Westies fall to Career in season opener
By MIKE MADERA
(December 13, 2016) - The West Haven girls basketball team was hoping to get off to a quick start in the 2016-2017 season. While West Haven held an early lead, it could not pull out the victory, suffering a 51-41 defeat against Career Tuesday evening in the season opener for West Haven at West Haven High.
Senior Jaymesha Sanders led the way with 19 points, while Amanda Carr scored 11 points in the loss. Senior Destinee Francis scored six points in the loss.
West Haven looks to set up a play against Career, December 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies got off to a quick start in the game, taking a 12-4 lead after one quarter of action. A 19-11 run by Career in the second quarter evened the game at 23 at the half.
Natalia Frazer (3) against Career, December 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"I am very proud of how the girls played," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said after her team fell to 0-1. "They have worked so hard and showed that they have gotten better. They played together and played hard against a very athletic and talented team. I thought we held our own and got a little tired in the fourth quarter. We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the fourth and stopped shooting the ball and attacking the basket. I am extremely confident in this group and we need to continue to play at this level and continue to get better."
Career led by just three points after three quarters of play, but a 28-18 run by Career in the second half was too much for the Westies to overcome.
Sanders added 10 rebounds, Carr also had three rebounds and two blocks, while Francis added two assists. Lauren Lewis also played well with seven assists.
First of the Year
Westies top Cross for initial 2016 victory
By MIKE MADERA
(December 16, 2016) - The West Haven girls basketball team was not looking to open the 2016-2017 season with an extended losing streak. Traveling to New Haven, the Westies made sure no such streak occurred.
Behind 11 points from Jaymesha Sanders and 10 more from Amanda Carr, West Haven held on to defeat Cross 44-43 in New Haven Friday evening.
"We did not play well at all tonight," West Haven coach Moriarty said after her team improved to 1-1 on the year. "We were flustered, unorganized and did not play like the way we know how. With that being said, I'm proud of the maturity of this team. A year ago, we would of put our heads down and gone in the tank, playing the way we did and being down. These kids fought back, maintained their composure and overcame some adversity. We've been talking about that all year, what will we do and how will we overcome adversity. They pulled together, despite playing poorly, and found a way to win the game. That shows a lot about their character. This team can do some damage when we play consistent and the way we are capable of."
Keegan Riccio (20) and Jaymesha Sanders (23) go for the ball in the season opener against Career, December 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The Westies battled throughout the game, battling back from a three-point first quarter deficit and a 22-15 margin at the half.
West Haven turned the game around in the second half, particularly the third quarter where the Westies went on a 12-5 run to even the game at 27.
Kaitlynn Cooke (1) and the West Haven defense played tough in the season opener against Career, December 13, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Natalia Frazer added eight points, Destinee Francis had a 3-pointer and six points, while Marianna Kalander chipped in four points in the win.
Two in a Row
Westies top Harding to improve to 2-1
By MIKE MADERA
(December 19, 2016) - It has been quite some time since the West Haven girls basketball team has posted a pair of wins this early in the season. It has also been a long time since the program has been over the .500 mark.
The Westies accomplished both just three games into the 2016-2017 season with a 56-46 road victory over Harding Monday evening. With the win, West Haven improved to 2-1 on the season.
“The girls played well tonight and played together,” West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. “We did the things we had to do to remain in control of the game and executed when needed. The growth and maturity of this team is really showing. Everyone is contributing in ways that they should. There's still ways to always improve and I'm looking forward to seeing what this team is capable of as the season goes on.”
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 21 points, while Amanda Carr added 11 points and Destinee Francis scored nine. West Haven had a balanced scoring attack as eight different players were in the scoring column.
Jaymesha Sanders, seen earlier in the season against Career, led West Haven with 21 points in a victory over Harding, December 19, 2016. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Sanders also played well on the boards, grabbing 12 rebounds. Lauren Lewis had nine assists to run the offense.
West Haven got off to a quick start, scoring 19 first quarter points for an eight-point lead. The Westies led 29-21 at the half, but saw that lead dwindle to five points in the third quarter. With a 15-10 run in the fourth quarter, the Westies sealed their second straight win.
Westies fall to SHA on last second shot
By MIKE MADERA
(December 23, 2016) WEST HAVEN – With less than 10 seconds remaining in regulation and driving up the court of a tie contest, Sacred Heart Academy senior Jacqueline Esposito was looking for head coach Bruce Rich to call a timeout. When Esposito never heard a whistle and the seconds continued to tick away, there was only one thing to do.
