Westies score season-high in points to defeat Indians
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (January 10, 2012) – North Haven coach Pete Civitello planned on stopping West Haven’s Tieron Jackson and letting others beat the Indians. The Indians did a nice job guarding Jackson, but Civitello’s fear came true.
The Westies got offensive production from just about everyone on the floor and scored a season-high in points with an 89-86 victory over the Indians at West Haven High Tuesday evening.
“You have to tip your hat to them,” Civitello said after his team dropped to 5-3 with its third straight defeat. “They did not miss. It seemed like everyone they put in hit a shot.”
The Westies were hot from the start, scoring the first 10 points of the game to take a 21-13 lead after the first quarter. With the Indians pressuring Jackson, West Haven’s other shooters, Michael Jennings and Gary Dudley, stepped up.
Dudley was on fire as he could not be stopped from the outside. When all was said and done, Dudley continued to connect from the outside as he hit nine 3-pointers and finished the game with 34 points.
“We came out on fire,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said after his team picked up its third victory of the year and second in a row to improve to 3-6. “I asked him (Dudley) what he ate today. Every time they doubled on Mike (Jennings), he (Dudley) made them pay. He made every big shot all the way through.”
Jennings, who finished the game with 13 points, and Dudley set the tone of the contest as each hit 3-pointers to give the Westies a 6-0 lead When Jackson and Dudley followed with baskets, North Haven was in chase mode.
West Haven got the lead as big as 11 points in the closing minute of the quarter on another 3-pointer by Dudley and led 21-13 after eight minutes of play.
“We came out early knowing we were going to be on Tieron,” Civitello said. “He is a great player, definitely one of the best I have seen. We did not do a good job talking and they hit some wide open 3’s. We made some adjustments but their kid (Dudley) was great.”
The Indians chipped away the entire game and got as close as three points twice in the fourth quarter. Spencer Oakes cut the deficit to 69-66 and Billy McDonald got the Indians within 72-69 with a 3-pointer. McDonald hit another 3-pointer late to get North Haven within 87-84 but it was not enough.
“I told them the team effort tonight was great,” Civitello said. “We showed a lot of character coming back after halftime.
“The problem is when you are down that many, any mistake you make hurts. We were down fourteen at the half and got it to three or four a few times. We would make one mistake and they would hit a three. They shot very well tonight.”
McDonald could not be stopped by the Westies. The North Haven senior scored 43 points, including four 3-pointers. Dominic Schioppo scored 16 for the Indians.
Dudley scored 12 points in the second quarter and helped the Westies take a 50-36 lead to the half. West Haven close d the half on a 12-4 run after North Haven had cut the deficit to 38-32. Dudley started the run with a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws by Jackson ended the run before the half.
“We were up fourteen but I was still concerned,” Bosley said. “I knew we were going to have a difficult time stopping them. In the second half, we were still able to continue scoring.
“I thought after the first half, we might cool off. We really put a nail in them. A game like this is huge for our confidence.”
Darius Coleman (13 points, 11 rebounds) opened the third quarter with a basket to give West Haven its biggest advantage of the second half at 52-36. A 16-5 run, led by McDonald, got North Haven within 57-52 in the third quarter.
The Indians had a golden opportunity to close the gap in the fourth quarter. With four minutes remaining, Jackson, who scored 18 points for the Westies, fouled out.
Jackson’s last point of the game, a free throw, gave West Haven a 70-66 lead. The Westies scored 19 points after this and never let the Indians feel close to victory.
“I thought when he (Jackson) fouled out we could go get them,” Civitello said. “Other guys stepped up for them.”
The game was decided at the free throw line. The Westies outscored North Haven 25-12 from the line, connecting on 25 of 38 opportunities. North Haven hit just 12 shots in 18 chances.
Best of the West
Westies rally to defeat Notre Dame
By MIKE MADERA
(January 6, 2012) – Coach Harry Bosley and his boys’ basketball team have been looking for a spark. The Westies may have found it Friday evening against cross-town rival Notre Dame.
Trailing by 15 points in the first half, the Westies rallied to defeat the Green Knights 57-52 at West Haven High. An offense which has struggled at times this season finally awakened in the second half when the Westies scored 39 points.
“This is a good win,” Bosley said after his team improved to 2-6. “Gary Dudley came up real big for us as did Tieron Jackson. Michael Jennings played well. Our shooters came through in the second half. Once we got our shooters going, it opened the floor for Tieron to do his thing.”
Tieron Jackson finished the game with 18 points, but just as important, had 14 assists. Michael Jennings and Gary Dudley each knocked down three 3-pointers, with Jennings finishing with 11 points and Dudley having nine.
“Sometimes it takes a victory to get the guys to understand what is going on,” Bosley said. “We have to move some pieces around to find the right fit. We have to improve our rebounding,
“This was a huge win. It is our city rival. To be down 20-5 and come back to win this game is a huge confidence builder for the kids.”
The Westies got some momentum as they headed to the half. After Notre Dame’s Mathew Hamilton gave the Green Knights a 28-15 lead, Jennings closed the half for West Haven with a 3-pointer to send West Haven to the intermission down 28-18.
Kadialy Toure opened the second half by cutting the deficit to 28-21 and after Ivery Tanner gave the Green Knights a 30-21 lead, the Westies went on an 8-0 run.
Dudley and Jennings sandwiched 3-pointers around a pair of Jackson free throws to get West Haven within 30-29.
Darius Coleman cut the deficit to 34-33 and evened the game at 35. Notre Dame had another breath in the quarter as baskets by Ahmad Ward and Hamilton sent the Green Knights to the final quarter up 39-35.
The Westies exploded to start the fourth quarter, scoring the first 13 points and taking a 48-39 lead. Jackson scored the first eight points with a pair of 3-pointers and a basket and Dudley followed with a 3-pointer of his own. When Jackson drained a pair of free throws, the Westies had a 48-39 lead.
The Green Knights rebounded on baskets by Joe Bongiorni and Javon Grey to get within five before Coleman extended the lead again to 50-43. Jovon Lomena pushed the margin to 11 points before Notre Dame closed the game on a 7-1 run, paced by a 3-pointer and basket from Tanner.
“This is a big win,” Bosley said. “We have to keep building on this. We have to keep winning.”
The game did not start well for the Westies. After Jennings gave the Westies a 2-0 lead, West Haven hit on only one other field goal by Coleman in the opening quarter. Coleman’s basket gave West Haven a 4-2 lead and the Westies were outscored 19-1 to end the quarter.
