. Lauren Lewis played very well and made everyone around her better."
Jaymesha Sanders led West Haven with 12 points, while Amanda Carr added eight points in the loss. Natalia Frazer also scored six points for West Haven. 
West Haven looked to get off to a quick start in the contest, but watched as Hillhouse took a 19-7 lead. The Academics continued to pour in the points in the second quarter, adding 19 more points and taking a 38-19 lead. 































Amanda Carr (10), seen here against Waterbury Career, and the Westies fell against Hillhouse, January 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The 19-point deficit was too much to overcome for the Westies as Hillhouse extended the margin to 23 points after three quarters, before sealing the win with a 13-4 run in the fourth quarter. 
The Westies were held to just 15 points in the second half, including four points in the fourth quarter. West Haven was just 6-of-14 from the free throw line in the loss. 

Hamden tops Westies
WH loses fourth straight, 53-30
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 11, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team lost its fourth straight contest Monday evening, dropping a 53-30 decision to Hamden at West Haven High. The Westies were within striking distance in the first half, but were hurt when they scored just three points in the third quarter. 
"We played a solid first half," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said after her team fell to 1-7. "We came out very flat and lost our aggressiveness offensively and defensively in the start of the third quarter. They are a good team that can score. Scoring three points in a quarter won't keep you in games against teams like that." 































Marianna Kalander (40), seen here against Waterbury Career, and the Westies fell to Hamden, January 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
Kaitlynn Cooke led the way for West Haven as she scored 10 points, including the team's lone 3-pointer. Jaymesha Sanders added six points and Natalia Frazer added five points in the loss. 
The Westies were hurt as they were just 5-for-14 from the free throw line.   
 
Westies fall to Foran
Strong second half propels Lions
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 8, 2016) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team looked as if it was on the right track to a victory Friday evening. Leading by three points at the half after a strong second quarter, West Haven could not get going on offense in the second half, falling to Foran 51-37 at Foarn High. 

















Destinee Francis, seen here against Waterbury Career, and the West Haven girls basketball team fell against Foran, January 8, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We had too many silly turnovers and mental breakdowns," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said after her team fell to 1-6. "We let one kid beat us and couldn't keep her off the boards. We need to learn how to capitalize in pivotal situations and develop some maturity in finishing games."
After outscoring the Lions 16-8 in the second quarter, West Haven could not sustain the momentum, scoring just six points in the third quarter and 15 in the second half. 
Foran led 31-28 after three quarters and pulled away in the final eight minutes. 
Marianna Kalander led West Haven with 10 points, while Madison Watts had six points, and Lauren Lewis and Kaitlynn Cooke each scored five.



















 

West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty, seen here against Waterbury Career, and the West Haven girls basketball fell team against Foran, January 8, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven was just 6-of-19 (32%) from the free throw line and hit just one 3-pointer in the loss.  






























Lauren Lewis (15), seen here against Waterbury Career, and the West Haven girls basketball team fell against Foran, January 8, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Lauren Notholt led Foran with 25 points. 

Heartbreaker
Westies fall to Hornets by two
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(January 5, 2016) -
 Since defeating Waterbury Career a week ago, the West Haven girls basketball team has been playing with much more confidence. Unfortunately for the Westies, that confidence has not produced victories. 
Following a 3-point loss to Platt, West Haven was in position to pick up a victory, but fell just short, losing to Branford 42-40 in West Haven Tuesday evening.
"We were 6-of-17 from the free throw line," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said after her team fell to 1-5. "We made too many silly turnovers. We were careless with the ball, throwing it away. We played solid defense again, but need more consistency from individuals offensively."




















Kaitlynn Cooke and the Westies fell to Branford, January 5, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.  
Defensively, West Haven was solid again, holding Branford to just four points in the first quarter and eight in the third. It was the second and fourth quarters which hurt the Westies as Branford scored 15 points in each. 
West Haven led by five points after one quarter, but trailed 19-15 at the half. The Westies rallied in the third quarter to take a 30-27 lead, but Branford used a five point advantage in the final quarter to win by two. 
Keegan Riccio led West Haven with eight points, while Madison Watts and Lauren Lewis each scored seven. Natalia Frazer and Kaitlynn Cooke each scored six points in the loss for West Haven. 
West Haven was hurt at the free throw line as it connected on just 6-of-17 free throws in the game. 
The Westies connected on just four 3-pointers in the contest, with Cooke hitting a pair. 