Launching a long shot outside the three-point arc, Esposito banked a shot off the backboard and through the net as time expired to give the Pacers a 44-41 win over West Haven in a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision contest at West Haven High Friday evening.
“I actually thought the clock had run out, but I didn’t hear the horn,” Esposito said. “I thought there was going to be a timeout. I just chucked it up there and it went in. It is a great feeling.”
Esposito’s heroics took place as the Pacers dodged several bullets in the final minute after the Westies evened the game with 1:46 remaining on a bucket by Natalia Frazer.
But, West Haven could not take the lead and was hurt at the free throw line where the team was just 1-for-9 in the second half and 3-of-11 in the game. West Haven is a just 23-of-59 from the free throw line this season.
“Free throws,” West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty lamented after the loss. “We are 23-of-59 on the season. This is a very deflating loss. We are taking strides in the right direction. We are still learning how to win games. This one is tough.”
After both teams went to the half even at 24, Sacred Heart (2-1) took the lead in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Claudia Capozzo. The Pacers went up 31-28 on a basket by Aleksandra Koziol, but the Westies went to the fourth quarter with a 32-31 lead after Lauren Lewis and Olivia Vining connected to end the quarter.
A 3-pointer by Destinee Francis extended the margin to 35-31, before buckets by Sacred Heart’s Esposito and Koziol evened the contest at 35. West Haven’s Amanda Carr and Sacred Heart’s Allie Brennan traded 3-pointers before a 3-pointer by Capozzo had the Pacers on top 41-39 with 2:21 left.
“We are trying to find a defensive identity,” Sacred Heart coach Bruce Rich said. “We did a great job bottling them up inside.”
West Haven (2-2) jumped out to a 12-7 lead after one quarter as both Jaymesha Sanders and Carr popped in five points apiece. A basket by Marianna Kalander gave West Haven a 16-7 advantage, but the Pacers chipped away ion the second quarter.
A pair of free throws by freshman Ally Kirck got the Pacers within 18-15, before Kirck followed with two more free throws after a 3-pointer by Frazer to get the Pacers within 21-17.
“This is game number four,” Moriarty said. “There is a lot of season left. There is a lot of basketball left. It will hurt for a couple of days, but we have to move on and learn from it. We have to move forward.”
Francis connected on another 3-pointer for West Haven to extend West Haven’s lead to 24-20, but Gabriela Koziol and Capozzo sank baskets to end the quarter, sending the game to halftime even at 24.
“That is a good West Haven team,” Rich said. “She (Moriarty) has a nice club over there. This is the SCC. Every game will be close. It is like the old Big East. You are just going head to head and bating in each game.”Aleksandra Koziol led the Pacers with 13 points, while Capozzo added 10 points. Sanders led West Haven with 12 points, while Francis and Carr each scored eight.
Amanda Carr (10) with a basket against Sacred Heart Academy, December 23, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Jaymesha Sanders (23) with a basket against Sacred Heart Academy, December 23, 2016. Video courtesy of Mike Madera.
Foran tops Westies
West Haven drops second in row
By MIKE MADERA
(December 30, 2016) - Coming off a loss to Immaculate in which his team scored only 17 points, it would not have been a surprise if Foran coach Bob Asmussen was concerned. Giving up the first 11 points of Friday’s game against West Haven could not have done much to alleviate any of that.
Paced by freshman Mia Tunucci and seniors Lauren Notholt and Viktoria Notholt, Foran rallied, then held off a late West Haven surge in defeating the Westies 51-48 in a Southern Connecticut Conference interdivision contest at the Edna L. Fraser Gymnasium at Foran High Friday afternoon.
For the Lady Lions, it was their third win in four contests to improve to 3-4 on the year. West Haven, which had a week to recover from a buzzer-beating loss against Sacred Heart Academy, dropped its second in a row and fell to 2-3 on the year.
“We are very resilient,” Asmussen said. “We are down 11-0 in the game and it looks like we are going to get blown out. But, we kept our composure. Freshman Mia Tunucci comes off the bench and hits some big shots to put us back in the game. Then, our defensive intensity picked up.”