Baskets by Bongiorni and Grey had the Green Knights in front by three points and Notre Dame closed the quarter with an 11-0 run. Tanner had eight of the points in the run and former Westie Tahj Eaddy hit a 3-pointer to give Notre Dame an 18-5 lead.
Bongiorni’s basket increased Notre Dame’s lead to 22-5 before Jackson stopped the bleeding with two free throws and a basket. The Green Knights never let West Haven get within single digits for the remainder of the half.
Westies fall to Lions despite rally
By MIKE MADERA
(January 3, 2012) – West Haven boys’ basketball coach Harry Bosley knew it was just a matter of time before teams started putting two guys on Westie star Tieron Jackson. That time has now arrived.
Bosley and his team dropped another close contest Tuesday evening, falling to Foran 57-53. With the loss, the Westies fell to 1-6 on the season.
“We have to keep fighting,” Bosley said. “We have to keep moving pieces around until we find the right mix. Everybody has to be prepared to step up. We need others to step up and help out.
“All the teams are doubling Tieron. That is leaving other guys open but we can’t make the shots.”
Jackson finished the game with 27 points even with several Foran defenders on him throughout the course of the game. West Haven had its chances but could not hit the key shots and the Westies only went to the free throw line ten times in the game.
Despite Darius Coleman scoring eight points in the opening quarter, the Westies trailed by six after eight minutes of play. Coleman had limited time on the court as he picked up his fourth foul in the first half.
Coleman’s absence was noticeable. A solid game in which Coleman had 12 points in the first half along with 11 of his 16 rebounds, was interrupted by fouls.
“Darius played well,” Bosley said. “He got into foul trouble early. We have some inexperience with some other guys. That was tough. He was having a big game.”
Foran started the second quarter on a 10-2 run and the Westies were in a 24-10 hole. West Haven closed the quarter on a 14-6 run but still trailed 30-24 at the half.
As has been the case all season, the Westies kept fighting back. Jackson scored nine points in the second quarter and West Haven trailed only 38-35 after three quarters of play.
“We made a lot of mistakes and we were down ten quickly,” Bosley said. “Tieron made a run and started to heat it up. But, we had to battle back and it just wasn’t enough.”
Jackson sank four from 3-point range and added 7 rebounds and six assists, while Kadialy Toure had 6 rebounds and 3 assists. Gary Dudley finished the game with nine points.
James Richetelli connected five times from 3-point range and finished with 17 points.
Westies fall to Cheshire despite comeback
By MIKE MADERA
(December 30, 2011) – Looking to bounce back from a sloppy loss to Hamden yesterday afternoon, the West Haven boys’ basketball team knew it needed to come up with a big effort. The Westies started quickly and led by eight points after the first quarter but could not hold on.
Cheshire chipped away, tied the game after three quarters and made some late shots to defeat the Westies 46-45 at West Haven High. With the loss, West Haven falls to 1-5 on the year.
“It’s a tough loss,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “It’s tough to ask some of these kids to step up when they don’t have the experience.
“We have to put some wins together. It is never too late. We have to get it going.”
Scoring the first 13 points of the second half as part of an 18-0 run, the Rams overcame an eight point deficit to put West Haven in a hole to start the third quarter.
“That run was the game,” Bosley said. “We did not end the half the right way. We were up but they had the momentum. We have to win quarters. The kids have to understand if you win the quarters, you win the game.”
Tieron Jackson, who finished with 19 points, stopped Cheshire’s run with a 3-pointer, which started a 12-0 West Haven run to end the third quarter and start the fourth. John Johnson got West Haven within 41-36, Jackson followed with a 3-pointer to bring West Haven within two points, then Jackson evened the game at the end of the third quarter.
“We showed some character to come back after coming off that loss,” Bosley said. “Darius Coleman did a heck of a job. He did a nice job rebounding. He played a great game.”
Jackson gave the Westies a 43-41 lead to start the fourth quarter. The problem for West Haven was the Westies would hit just one more field goal and score only two more points when Kenneth Graham gave West Haven a 45-43 lead.
West Haven looked like a different team on offense compared to its prior contest as Darius Coleman and Kadialy Toure each scored four points in the opening quarter, Michael Jennings hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jackson scored five points to give the Westies a 19-11 lead.
“We came out and played well,” Bosley said. “We are getting good crowds. People want to see these kids play. We need to put some wins together.”
A pair of baskets by Toure gave West Haven a 6-3 advantage before Cheshire scored the next five points. Jennings then hit consecutive 3-pointers for a 12-9 lead and a 3-pointer by Jackson extended West Haven’s lead to 17-11.
After Alex Palmieri hit one of two free throws for a 20-13 lead, Cheshire scored the next four points to cut West Haven’s lead to 20-17. Gary Dudley followed with a big 3-pointer and Coleman drained a basket for a 25-19 advantage.
A basket by Graham and four free throws by Jackson had the Westies in front 31-23 but the Westies could not put the Rams away. Cheshire closed the half on a 5-0 run to make it a one possession game at the half.
Jennings and Coleman each finished with six points, while Toure and Graham each had four.
Westies Sloppy in Loss
Turnovers key in loss to Hamden
By MIKE MADERA
NEW HAVEN (December 29, 2011) – Hamden coach Jarrad Beck had a simple game plan heading into Thursday afternoon’s contest with West Haven. Beck had his team pressure the Westies and sent two guys at Tieron Jackson, forcing others to make decisions.
The plan worked to perfection. Holding West Haven to 12 field goals in the game, Hamden easily defeated the Westies 47-34 in the Vanguard Athletics Big City Holiday Classic at the Floyd Little Athletic Center.
“You can’t give that kid time to shoot,” Beck said of Jackson. “He is one of the better players in the area, let alone the state. This is an example of how we need to play pressure defense the whole year. They missed some shots they would normally make but our game plan was to pressure them the whole game.”
Hamden held Jackson to 13 points and no other West Haven player was in double figures. The Green Dragons forced numerous turnovers from the start and never let up the pressure.
“We were very sloppy,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “We need guys to work on their ball handling skills. Teams are sending two and three guys at him (Jackson). Other guys have to step up and make decisions. We had way too many turnovers and that makes the game sloppy.”
The Westies struggled from the start as Hamden’s pressure defense forced numerous first half turnovers. West Haven made only five field goals in the first 16 minutes and trailed 29-16 at the intermission.
“We couldn’t get anything done,” Bosley said. “We turned the ball over too many times. We need to work on the pressure with the ball handler. We have to get other guys to make decisions without him (Jackson.).”
West Haven never played with a lead in the game as Hamden led from start to finish. The Green Dragons took a 15-5 lead after one quarter of play and increased the margin to 29-16.