Westies fall to Platt
Valiant effort falls short in 35-32 defeat
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 30, 2015) -
 West Haven girls basketball coach Jessica Moriarty wanted to see improvement in her team, following a pair of losses to open the season. Moriarty has seen that. 
After posting its first win of the season, West Haven hosted Platt-Meriden in the finals of the West Haven Christmas tournament Wednesday evening. While falling 35-32, the Westies battled to the end and showed that competitive fire Moriarty was looking for earlier in the season.
Unfortunately for the Westies, an inability hit inside shots and poor free throw shooting, where the Westies were 6-of-17 (35%), proved to be the difference in the three point loss. 




















Madison Watts, seen here against Waterbury Career, had six points in a loss to Platt-Meriden, December 30, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"We played with a lot of heart and effort," Moriarty said after her team fell to 1-4. "We played great defense. We got a little stagnant on offense toward the end and needed to score in tight situations. We were 6-of-17 from the free throw line and that is a major reason why we did not come out on top tonight." 
The Westies trailed by seven points in the first quarter and could have easily held the lead after eight minutes of play. A 3-pointer by Keegan Riccio in the second quarter got the Westies within three points and West Haven trailed only 21-19 at the half. 
The Westies continued to pressure in the third quarter, allowing Platt only four points in the quarter, to even the game at 25. 
In the end, it came down to free throws as Platt hit on 10-of-18 (56%) to seal the win at West Haven High. 
Seven players got into the scoring column for West Haven with both Kaitlynn Cooke and Madison Watts leading the way with six points apiece. Natalia Frazer had five points, Destinee Francis, Jaymesha Sanders and Lauren Lewis each added four in the loss.

Westies defeat Waterbury Career
WH picks up first win of season
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 28, 2015) - 
The West Haven girls basketball team picked up its first win of the season with a 51-21 victory over Waterbury Career Monday evening. 
The Westies, who jumped out to a 20-0 lead after one quarter, had 11 different players in the scoring column. Destinee Francis led the way with 11 points, while Lauren Lewis and Kaitlynn Cooke each added six points apiece. 































Lauren Lewis (15) and the Westies defeated Waterbury Career, December 28, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies increased the lead to 24-3, before taking a 30-6 lead to the half. West Haven was in control throughout the contest to come away with its first win of the season. 























Kaitlynn Cooke and the Westies defeated Waterbury Career, December 28, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Marianna Kalander scored five points, while Caitlyn Arpino, Amanda Carr, Natalia Frazer and Jaymesha Sanders each scored four points. 

Law tops Westies
Season ends with 5-1 loss
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 23, 2015) -
 West Haven girls basketball coach Jessica Moriarty and her team traveled to Milford Wednesday evening looking for the team's first victory of the season. Unfortunately for the Westies, the bus ride home still had the Westies searching for their first victory. 
Off to a slow start, scoring just four points in the first quarter, the Westies were unable to get back on track, falling to Jonathan Law, 51-32, at Law.
With the loss, West Haven fell to 0-3 on the season. 





























Madison Watts, seen here earlier in the season, and the Westies fell to Jonathan Law December 23, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
"We took a lot of steps in the right direction defensively and rebounding wise," Moriarty said. "We played great defense on their kids. Once again, we missed way too many easy opportunities offensively. We need to get our mindset right offensively. It doesn't matter how good of defense you play if you can't score. We were 15-for-58 from the floor, mainly in the paint, with limited free throw attempts. We need to be more aggressive and finish on the offensive end."
The lack of offense by the Westies put them in an 11-point hole after one quarter. West Haven trailed 29-12 at he half and by 21 points after three quarters. 
Madison Watts led West Haven with nine points. Diamond Dixon, Amanda Carr, Marianna Kalander and Destinee Francis all scored four points apiece in the loss. 