Tunucci finished the game with 10 points, all coming in the first half, with the freshman delivering eight in a second quarter which saw Foran take a five point lead. The quarter also saw a big 3-pointer by Lauren Notholt which helped the Lady Lions take a 28-23 lead to the half.
“We were mad,” Lauren Notholt said of the early deficit. “We said to ourselves this was not going to happen. We came to play. We play pretty good defense. We have to prove ourselves offensively.”
The points by Tunucci and Lauren Notholt were crucial as the Westies jumped out of the gates quickly behind the scoring of Lauren Lewis, Destinee Francis, Jaymesha Sanders, Amanda Carr and Marianna Kalander.
Lewis and Carr each scored four points in the opening quarter, and Kalander added three more as West Haven led by two points after the first eight minutes of play.
“We made too many mental mistakes,” West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. “We would hit a big shot, then not make a play defensively.”
Foran’s defensive effort picked up in the second quarter as the Lady Lions allowed just two Westies to get in the scoring column with Lewis and Sanders each scoring just four points apiece.
“We work hard in practice on our defense,” Lauren Notholt said. “We are always talking, knowing where the shooters are.”
After a low-scoring third quarter, Foran increased its margin to nine points in the fourth quarter, before the Westies went on an 8-0 run. Francis and Kaitlynn Cooke drained 3-pointers, with Francis adding another as part of a 15-point fourth quarter for the Westies.
“It is frustrating,” Moriarty said. “We come out of the gates shooting, then we have lapses on defense. Basketball is a game of runs. Unfortunately, our runs were too short.”
“West Haven went on an 8-0 run when we were up nine, but the girls kept their composure,” Asmussen said.
Carr added a pair of baskets and Sanders hit another as West Haven got within 49-48 in the final seconds.
Foran’s Jessica McQuade hit both of her free throws with five seconds to go to put the Lady Lions up three, forcing a desperation 3-point attempt by Lewis from the top of the arc at the buzzer, which was off the mark. The Lady Lions did not have a turnover in the final eight minutes.
“We were able to force some turnovers,” Asmussen said. “We play better in transition. Today we got points in transition. With the lead and with pressure, we did not have any turnovers in the fourth quarter. They got that 3-pointer to cut it to one, but we held them there.
“Sam (Inthapanhya) played so hard defensively and Jess (McQuade) played really well. Jasmine Lord hit some big shots for us.”
Along with her 10 points, Tunucci was solid with six assists on the offensive side for the Lady Lions. Lauren Notholt added 10 rebounds to her 14 points, Viktoria Notholt had 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Jasmine Lord had eight points and six assists.
Lewis and Sanders led West Haven with 12 points apiece, while Francis finished with 10, and Carr added eight.
Back on Track
West Haven tops NH to improve to 3-3
By MIKE MADERA
(January 6, 2017) - Following two consecutive tough losses, the West Haven girls basketball team was looking for something to go its way. The Westies produced that good fortune Friday evening, defeating North Haven 63-32 at West Haven High.
With the win, the Westies snapped a two-game skid and improved to 3-3 in the process. The victory also allows West Haven to surpass its win total from a year ago.
The West Haven girls basketball team picked up its third win of the season with a victory over North Haven, January 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
"Tonight we played as a team," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "We played an all-around good game. It was a team effort and team win tonight. The girls executed what they were asked to do and played very well. I'm very proud of them. We need to continue this aggressive type of play in the upcoming games."
West Haven used a balanced scoring attack in the victory as the team had 10 different players in the scoring column. Jaymesha Sanders led the way with 15 points, while Amanda Carr popped in nine, and Destinee Francis and Lauren Lewis each scored eight. Marianna Kalander had seven points in the win for the Westies.
Lauren Lewis (15) and Kaitlynn Cooke (1) defend against North Haven, January 6, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven won the contest with a decisive first quarter, scoring 26 points and holding a 17-point lead. The Westies went to the half with a 14-point lead, and increased that margin in the third quarter.
Holding the Indians to just five points in the third quarter, West Haven increased its advantage to 26 points.
Branford squeaks by Westies
Westies fall to Hornets 50-43
By MIKE MADERA
(January 9, 2017) - After defeating North Haven to get back to the .500 mark, the West Haven girls basketball team was looking to improve on its record. Through eight minutes, things were looking good to do so.
The next eight were not so good. Outscored by nine points in the second quarter, West Haven fell to Branford 50-43 at Branford High Monday evening.
With the loss, West Haven fell to 3-4 on the year.