Baskets by Richard Kennedy and Wesley Johnson gave Hamden a 6-1 lead before Michael Jennings hit West Haven’s first field goal of the game with 3:22 remaining in the opening quarter to cut the deficit to 6-3.
The Green Dragons scored the next seven points, paced by Kendall Walker’s dunk with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter for a 10-3 lead. Jackson cutWest Haven’s deficit to 13-5 with a dunk with 55 seconds remaining in the opening quarter, but even that did not spark the Westies.
“Both teams’ offenses struggled,” Beck said after his team improved to 4-1 overall and 1-1 in the division. “I think it was the depth perception here. We had some layups which gave the guys some rhythm. We had guys off the bench score which helped tremendously.”
Hamden used an 11-1 run to increase the margin to 24-6 on baskets by Mike Boateng, Kennedy and Johnson.
Four straight free throws by Jackson got West Haven within 24-10 but Kennedy drained a basket to get the lead to 17 points at 29-12.
“We had a big win (Xavier) and we follow that with this,” Bosley said after his team fell to 1-4 overall and 1-1 in the division.
West Haven got as close as ten points in the third quarter on a basket by John Johnson, but Hamden closed the quarter on an 8-4 run. Walker had four points in the run while Kennedy’s basket extended the lead to 41-25.
“This is a huge win for us,” Beck said. “It was a division game and it was not a normal game. It was a different time, a different place and we are on our break. We have to relish the moment but we also have to get ready for the rest of the season.”
Kennedy led Hamden with 13 points, while Walker finished with 12. Wesley Johnson and Boateng each had eight in the victory.
Kadialy Toure and John Johnson each scored five points in the loss, with Kenneth Graham adding four.
Jackson leads Westies
Senior scores 38 points as Westies post first victory of the year
By MIKE MADERA
(December 22, 2011) – After starting the season with three straight losses, the West Haven boys’ basketball team was looking for answers. Needing a win to restore some confidence, the Westies delivered in Middletown.
Riding the play of Tieron Jackson, who scored 38 points and dished out six assists, the Westies defeated Xavier 73-58 Thursday evening to improve to 1-3 on the season.
“We needed the win,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “We needed it big time. Tieron Jackson is a special player. He’s tough.
“Everyone contributed. Michael Jennings scored seventeen points and Darius Coleman scored twelve. It was a nice effort.”
With Jackson scoring 19 points in the first half, the Westies took a 31-24 lead to the break. An offensive explosion would follow for the Westies.
Scoring 30 points in the third quarter, the Westies took a 61-44 lead and never looked back. The spark in the quarter came off the bench as Darius Coleman scored eight points and added a couple of steals to get the Westies going.
“You have to win the quarters,” Bosley said. “That’s how you win games. We went to the half court trap the whole game and they (Xavier) couldn’t get going on offense.”
Coleman sparked the Westies and Jackson and Michael Jennings helped the Westies pull away. Jackson scored eight points in the quarter and Jennings drained four 3-pointers to give the Westies a 17-point lead.
“Everyone has their role,” Bosley said. “He (Jennings) gets those shots from the outside. Those shots are big.”
West Haven cruised from there as Xavier could not get within striking distance. West Haven’s defense, using a half court trap, did a nice job in the fourth quarter, not allowing Xavier to make a run.
“Our half court trap disrupted their offense,” Bosley said. “We kept it going all game. We might have found our niche. They (Xavier) were concentrating on the defense and they couldn’t set up the offense.”
Jennings scored 17 points on five 3-pointers and Coleman finished with 12 points, six steals and four rebounds. Kadialy Toure did not score but made his presence felt with six assists, three rebounds and three steals.
West Haven comes back from 23 down but falls to Amity
By MIKE MADERA
Special thanks to Matt Olenick who contributed to this story
WEST HAVEN (December 20, 2011) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team hoped to snap its mini skid to open the season. After falling in its first two games, West Haven hoped a home contest against Amity would prove to be the cure.
The Spartans were anything but welcomed guests as a big second quarter run allowed the Spartans to hang on to a 64-61 victory. The loss dropped the Westies to 0-3 on the season.
“We are going to keep searching until we find the right niche,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “I just hope it’s not too late when we catch on.”
With the game knotted at nine after one quarter of play, the Spartans won the game in the second quarter. Amity opened the second quarter on an 11-1 run to take a 20-10 lead.
After a basket by Andre Gee cut the deficit to 20-12, the Spartans caught fire and the Westies were ice cold. Amity finished the quarter on a 15-0 run to take a 35-12 lead to the half.
“They won the game in the second quarter,” Bosley said.
What could have easily been an Amity blowout victory quickly turned into a nail-biter. The Westies opened the third quarter on a 19-0 run to cut the deficit to 35-31.
Tieron Jackson, who finished the game with 38 points, and Michael Jennings did the damage in the run as Jackson scored 13 points and Jennings drained a pair of 3-pointers. Jackson and Jennings carried the team within striking distance before the Spartans went on a 6-0 run to extend the lead to 41-31.
A 3-pointer by Gary Dudley cut the deficit to seven but Amity responded to take a 43-34 lead after three quarters of play.
“We showed a lot of heart to come back,” Bosley said. “We need to work on a few things. Someone else had to get going along with Tieron. He (Jackson) almost carried us to the win. We lost the game in the second quarter.”
With Amity leading by 11 points, Jovon Lomena sank two free throws to cut the deficit to nine and 11 straight points by Jackson brought West Haven within 55-48. Lomena hit the next two buckets for the Westies to get within 57-52 and a Jackson 3-pointer brought the Westies closer at 59-55.
“We turned the tempo around,” Bosley said. “I am proud about that. Hopefully, we can build off that.”
West Haven got as close as 61-59 on a pair of Jackson free throws but could get no closer. Jackson sank 6-of-7 free throws down the stretch but it was not enough for the Westies.
Baskets by Kadialy Toure, Kenneth Graham and Jackson gave West Haven a 6-3 lead to start the game. Amity scored four straight points before Jackson’s free throw knotted the game at seven.
Jackson ended the scoring in the quarter with a pair of free throws to even the game at nine. Amity showed a sign of things to come by starting the second quarter on a 6-0 run for a 15-9 lead.
Jackson had five assists, five rebounds and four steals to go along with his 38 points. Lomena finished with seven points and four steals.
Late rally falls short for Westies
By MIKE MADERA
(December 16, 2011) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team learned a valuable lesson regarding starting slowly. Scoring just eight points in the first quarter and trailing throughout most of the first half, West Haven could not recover in a 59-43 loss to Hand Friday evening in Madison.