Westies fall to East Haven
WH falls 73-32 to drop to 0-2
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 21, 2015) -
 The West Haven girls basketball team was hoping to start the home portion of its schedule on the right note. Unfortunately for the Westies, it was a note to forget. 
Off to a slow start and not able to get going on offense, West Haven fell to East Haven 73-32 to drop to 0-2 on the season. 

















West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty addresses her team in a loss to East Haven, December 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"They are a very good, talented basketball team," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said of east Haven. "We had too many silly turnovers, just throwing the ball away because we didn't know what to do with it or want it in our hands. We need growth and maturity to play with a team like that and we are not there yet. East Haven is going to make a lot of noise this year."
The Westies never got on track, trailing by 11 points at halftime and 47-17 at the half. The 30-point deficit was too much to overcome as East Haven held a 26-15 advantage in the second half.  

















Amanda Carr (10) and the Westies fell to East Haven, December 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Amanda Carr led the Westies with eight points, while Keegan Riccio added six and Lauren Lewis five in the defeat. 

















Natalia Frazer (3) and the Westies fell to East Haven, December 21, 2015. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske. 
East Haven had four players in double figures and was led by Miranda Gladwn with 13 points. 

Westies fall to Shelton 
Shooting woes lead to 41-30 loss in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 17, 2015) -
 Heading into Thursday evening's Southern Connecticut Conference battle between Shelton and West Haven, both teams felt defense would be the key. While both teams played well on the defensive end, it was the Gaels who came out on top. 
Paced by Casey O'Connor's 18 points, the Gaels defeated West Haven 41-30 at Shelton High. With the win, Shelton improved to 2-0 on the year. 
"We played pretty good defense," Shelton coach Joseph Cavallaro said. "We held them to 30 points. They made some long shots. In the second half, we did a lot better job."
While O'Connor led the Gaels, including five points in each of the third and fourth quarters, the Westies could not find anyone to lead the offense. West Haven shot just 10-of-50 from the field.
"Ten of fifty is not going to win you many games," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said after her team lost its season opener. "That is not going to get it done. We get a ball to fall in here or there and it is a different game. But, the ball just didn't drop for us tonight."

















West Haven played solid defense, but it was not enough in a 41-30 loss to Shelton, December 17, 2015. Photo courtesy of Mike Madera.
Despite a slow start to the game, West Haven got within 17-12 at the half when Kaitlynn Cooke drained a 3-pointer with 20 seconds remaining in the second quarter. 
Any momentum the Westies had quickly disappeared when O'Connor drained e a pair of free throws to start the second half, then turned a West Haven turnover into a quick bucket. When Colleen Flood followed with two more free throws, Shelton had a 27-12 lead. 
"We need to get to the foul line," Cavallaro said. "We did a much better job in the second half."
West Haven twice cut the deficit to single digits in the quarter on a basket by Marianna Kalander to get within 27-19 with 3:02 remaining, and a bucket and free throw by Amanda Carr in the final seconds to bring the Westies within 30-21 as the third quarter closed. 
"Our defense was fine," Moriarty said. "We just could not hit our shots."
Cooke got the Westies within six to start the fourth quarter, but a basket and free throw by Shelton's Sarah Skoronski and a bucket by O'Connor had the Gaels up 11 again. 
West Haven's final stand came with 2:04 remaining in the game when a 3-pointer by Cooke brought the Westies closer at 36-28. The Gaels quickly ended any thoughts of a West Haven comeback, scoring the next five points for a 41-28 advantage. 
"It is a tough start with three games in the first couple of days," Cavallaro said. "We hope to improve each game."
Shelton took control of the game in the opening quarter, scoring 11 of the game's first 13 points. Skoronski scored the first four points, before Madison Watts answered for the Westies. The Gaels then went on a 7-0 run, with Nicole Roberts scoring the next three points and O'Connor and Erin Adler following with buckets of their own. 
"I thought we moved the ball and played well tonight," Cavallaro said. 
The second quarter was a low-scoring affair as the two teams combined for just 10 points. O'Connor's basket gave Shelton a 17-9 lead, before Cooke gave the Westies hope with a late 3-pointer.
Skoronski finished with seven points for the Gaels, while Flood and Adler each added five. Shelton struggled from the free throw line, converting just 12 of 20 shots. 
Cooke led the Westies with nine points, while Kalander added seven points and Destinee Francis had five. 