The Westies had seven players in the scoring column with Amanda Carr and Jaymesha Sanders each scoring 15 points. Natalia Frazer scored six points, and Marianna Kalander, Kaitlynn Cooke and Lauren Lewis each scored two points apiece.
West Haven played solid defense in the first quarter, allowing just seven Branford points and holding a 7-point lead. That advantage quickly disappeared in the second quarter when the West Haven offense went silent and scored just three points.
As a result, the Hornets took a 19-17 lead to the half. West Haven fought back to lead 32-31, but Branford closed the game on a 19-11 run to post the victory.
Adrienne DiGioa scored 22 points in the win for Branford, while Emma Pierson scored 14.
Foran tops Westies
Poor shooting key to loss for WH
By MIKE MADERA
(January 11, 2017) - West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty would like to see her team turn the corner. After continually taking a few steps forward, the Westies have matched that with a few steps back this season.
Against Foran Wednesday evening, the Westies struggled from the floor, connecting on just 12-of-71 shots from the floor, and just 1-of-20 from 3-point range. The end result was a 34-29 loss to the Lady Lions at West Haven High which dropped the Westies to 3-5 on the season.
To make matters worse for the Westies, they connected on just 1-of-7 free throws.
Lauren Lewis (15) and the Westies fell to Foran, January 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven's poor shooting showed on the scoreboard as they scored just 11 points in the first half and trailed by nine despite allowing just 20 points in the half. A 15-8 run by West Haven in the third quarter had West Haven within two points, but the Westies could not get the offense going in the final eight minutes, scoring just three points.
West Haven played well defensively, particularly in the second half when it allowed just 14 points, including only six in the final eight minutes.
Kaitlynn Cooke (1) and the Westies fell to Foran, January 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 11 points, while Keegan Riccio and Amanda Carr each scored four.
Gaels down Westies
WH drops third in row in 63-35 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(January 13, 2017) – After getting to the .500 mark three games ago, the West Haven girls basketball team looked as if it was getting ready to go on a roll. That roll has gone in reverse.
Struggling with its shooting, West Haven dropped its third straight contest and fell to 3-6 on the season with a 63-35 loss against Shelton Friday evening in West Haven.
West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty talks with her team during West Haven's loss to Shelton, January 13 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven got off to a slow start in the contest and never recovered as Shelton led 20-10 after one quarter and by 17 points at the half. The Westies combined to score just 18 points in the first half and added just 17 more in the final 16 minutes of play.
Keegan Riccio gets ready to check in during West Haven's loss to Shelton, January 13 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 17 points, while Marianna Kalander had eight.
Sarah Skoronski had a game-high 21 points for Shelton and Casey O'Connor added 16.
Sheehan tops Westies
WH drops fourth in row in 45-30 loss
By MIKE MADERA
(January 17, 2017) – If there has been any connection with West Haven's four straight losses, it has been a lack of offense. That factor was once again seen Tuesday evening as West Haven fell to Sheehan 45-30 at Sheehan High in Wallingford.
West Haven (3-7) struggled to get going once again and the first quarter was the root of the issue as the Westies scored just three points and trailed by 11 points. The Westies scored in double figures in just the third quarter, and had just one player in double figures.
West Haven, which has struggled from the outside of late, fared no better Tuesday evening, as the team connected on just one 3-pointer in the loss.
"The first quarter really hurt us," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "Burying yourself in a hole is tough to come out of, especially when scoring three points in a quarter. Our offense is struggling right now. We are getting good looks, just not capitalizing and finishing. We need to mentally adjust and put the ball in the basket."
The Westies never got in a groove offensively as they had only 10 points at the half and trailed by 11. West Haven played much better in the second half, getting within 32-23, but a 13-7 run by the Titans in the fourth quarter sealed West Haven's fourth loss in a row.
"I'm happy with the defense and effort tonight, but you need to be able to score to win games."
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 12 points in the loss, while Natalia Frazer and Amanda Carr each scored five points. Carr also connected on West Haven's lone 3-pointer in the contest.
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Westies missing offense in 37-25 loss to Cheshire
By MIKE MADERA
(January 20, 2017) - It's been two weeks since the West Haven girls basketball team tasted the thrill of victory. Five losses later since a win over North Haven, the time frame has to feel a lot longer.