“Their kids were stronger and tougher than us,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “We have to get tougher.”
After Andre Gee scored the first Westie points of the game, West Haven looked out of sync in the opening quarter. Hand took advantage and used its big bodies to control the boards.
With Hand controlling play, West Haven looked for a spark. Tieron Jackson gave the team a little jolt as he came off the bench to score the final six points of the opening quarter for the Westies.
“We need someone else to step up other than him (Jackson),” Bosley said. “Our rebounding has to get better. We do way too much tipping and not enough grabbing and that comes from inexperience.”
The Westies trailed by six entering the second quarter and rode the play of Darius Coleman and Michael Jennings. Coleman scored four of his eight points in the second quarter and Jennings drained a 3-pointer as the Westies went to the half trailing 27-19.
“We made a run but we could not score when we stopped them,” Bosley said. “We were down seven and we could not get over the hump. The scouting report is out on him (Jackson). We need someone else to step up.”
The Westies continued to struggle in the third quarter. The shots were off and Hand held the Westies at bay.
Only Jackson could connect, scoring all nine points in the quarter as West Haven trailed 37-28. Kadialy Toure got into foul trouble and fouled out in the third quarter as well.
Gary Dudley opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to six points but Hand took advantage at the free throw line. The Tigers were in the bonus and hit their shots to send West Haven to its second straight defeat in as many decisions.
“We definitely had some good moments out of our 1-3-1,” Bosley said. “But we did not capitalize at all. We were stuck on thirty too long.”
West Haven committed 14 turnovers in the game and missed 11 free throws.
Jackson led the way with 23 points. He also added five rebounds, four assists and four steals. Coleman had eight points, seven rebounds and three blocks, while Toure had four rebounds and two steals.
Ryan Florentine and Matt Wallack led Hand with 12 points apiece.
Missed shots early prove costly
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (December 14, 2011) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team learned the valuable lesson of converting free throws and easy layups Tuesday night in the season opener against Shelton. The Westies’ inability to do so early cost them a possible victory over Shelton as the Gaels held on to defeat the Westies 52-47 at West Haven High.
“We were in chase mode early,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “If we hit a couple of those shots early, it would have been a different game. We did not defend or rebound well. If we don’t play defense or rebound, it will be a long season. Defense and rebounds win games.”
The Westies chased the Gaels from the start, before eventually taking a lead in the third quarter. Michael Jennings, who drained six 3-pointers in the game, used a long distance shot to give the Westies their final lead of the game in the fourth quarter, 39-38.
Jennings’ efforts were not enough as Shelton closed the game on a 14-8 run and prevailed by five points. Bosley was well aware of the potential points left on the court.
“We missed early,” Bosley said. “Our big men didn’t hit early.”
Shelton jumped got out of the gates quickly, taking a 4-0 lead on baskets by David Moreland, Jr. and Benjamin Malay. A 3-pointer by West Haven’s Tieron Jackson got the Westies within one point before Ryan Testani gave the Gaels a 9-3 advantage.
A basket by Darius Coleman and a free throw by Jackson got West Haven within 9-6 before Shelton’s Malay nailed a 3-pointer for a 12-6 Shelton lead with three minutes remaining in the quarter. Jackson answered with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 12-9.
West Haven finished the quarter by scoring four of the final seven points to trail 15-13 after one quarter of play. The Westies again failed to convert in the second quarter.
After scoring seven points in the first quarter, Jackson added five more in the second. Jackson’s efforts were not enough as the Westies scored just nine points in the second quarter and trailed 27-22 at the half.
“They had two or three guys who returned from last year,” Bosley said. “They had experience returning. Most of the times, when you play teams like that with experience returning, they win the game. They have been there before. I am disappointed but hopeful.”
Jennings started to heat up in the third quarter, nailing three 3-pointers. The efforts of Jennings sparked the team, leading West Haven to a 14-8 run and giving West Haven a 36-35 lead with eight minutes to play.
“Michael Jennings had a really good game,” Bosley said. “He hit six three-pointers. Teams are going to double and triple-team Tieron (Jackson). Others are going to have to step up.
“Michael did a nice job. He hit a big shot in the third quarter to put us up 36-32 and we were trying to run out the clock to go the fourth quarter up by four. But, they got the steal and hit the three and we were only up by one.”
Jackson finished the game with 21 points, eight assists and three 3-pointers. Jennings finished with 18 points and Kadialy Toure had four in the loss.
Moreland led Shelton with 15 points and Kyle Packnick had 15 for the victors.
Looking to Go Back
Westies want to get back to postseason
By MIKE MADERA
After failing to reach the state tournament last season, members of the West Haven boys’ basketball team worked hard in the offseason to get back there this season. If the Westies are to play in the postseason this year, they will have to do so with some different faces.
Gone to graduation are Alex Ford, DeShawn Moncrease and Jeff Hill. Tahj Eaddy transferred to Notre Dame and Ervin Philips and Jesse Ridgway decided not to play, focusing on training for football.
Coach Harry Bosley will put a team with limited experience on the court. Despite this, Bosley feels his team has plenty of potential.
“Even with the losses, I feel we can make the tournament,” Bosley said. “I think it is a matter of how many games over the eight wins are we going to get.
“Tieron (Jackson) is going to have to carry us. He has the ability to make other better. He is unselfish to a fault. I definitely think we can make it. We have some winnable games on our schedule.”
Senior captain Tieron Jackson will lead the way, running the team from his point guard position. Jackson has impressed Bosley early on.
“I like what I see from Tieron Jackson,” Bosley said. “He makes others better. He will have to carry us to the point where the other guys feel comfortable and can do well.
“Tieron can be sensational. Coaches will double or triple-team him. He was an All-Division selection last year. Someone else has to step up and help. He can handle the ball well.”
Jackson will get help from senior center Darius Coleman, senior guard Alex Palmieri, sophomore forward Kenneth Graham and junior forward Kadialy Toure. Junior guards Andre Gee and Andrew Martino will battle along with sophomore Gary Dudley for significant minutes on the floor, with junior guard Michael Jennings also in the mix.
Kadialy Toure (23) will play a key role in the success of the boys' basketball team. Photo courtesy of Russ McCreven.
“Our weakness is rebounding,” Bosley said. “We do not have the experience. If we can rebound and play the defense we can play, we can hang in there with most of the teams in the SCC. We have to rebound.
“I have high expectations even with the losses. I really feel good about this team. We will miss Jesse Ridgway off the boards and Ervin started every game for me as a freshman. Tahj got some big minutes last year. I think we will be okay though.”