Moving Quickly
WH poised to use fast-paced offense
By MIKE MADERA
Westie Blue
(December 16, 2015) -
 West Haven girls basketball coach Jessica Moriarty loves a fast-paced offense. She may finally get to see her team using this style of play. 
With an athletic team on the floor, Moriarty is looking to be a faster team than in her first two years at the helm. She is also looking for her team to improve on its two wins of a year ago. 
"The girls have worked extremely hard in the off season and it shows since the season has started," Moriarty said. "I like the way we are buying into pushing the ball and becoming more of a fast paced team. That is the style of play I have been trying to embellish into this program since I started coaching here. The girls are buying into the system, believing in themselves and each other and truly believe we can be successful."
For the Westies to be successful, the first order of business is replacing the team-leading 216 points and 45 3-pointers Kial Watts took with her to graduation. 
Leading the way for the Westies in 2015-2016 will be senior captain Madison Watts and junior captain Lauren Lewis. Watts is a guard and forward, while Lewis is a guard. Both will be expected to put the ball in the basket.  

















Madison Watts will look to lead the Westies in the 2015-2016 season. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Madison and Lauren have done an excellent job leading the team during the preseason and the beginning of the season," Moriarty said. "They really set the bar high for how hard the girls should be working. They lead by example and are very encouraging and helpful to the other girls on the team, especially the 11 freshmen. They remain very positive on a consistent basis and truly encompass the characteristics of being great leaders for our team."
Juniors Jaymesha Sanders and Kaitlynn Cooke will also play big roles on the team, Sanders from her forward position and Cooke as the point guard. 
"Madi (Watts) is a very versatile player," Moriarty said. "She plays inside and much bigger than she really is," Moriarty said. "She is a kid that does a lot of the things that do not show up on a stat sheet. She is extremely smart and sees the floor very well. Meesh (Sanders) is a force to be reckoned with inside. She plays bigger than she really is and is a fantastic rebounder. She has improved her shot and finishing around the rim. She can have a very good year if she stays composed and lets the game come to her. 
"Lauren (Lewis) is the type of kid who you love to coach. She will give you 110% day in and day out. She is one of the hardest working kids I've ever coached and is one of the best defenders in the league. She takes pride in locking a kid up. She will be a pivotal player for us in handling the ball and guarding the other teams' best player. (Lauren) Cooke is our primary ball handler and has really improved her ball handling and court vision. She is very talented and sees the floor very well. We expect big things from her this year and need her to put the ball in the basket and run the team."
























Junior Kaitlynn Cooke will look to lead a fast-paced offense for West Haven in the 2015-2016 season. File photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
With the season set to open Thursday, December 17 at Shelton (7 p.m.), Moriarty looks to be sending out a lineup of Cooke at point guard, Lewis and junior Destinee Francis at guards, and Watts and Sanders at the forward positions. 
Freshman Natalia Frazer, junior Marianna Kalander, sophomore Amanda Carr and freshman Diamond Dixon will be expected to contribute off the bench. 
Looking to qualify for the state tournament, Moriarty feels her team can accomplish this if the girls take care of what is under their control. 
"We can be successful if we play the way we are capable of playing," Moriarty said. "If we do the things that we are good at and control only the things we can control, we will have a successful year. We get into our own heads when we start to worry about the other team and what we think they do. If we capitalize on our own skills and push the ball like we can, good things will happen. We need to have a balanced scoring attack and not rely on one person to score for us like in years past. We need to score more. We are a solid team defensively, but we need to be able to put the ball in the basket."
The Westies open the home season Monday, December 21 against East Haven at 7 p.m.

Marianna Kalander (40) evens the game at 31 for West Haven against Shelton, January 25, 2016. Double click to view full screen.  Video courtesy Mike Madera

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Amanda Carr with a bucket against Shelton, December 17, 2015. Video courtesy of Mike Madera. Double click to view full screen.

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All-State players - Kelley Camp '75, '76; Sue Passander '79; Catrina Hawley '97, '98; Jayva Johnson '13
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