Looking to break its losing streak, West Haven was unable to do so as the offense struggled to get in gear in a 37-25 loss at Cheshire Friday evening. The loss was West Haven's fifth in a row and dropped the team to 3-8 on the season.
West Haven was hurt by a lack of offense in the first half, scoring just 12 points, including only four in the first quarter. The Westies did not fare much better in the second half with just 13 points, including only four in the third quarter.
While West Haven's offense struggled, Cheshire took advantage, taking a four-point lead after one quarter and increasing the margin to 26-12 at the half. Cheshire increased the lead to 17 points in the third quarter and never looked back.
Jaymesha Sanders led West Haven with 18 points. Kaitlynn Cooke scored three points, and Keegan Riccio and Natalia Frazer each scored two points in the loss.
Westies fall to Cross in overtime
By MIKE MADERA
(January 23, 2017) - West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty has to be scratching her head. In a span of six games, the coach has watched her team go from on the rise to asking what has happened.
Monday evening in West Haven was just another in a string of losses which has reached six in a row as the Westies fell to Wilbur Cross 58-55 in overtime.
The Westies (3-9) have struggled to score in the run, but finally put up points against the Governors. Unfortunately for the Westies, they could not hold an early lead, then had to rally in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
Although the Westies got the extra session, they were held in check, scoring just four points in the three point loss.
West Haven held a 14-9 lead in the first quarter, but trailed 43-38 after three quarters of action. The Westies held Cross to eight points in the final eight minutes, but could not prevail in the extra session.
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 23 points. Amanda Carr scored 15 points and Lauren Lewis had 10 points in the loss.
Career deals West Haven 7th straight loss overtime
By MIKE MADERA
(January 25, 2017) - With seven games to go in the regular season, the West Haven girls basketball team will need to dig deep if it hopes to play in the postseason. In the midst of a seven-game losing streak, West Haven has watched its record sink to 3-10 on the season.
Wednesday evening in New Haven was just another in a string of tough losses as the Westies connected on just 4-of-10 free throws in the game and lost 45-41 to Career.
The Westies will need to win five of their final seven games to get into postseason play.
"I am very proud of the girls and how we played tonight," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "It showed a lot about their character and their toughness. Career is a very good and athletic team, and we battled and competed until the end, showing what we can really do. We need to continue this type of play for every game, not just rivalry games."
West Haven started the game quickly and had a chance to tie in the final seconds of the contest, trailing by two. But, a Career steal and basket as time expired added to the frustration of West Haven's most recent struggles.
The Westies held the Panthers to just six points in the opening quarter, before Career finished with 13 points in each of the final three quarters. West Haven trailed by two at the half and 32-29 after three quarters of play.
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 16 points, while Amanda Carr added 10 and Natalia Frazer finished with seven.
Kayla Williams led Career with 18 points, while KyJae Hargrove had 14 in the win.
Streak is Over
WH tops North Haven to end skid at seven
By MIKE MADERA
(January 27, 2017) - With the postseason hopes of the West Haven girls basketball team slipping away during the course of a seven-game losing streak, the team needed a breakout game to get on track. For now, the Westies will settle for a quarter.
Outscoring North Haven by 12 points in the fourth quarter, West Haven went on to top the Indians 61-48 at North Haven High Friday evening. The win was West Haven's first in three weeks and improved its record to 4-10 on the season.
Trailing by one point at the half, West Haven rebounded to lead 38-37 with eight minutes to go. A 23-11 run in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference in the 13-point victory.
Jaymesha Sanders led West Haven with a game-high 26 points. Amanda Carr had 17 points, Brianna Sebastian added six points and Natalia Frazer had five in the win.
Sanders and Carr were big on the boards as Sanders had 11 rebounds and Carr had five rebounds. Lauren Lewis dished out 13 assists in the win.
Two in a Row
WH tops Branford for fifth win of season
By MIKE MADERA
(January 30, 2017) - With a seven-game losing streak still fresh in its memory bank, the West Haven girls basketball team realizes the quest for a postseason bid is still within reach. After Monday evening's win over Branford, that quest took a step forward.
Behind 21 points from Jaymesha Sanders and 15 more from Amanda Carr, West Haven topped Branford 57-37 at West Haven High. West Haven's second straight victory improved the team's record to 5-10, leaving West Haven five games to pick up three victories to play in the state tournament.