West Haven opens the season, Wednesday, December 14 against Shelton at 7 p.m. at West Haven High.
Andre Gee against North Haven, January 10, 2012. Photo courtesy of Russ McCreven.
Michael Jennings against North Haven, January 10, 2012. Photo courtesy of Russ McCreven.
Congratulations to Michael Jennings and Tieron Jackson on being selected to the SCC All-Quinnipiac Team. Jackson will also play in the Senior All-Star game at Maloney High School, March 21, 2012.
Westies fall to Shelton in season finale
By MIKE MADERA
(February 20, 2012) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team knows all about missed opportunities. With one game remaining in the regular season, the Westies had a chance to play the roll of spoilers as they traveled to playShelton Monday evening.
With the Gaels needing a victory to qualify for both the Southern Connecticut Conference and state tournaments, West Haven would prove to be a tough late season opponent. Despite six 3-pointers, the Westies fell to the Gaels 44-41, ending their season at 6-14.
"They were in a desperate situation," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "They took the lead and held the ball for a while. We knew they were going to do that because they needed the win."
The Westies can think of plenty of games which slipped away as a reason for not playing in the postseason. Monday evening was no exception.
"We played our better basketball towards the end of the year," Bosley said. "We had our chances in this game too. We had a chance for a last second shot but fumbled it away."
After scoring just four points in the first quarter, West Haven responded with 17 second quarter points to take a 21-20 lead to the half.
"They jumped out on us to a 12-2 lead," Bosley said. "We took the lead at halftime and we knew the third quarter was going to be the key. We knew if they got the lead, they were going to hold the ball out and they did that for a minute or two when they got the ball."
The problem for the Westies was their shooting from the field. Aside from the 3-pointers, West Haven was only able to connect on 10 field goals and only got to the free throw line three times, hitting all three shots.
The lack of field goals hurt the Westies, especially in the third quarter, where the Westies scored just 8 points and went to the final eight minutes trailing 36-29.
Kadialy Toure led the way for the Westies with 13 points. West Haven’s leading scorer, Tieron Jackson, was held in check by the Gaels as he scored only 12 points. Jovon Lomena scored 8 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, and Mike Jennings and Alex Martino scored 5 and 3 points, respectively.
"There were some games we could have won but we didn't," Bosley said. "We paid for it in the end."
Christian Pierre led Shelton with 22 points.
Westies hold on to defeat Tigers
Jackson leads team with 30 points on Senior Night
By MIKE MADERA
Special thanks to Matt Olenick who contributed to this article
(February 17, 2012) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team has struggled through a tough season. Playing on Senior Night, the Westies wanted to end their home season on a positive note.
Behind 30 points from Tieron Jackson and 13 from Michael Jennings, the Westies held on the defeat the Hand Tigers 49-45 at West Haven High. The win allowed the Westies to improve to 6-13 on the season.
"It was a huge win," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "It was another good part of the season. Hand is a good team. To win the game on Senior Night is fantastic."
The Westies won this game in the third quarter when an 8-0 run allowed West Haven to take a 40-30 lead. West Haven then hung on as the Tigers closed the game on a 15-9 run.
After Hand’s Brendan Hughes knocked down a 3-pointer to cut West Haven’s lead to 32-30, the Westies used four points by Jackson and baskets by Jennings and Kadialy Toure to take a 40-30 lead after three quarters.
Hand opened the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run, including another 3-pointer by Hughes before Jennings stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer to extend West Haven’s lead to 43-37.
Baskets by Richard Spencer and Hughes cut the margin again to two points at 43-41 before Jovon Lomena gave the Westies a 45-41 lead. Jackson answered a pair of Spencer baskets with a bucket and two free throws at the end to seal the game as the Tigers were never allowed to even the game in the final seconds.
"The game is another good part of the season," Bosley said. "I felt the student body and the crowd were tremendous. I want to thank Mr. Palmieri and his participation for all he did.
"I am really proud of the guys. I think we owed it to the crowd as they supported us so well all year even though we were not winning. I want to thank the student body and Mr. Palmieri for everything they put together for us."
The Westies held a 14-10 lead after one quarter of play as they closed the first eight minutes on a 14-6 run. Baskets by Jennings, Jackson and Kenneth Graham gave West Haven a 6-4 lead before a pair of 3-pointers by Jackson put West Haven in front 9-6 and 12-8.
After a free throw by Hughes in the second quarter cut West Haven’s lead to 20-19, Jennings had a basket and Jackson added four more to increase the lead to 26-21.
Spencer led the Tigers with 22 points while Hughes had 12 in the loss.
Jennings leads Westies past Indians
Scores 28 points in win
By MIKE MADERA
(February 10, 2012) – With the postseason no longer in sight, it was going to be interesting to see how the West Haven boys’ basketball team responded Friday evening. When the final buzzer sounded, coach Harry Bosley had to be pleased.
Led by 28 points from Michael Jennings, including eight 3-pointers, and 16 more from Tieron Jackson, the Westies defeated North Haven 54-50 at North Haven High. The win was West Haven’s second over North Haven this season and helped the Westies improve to 5-13.
“I was pleased with the win,” Bosley said. “Michael Jennings was big tonight. He was hitting everything from the outside. He is one of the best shooters in the SCC.
“We worked for it tonight. We are seeing what we have for next year. The guys responded. I was pleased.”
After scoring just five points in the opening quarter and trailing by five points after eight minutes of play, West Haven began to turn the game around in the second quarter. The defensive play of the Westies was the key as the Indians scored only four points and West Haven went to the half with a 19-14 lead.
West Haven then pulled away in the third quarter. Increasing the lead to double digits, West Haven came out of the third quarter leading 33-26.
“I thought the third quarter was the key,” Bosley said. “We got up 14 or 15 points then they started to press. The next thing I know we are up seven then two. The bottom line is we won. “
Bosley was also pleased with Aaron Spann. After Jackson fouled out in the fourth quarter, Spann came on to hit a pair of free throws to seal the game.
“The kids played pretty good,” Bosley said. “We have a hard time finishing but it was a good win on the road.”
Billy McDonald led North Haven with 31 points, while Dominic Schioppo scored 13. The Indians struggled from the free throw line, where they connected on just 12-of-25 shots.
Over and Out
Loss to Prep leaves Westies out of postseason
By MIKE MADERA
(February 7, 2012) – In the end, losing six out of the first seven games to start the season was too much to overcome. Needing wins in the final four games of the regular season to qualify for the postseason, West Haven could not get the job done.
With their backs against the wall and facing a tough Fairfield Prep team at home, the Westies knew they would need an above average effort. While the effort was there, the results were not as West Haven fell to the Jesuits 69-50 at West Haven High Tuesday evening. The loss drops West Haven to 4-13 on the season.
“I did not anticipate not making it two straight years after a ten year run,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “A lot of different variables hurt.
“We did not anticipate not having some guys return this year. That hurt. But, even with that, we still thought we were going to make it. A lot of things just didn’t go our way.”
The Westies got off to a quick start on a basket by Kadialy Toure to open the game, but the Jesuits went on a 9-1 run to set the tone of the game. The run by Fairfield Prep was too much as West Haven never led again in the game.
“I thought we were in the game early,” Bosley said. “We made too many mistakes. We had guys who are not used to being on the floor.
“Every time we made a mistake (Terry) Tarpey made sure we paid. He was not going to allow us to come back.”
Michael Jennings and Tieron Jackson did their best to give the Westies a shot as Jennings nailed a 3-pointer and hit another bucket to cut the deficit to 13-8. A basket by Jackson, followed by his 3-pointer and two free throws got West Haven within two pints at 17-15.
The Jesuits answered with another run. After Jackson got the Westies within 19-17 in the second quarter, four points by Terry Tarpey keyed a 6-0 run by the Jesuits for a 25-17 lead.
West Haven twice got within five points in the second quarter on baskets by Jovon Lomena and Kenneth Graham but Prep closed the second quarter with buckets from Tim Butala and Tarpey to put West Haven in a 35-26 hole at the half.
“We did not end the quarters properly,” Bosley said. “We let a guy (Tarpey) run the length of the court and score in the final five seconds of the first quarter. Nobody stopped him. Those types of things hurt us.”
The third quarter was much of the same for West Haven. Fairfield Prep outscored West Haven 17-10 and never let the Westies get closer than six points.
Jennings and Jackson each hit 3-pointers in the quarter, but Prep closed the quarter and West Haven’s season with a 9-0 run, including five points by Tarpey.
“Basketball is a game of mistakes,” Bosley said. “We make our mistakes at the wrong time.”
The realization there would be no postseason sank in during the fourth quarter. West Haven never got closer than 11 points, 54-43, coming after a 3-pointer by Jackson and his two free throws.
Tarpey, who finished with 39 points, scored nine points in the final quarter, leading Prep to the 19-point victory. Butala finished with 12 points for the Jesuits.
Jackson led West Haven with 23 points. Jennings had 13 in the loss and Lomena added eight.
Backs to the Wall
Westies fall to Hamden as postseason hopes fade
By MIKE MADERA
HAMDEN (February 2, 2012) – With the regular season coming to a close, every game becomes important. Thursday evening’s game between Hamden and West Haven was all about the postseason as each team needed a win to keep the dreams of a postseason bid alive.
Richard Kennedy’s 18 points and solid free throw shooting by Hamden propelled the Green Dragons to a 66-55 victory over West Haven at Hamden High. Hamden improved to 8-6 with the victory and qualified for the state tournament while West Haven fell to 4-12 and needs to win out to qualify for the postseason.
“Every team wants a chance to experience playing in the postseason,” Hamden coach Jarrad Beck said. “You want to experience that tournament atmosphere. You work so hard all year, you want to get there.”
The difference in the game came at the free throw line. As a team, Hamden converted 18-of-23 free throws while West Haven hit on only 7-of-18.
“You have to hit your free throws,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “Between the free throws and the hustle plays, they were the difference. We dug ourselves a hole we could not get out of.”
The two teams battled throughout the game with neither team able to pull away. Tieron Jackson gave West Haven a 39-38 lead in the third quarter with a 3-pointer with 4 minutes, 25 seconds remaining and Michael Jennings followed with another 3-pointer to increase the lead to four points.
Hamden battled back and the difference in the quarter came at the free throw line. The Green Dragons hit all eight of their free throws and took the lead for good on two free throws each by Kendall Walker and Wesley Johnson.
“We are trying to hit our free throws and keep our defense consistent,” Beck said. “The effort always has to be there. It has to. We had some hustle plays tonight which were big.”
Leading by four points entering the fourth quarter, Hamden used a free throw by Walker and a basket by Kennedy to increase the lead to 53-46.
The Westies kept battling and got as close as three points. Two baskets by Darius Coleman got West Haven within 58-55 but the Westies got no closer as Coleman missed a free throw on the play.
“We have a tough time finishing,” Bosley said. “We were not able to hit on some baskets and we were not very good with our free throws.”
Hamden jumped out to a nine point lead after one quarter on the play of Kennedy. Kennedy scored 10 points in the quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Kennedy started the game with a 3-pointer, propelling the Green Dragons to an 8-2 lead. Jennings, who drained a pair of 3-pointers in the opening quarter, got the Westies within 8-5 and knotted the game at 10 with another 3-pointer.
“Richard Kennedy has established himself as a real leader,” Beck said.
Hamden had an answer as the Green Dragons closed the quarter on an 11-2 run. Kennedy scored five consecutive points for a 15-10 Hamden lead before the Green Dragons scored the final six points of the quarter on baskets by Walker, Kennedy and Nathanial Bailey.
The Westies pulled ahead in the second quarter on the shooting of Jennings. The junior hit a pair of 3-pointers to bring the Westies within 23-18, before four straight free throws by Jackson got the Westies within 23-22.
Hamden used a 6-0 run in the second quarter to pull away before Kadialy Toure’s basket with 51 seconds remaining in the half brought West Haven within 32-30. Kennedy ended the half for Hamden with a basket, giving the Green Dragons a 34-30 lead at the half.
Walker finished with 12 points, Rob Grissett had 10 and Mike Boateng and Bailey each had nine. Jennings led West Haven with 19 points, including five 3-pointers. Coleman had 15 points and Jackson finished with nine.
For more on West Haven and Hamden, read the Milford-Orange Bulletin here and the Post Chronicle here.
Westies fall to Amity
Jennings scores 17 in loss
By MIKE MADERA
WOODBRIDGE (February 1, 2012) – If the Amity boys’ basketball team is to advance deep into both the Southern Connecticut Conference and state tournaments, offensive balance and defense will be the keys. With Wednesday evening’s performance against West Haven, opposing teams may want to take notice if the Spartans were giving a glimpse of what is to come in the postseason.
With ten players in the scoring column and a defensive effort which stalled any West Haven rhythm, the Spartans defeated the Westies 58-34 at Amity High School Wednesday evening.
“We want that balance,” Amity coach Jeff Nielsen said after his team improved to 12-3. “Everyone knows Zach Campbell can score. We talked about finding the open man. We had guys scoring inside and hitting from the outside.”