"I am extremely proud of the girls tonight," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "Our bench was huge tonight and really did great things. Lauren Lewis led the team and helped maintain their composure throughout the game. Meesh (Jaymesha Sanders) and Amanda (Carr) are playing extremely well on both ends of the floor as well. It was a great team effort tonight. They believe in themselves and are hungry to qualify for the postseason tournament. I couldn't be more proud of all of them."
After both teams scored 12 points apiece in the first quarter, West Haven outscored the Hornets 45-25 the rest of the way.
Sanders and Carr were solid on the boards as well with Sanders pulling down 15 rebounds and Carr grabbing 12. Carr also had seven blocks in the win. Lauren Lewis ran the offense with 11 assists.
The Westies started to turn the game around in the second quarter, holding Branford to just two points. The second half was much of the same as West Haven held the Hornets to just 23 points, outscoring Branford by 14 points.
Adrienne DiGioia and Emma Pierson led Branford with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
WH falls to Shelton
By MIKE MADERA
(February 3, 2017) - Looking to extend its winning streak to three games, the West Haven girls basketball team ran into a hot-shooting Shelton team and fell 71-49 on the road Friday evening.
"I have to give Shelton credit," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "They came out on fire. Shelton shot 10-of-15 in the first quarter and 18-of-30 for the half. They couldn't miss and had an unbelievable shooting night.
"We could have thrown in the towel and quit, and these kids didn't. They played more energized in the second half and really competed. If we didn't have to dig ourselves out of such a hole, I believe it would have been a more competitive game. It shows a lot about these kids and their character that they continued to battle and never quit."
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 21 points and nine rebounds. Lauren Lewis added nine points and eight assists, while Amanda Carr had seven points, three rebounds and three steals.
WH wins to keep state tournament hopes on track
By MIKE MADERA
(February 7, 2017) - Looking to keep its playoff hopes alive, the West Haven girls basketball team took another step in the right direction. Outscoring Sheehan by 13 points in the middle two quarters, West Haven won its third contest in four games with a 50-35 victory over Sheehan Tuesday evening at West Haven High.
The win helped the Westies improve to 6-11 on the season, with West Haven needing two wins in its last three games to play in the postseason.
Jaymesha Sanders led the way for West Haven with 16 points, while Amanda Carr added 13. Destinee Francis also had a solid night with seven points in the win.
Leading by four points after eight minutes, the Westies started to take control of the game. Taking a 23-14 lead, West Haven put the game away with a 14-6 run in the third quarter to increase its lead to 17 points.
Westies one win shy of postseason
By MIKE MADERA
(February 11, 2017) - When the West Haven girls basketball team fell to Career, things were not looking good with seven games remaining. Needing five wins to get into the postseason, the Westies have responded.
Saturday evening was another step in the right direction as West Haven needed overtime, but defeated Cheshire 57-54 at West Haven High. The win was West Haven's fourth in its last five games and helped the team improve to 7-11 on the season.
West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty and Jaymesha Sanders celebrate West Haven's win against Cheshire, Saturday, February 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
West Haven needs a win against either Sacred Heart Academy or Harding in its final two games to qualify for postseason play.
After jumping out to an early lead, West Haven trailed by a point at the half. In a game which remained close throughout, the two teams battled with West Haven trailing by two points entering the fourth quarter.
The Westies forced overtime and held the Rams to just four points in the extra session to pull out the victory.
Amanda Carr (10) against Cheshire, Saturday, February 11, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Jaymesha Sanders led the way for the Westies as she had 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Amanda Carr finished with 12 points, while Destinee Francis and Lauren Lewis each had seven points in the win.
Westies top SHA to qualify for postseason
By MIKE MADERA
(February 13, 2017) - Looking for win number eight and a clinching victory for postseason play, the West Haven girls basketball team got the job done. Holding Sacred Heart Academy to just seven points in the second half, West Haven rallied to defeat the Sharks 45-33 in Hamden Monday evening.
The victory allows the Westies to play in the postseason as they improved to 8-11 on the year. After three consecutive 2-18 seasons, West Haven returns to the postseason for the first time since the 2012-2013 season.
"I am so proud of these kids," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "They really got it going in the second half. and increased their defensive intensity. Keegan Riccio really stepped up defensively, holding (Claudia) Capozzo to two points. As a team, we held them to two baskets in the second half. It was a tremendous defensive effort tonight. These kids are determined and now we get to extend our season. We're not done yet."