Kevin Russell led Amity with 13 points. Zach Cohen and Zach Campbell each had 10 and Alexander Palkowski finished with six for the Spartans.
While Amity had its offense clicking, the Westies never got going. Only Michael Jennings was in sync as he dropped in 15 of the team’s 19 first half points and finished the game with 17 points
“Our size is always going to be a factor against these teams,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. “They got us on the boards and they were able to wear us down with their strength.”
The Spartans put the game away in the third quarter. With West Haven scoring only nine points in the quarter, Amity built its biggest lead of the game to that point, 48-26, on a free throw by Matthew Lettick.
The 19-9 run in the quarter by the Spartans was sparked by Russell who scored six points and Palkowski and Cohen who each scored four. Amity’s biggest lead of the game was 24 points.
“We came out and took the ball to the basket,” Nielsen said. “We were able to get some layups. I felt we were weak in the first half but our 3-point shooters allowed us to go the half up by ten points.”
West Haven scored the first basket of the game when Kadialy Toure got through the Amity defense but the Westies never led again. Amity, behind Cohen’s 3-pointer and baskets by Palkowski and Campbell, went on an 8-0 run and never looked back.
Jennings hit a pair of 3-pointers in the quarter but that was all West Haven could muster. Amity’s size was too much for the Westies as Russell scored five points to give Amity a 16-10 lead after one quarter.
The Spartans, playing for seeding and home games in the postseason, continued to dominate in the second quarter as they took a 29-19 lead to the half. Campbell was a force in the second quarter, scoring six points, including a 3-pointer which gave Amity its biggest lead of the half at 27-14.
“I thought our defense played really well,” Nielsen said. “They had one guy (Jennings) who was hitting from 3-point range. We made the adjustment on him. We did a good job of not letting him get to the basket.”
Andre Gee had five points for West Haven, while Darius Coleman added four points, five rebounds and three steals.
With the loss, West Haven falls to 4-11 and needs four wins in its final five games to play in the postseason.
For more on West Haven and Amity sports, read the Milford-Orange Bulletin here
ND shocks Westies
Green Knights pick up first win of the season
By MIKE MADERA
(January 30, 2012) – The West Haven boys’ basketball team entered the second half of the season feeling good after a slow start. The Westies needed four wins in the second half to qualify for the state tournament.
With six games remaining, the number remains at four. After suffering a tough loss against Foran Friday evening, the Westies were hoping to get well against cross-town rival and winless Notre Dame Monday evening.
The task would prove to be a tough one. Playing its second game without leading scorer Tieron Jackson, who missed the game for violating school rules, the Westies fell to the Green Knights 42-36 at Notre Dame.
“It is tough,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said of the loss. “They are our rival and they got their first win off of us.
“We had a tough time scoring. I thought our defense was pretty good. The kids I have played hard. They fought and they didn’t quit.”
The loss was tough on several accounts for the Westies. The setback hurt West Haven’s playoff chances and it was also Notre Dame’s first win of the season.
To make matters worse, it was a former Westie, Tahj Eaddy, who inflicted most of the damage for the Green Knights. Eaddy had one of his best games of the year, scoring 17 points, including three 3-pointers, and coming up with eight steals.
“Tahj played for us,” Bosley said. “He had eight steals. He knows the offense and what we are trying to do.”
Ahmad Ward and Joe Bongiorni also played well for the Green Knights. Ward had four points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two blocks while Bongiorni added five points and 11 rebounds.
The Westies showed no signs of missing Jackson in the first quarter as each team scored 11 points. Things were different in the second and third quarters.
The middle quarters were the difference as the Westies scored just five points in the second quarter and were outscored 27-12 in the middle quarters.
That run by the Green Knights was too much for West Haven to overcome. Despite a 13-4 run by West Haven in the fourth quarter, Notre Dame’s 38-23 lead after three quarters of play proved too much for the Westies.
“We had a technical in the second quarter,” Bosley said. “That hurt as it came at the end and they get the points, then hit a 3 so it becomes a five-point play. They had all the momentum going into the third quarter.”
Kadialy Toure led West Haven with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Andre Gee finished with nine and Gary Dudley had six on a pair of 3-pointers. Darius Coleman played well on the boards for the Westies with 13 rebounds.
Westies held to 35 points in loss to Lions
By MIKE MADERA
(January 27, 2012) – With the regular season ticking away, the West Haven boys’ basketball team knows the importance of each game. The Westies need four more wins to qualify for the state tournament and every game without a win is an opportunity wasted.
Consider that the case Friday evening when the Westies traveled to Milford to play Foran. Playing without leading scorer Tieron Jackson, the Westies could not manage any offense. The end result was a 51-35 loss to the Lions at Foran High.
While the Westies kept up with the Lions in the first half and trailed only by seven at the intermission, Foran adjusted in the second half. Foran’s defense and poor shots by the Westies led to just 13 points for the Westies in the second half, including just three in the third quarter.
The poor third quarter was too much to overcome for West Haven. A seven point deficit turned into a 41-25 hole to start the fourth quarter.
West Haven had seven players in the scoring column but only one, Gary Dudley hit double digits. Dudley knocked down three 3-pointers and finished with 10 points.
The rest of the team combined to score just 25 points. Kadialy Toure finished with eight, John Johnson had seven and Darius Coleman had four in the loss.
The Lions also had seven players in the scoring column but three hit double digits. Austin Woods led the way with 12 points, Kevin Green had 11 and James Richetelli finished with 10.
West Haven fell to 4-9 with the loss while Foran improved to 7-6, one win away from the state tournament.
Falcons soar past Westies
Santos-Knox leads Xavier over West Haven
By MIKE MADERA
Special thanks to Matt Olenick who contributed to this article
(January 24, 2012) – West Haven coach Harry Bosley was concerned about Tuesday evening’s game against Xavier. Having already defeated the Falcons on the road, the Westies were looking to do so again at home as they continued their march to the state tournament.
That march has slowed down. The Falcons turned a 15-point halftime lead into a 19-point victory as Xavier defeated the Westies 80-61 at West Haven High.
“We are the type of team which has to maintain the lead,” Bosley said. “That’s when we have a good shot to win. When we were down eight, nine, ten points, that’s not a situation we want to be in.”
The game turned in the second quarter after a pair of Tieron Jackson 3-pointerrs gave the Westies a 15-14 lead. Xavier went on a 14-0 run, behind seven points from Jovan Santos-Knox, taking a 28-15 lead the Falcons never relinquished.