The Westies turned the contest around in the second half. After trailing 26-22 at the break, the Westies turned up their defensive intensity. Sacred Heart's Claudia Capozzo had 14 of her team's 26 points in the first half, but was held to just two points in the second half.
West Haven trailed by four, but turned the deficit into a lead with a 10-3 run in the third quarter. The Westies then went on a 13-4 run to complete a 23-7 scoring spree in the second half.
Amanda Carr led the Westies with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Jaymesha Sanders had 12 points, Lauren Lews finished with seven points, and Keegan Riccio and Destinee Francis each added four.
West Haven tops Harding
Westies end regular season with win over Harding
By MIKE MADERA
(February 14, 2017) - With the West Haven girls basketball team in the midst of a long losing streak, no one could have predicted the way the Westies would finish the regular season. That finish included four straight wins to end the season and six wins in the last seven games.
As a result, West Haven finished the regular season with a 9-11 record and grabbed the 13th seed in the upcoming Southern Connecticut Conference tournament, where the Westies will play at fourth-seeded East Haven Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m.
Kaitlynn Cooke (1) against Harding, February 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
The latest victory came in the regular season finale Tuesday evening as West Haven defeated Harding 46-36 on Senior Night. As has been the case recently, the Westies used a strong second half effort to pull out the victory.
"I am proud of the kids for how we finished the regular season," West Haven coach Jessica Moriarty said. "I'm excited for them that they get to experience the postseason now. Anything can happen this time of year, and I am very confident with our group."
Natalia Frazer (3) against Harding, February 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Trailing 20-18 at the half, West Haven took control of the contest with a 20-11 run in the third quarter. West Haven outscored Harding 28-16 in the second half to turn a two-point deficit into a 10-point victory.
Jaymesha Sanders led the way with 16 points, while Natalia Frazer and Amanda Carr each scored seven. Lauren Lewis added six points in the victory.
West Haven falls to East Haven
Westies ousted from SCC tournament with loss
By MIKE MADERA
(February 16, 2017) - With the way the West Haven girls basketball team closed the regular season with four straight wins and six victories in its last seven contests, head coach Jessica Moriarty liked her team's chances heading into the postseason.
Moriarty had hoped the stay in the Southern Connecticut Conference tournament would be a little longer.
Despite battling throughout, 13th-seeded West Haven fell to fourth-seeded East Haven 51-43 in the opening round of the SCC tournament at East Haven High Thursday evening.
Kylie Schlottman proved too much for West Haven as she finished with 28 points, including 9-of-10 from the free throw line, and 13 rebounds for the Easties.
The Westies trailed by four entering the second quarter and went to the half down 30-23. Down by six points heading to the fourth quarter, West Haven was in striking distance, but, despite limiting East Haven to just six points in the final eight minutes, the Westies could not get any spark offensively as they scored just four points in the final eight minutes to lose by eight.
Jaymesha Sanders led the Westies with 18 points, while Amanda Carr had 10 points and Lauren Lewis finished with nine.
West Haven struggled from the free throw line, connecting on just 6-of-15 shots.
The Westies will now wait for the pairings to come out to see who they play in the CIAC Class LL state tournament.
West Haven falls to Darien
Season ends in Class LL qualifying round
By MIKE MADERA
(February 25, 2017) - With all the hard work the West Haven girls basketball team has put in, the team was looking forward to its chance to play in the Class LL state tournament.
As the 33rd seed, West Haven was forced to play a qualifying round game against 32nd-seeded Darien Friday afternoon on the road. Despite a valiant effort, the season has come to a close for the Westies as the Blue Wave rallied to post a 53-52 victory.
With the loss, West Haven closes the season with a 9-13 record.
The Westies jumped out to an early lead of 11-4 after one quarter, but their offense went missing in the second quarter. Darien used an 18-4 run to take a 22-15 lead, before the Westies stormed back.
Behind the play of Jaymesha Sanders, who finished the contest with 17 points and 22 rebounds, West Haven rallied in the third quarter, scoring more points in the third than it had the entire game.
A 21-13 burst in the third quarter gave West Haven a 36-35 lead with eight minutes to go, but in a high-scoring fourth quarter, Darien had an 18-16 advantage and prevailed by a point.
Kaitlynn Cooke added nine points, Olivia Vining and Amanda Carr each scored eight, and Lauren Lewis had six in defeat.