West Haven had a hard time dealing with Santos-Knox. The senior finished the game with numerous big baskets and 23 points.
Michael Jennings ended the Xavier run with a basket but the Falcons again had an answer. James Sullivan drained a pair of 3-pointers in succession, giving the Falcons a 34-17 lead.
“They threw the ball away early,” Bosley said. “We did not capitalize. We had opportunities but did not take advantage.”
Baskets by Kadialy Toure, Darius Coleman, Jennings and Jovon Lomena late in the second quarter got West Haven within 15 at the half.
“They are big,” Bosley said. “They killed us on the boards. We looked like a one man team out there dribbling around. We got destroyed on the rebounds.”
Any thoughts of a West Haven comeback were quickly dashed as the third quarter began. Sullivan knocked down a 3-pointer and Santos-Knox scored to extend Xavier’s lead to 45-25. Three-pointers by Jennings and Jackson got the Westies within 16, but Xavier ran off seven straight points to extend the margin to 54-31.
West Haven got as close as 14 points in the quarter as Coleman tried to lead his team back into the game. Coleman scored eight of West Haven’s final ten points in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 55-41.
West Haven never got closer as Xavier went on a 12-2 run. Santos-Knox added six more points in the final quarter, allowing the Falcons to cruise to the victory.
With the loss, West Haven failed to pick up ground as far as qualifying for the state and Southern Connecticut Conference tournaments. The Westies fell to 4-8, while Xavier improved to 5-7.
“We have to get Friday’s game with Foran,” Bosley said. “If we win the game, that changes a lot. We are trying to make the tournament.”
Jackson led all scorers with 28 points, while also adding 13 assists. Coleman added 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Jennings finished with seven points.
Michael Manion and Sullivan each finished with 16 points for Xavier, Elijah Pemberton had 11 and Pat D’Amato had 10 as the Falcons had five players in double digits.
Westies fall to Fairfield Prep
Slow start costly in loss
By MIKE MADERA
(January 20, 2012) – With the season on the verge of turning around, the West Haven boys’ basketball team knew it was up for a tough challenge Friday evening. Traveling to play a tough Fairfield Prep team, the Westies knew they needed to be ready from the start. Unfortunately for West Haven, the start was slower than the team would have liked. A poor first quarter which saw the Westies trail by 13 points proved to be costly as Fairfield Prep defeated the Westies 79-61.
With the loss, West Haven fell to 4-7 and remains four games shy of qualifying for the postseason. Fairfield Prep improved to 9-2.
"Fairfield Prep is a good team," West Haven coach Harry Bosley said. "They are big, they get the rebounds and they are aggressive.We knew we could not get down early. We are not that type of team to come back from a deficit that big.
"It is going to be an uphill battle. We have Xavier next and I am sure they are extremely upset we beat them last time up there. We have to control the ball and keep the lead."
While the first quarter was the key to the game, West Haven also could not contain Terry Tarpey from the start. Not only did Tarpey score 26 points, but he was dominant in other categories as well.
The Jesuit star dished out 12 assists on the offensive side and had 13 rebounds and nine blocks on the defensive side.
Behind the play of Tieron Jackson, Darius Coleman and Gary Dudley, the Westies battled back. Jackson poured in 25 points, Coleman scored 17 and Dudley had 12 on four 3-pointers. Michael Jennings also scored seven points in the loss.
The problem for the Westies was the first quarter led to a 16-point halftime deficit. West Haven cut the margin to ten and made things interesting in the fourth quarter but it was not enough to keep its winning ways going.
"We were down eighteen and got it to ten," Bosley said. "We made some poor decisions after that. We stopped them four times but we could not score. We never got it back."
West Haven had a solid night from the free throw line, hitting 89% of their free throws, missing just one. Jackson was perfect at the line, converting all seven he attempted.
Along with Tarpey, Fairfield Prep had three other players in double figures. Ryan Blake scored 15, Tom Nolan had 14, including four 3-pointers, and Tim Butala added 13.
Jackson’s 30 points off the bench leads Westies
By MIKE MADERA
WEST HAVEN (January 16, 2012) – The start of the season has not been kind to the West Haven boys’ basketball team. With one win in its first seven games, West Haven’s run to the postseason needed some help.
That helped has since arrived. Winning its past three games, including Monday evening’s 70-59 decision against Amistad Academy at West Haven High, the Westies are on the verge of turning the season around.
“All in all, I am happy,” West Haven coach Harry Bosley said after his team improved to 4-6. “We started one and six, and we are now four and six. We need to continue to play the way we have been playing.
“We have been off since last Tuesday. I thought we were kind of sluggish and our timing was off today. I am happy we finished it out with a hard fought team.”
The Westies rode the play of Tieron Jackson to the victory. Not playing in the game’s first four minutes due to a coach’s decision, Jackson came off the bench to score a team-leading 30 points.
“I just tried to keep focused,” Jackson said. “I am not used to playing off the bench but I did whatever I could to keep the team going. We knew we had to get everyone involved.”
Trailing 41-33 in the third quarter, the Westies went on a 10-0 run to turn the game around. Two free throws by Andre Gee and field goals by Gary Dudley, Jovon Lomena, Gee and Jackson gave the Westies a 43-41 lead.
“I think our defense got to them in that run,” Bosley said. “We got some turnovers and Kenneth Graham got some solid rebounds. That enabled us to get our break going.”
With the game tied at 46 after three quarters, the Westies outscored Amistad Academy 24-13 in the final quarter. Michael Jennings knocked down a 3-pointer for a 49-46 lead 1 minute, 56 seconds into the final quarter and Jackson scored the next seven points to give the Westies a 56-46 lead.
Jackson’s 3-pointer was the last time West Haven hit a basket outside of the free throw line. The Westies’ remaining points came from the free throw line where they hit 13-of-18 shots to end the game.
“We hit a lot from the free throw line in the fourth quarter,” Jackson said. “Those were big for us.”
After scoring 89 points last week against North Haven, the Westies came out firing in the first quarter, scoring 17 points. After not starting, Jackson made his mark immediately off the bench.
Just 12 seconds after entering the contest, Jackson scored to give the Westies a 9-7 lead. Darius Coleman increased the lead to 11-9 before a 3-pointer by Chris Gibbs gave Amistad a 12-11 advantage.
Jackson scored the next six points for a 17-15 lead before a late 3-pointer gave Amistad a one point lead after the first quarter.
Following a 5-0 run by Amistad, Jennings evened the game at 20 with a 3-pointer. Baskets by John Johnson and Jackson put the Westies back in front 24-23.
A bucket by Jennings and his 3-pointer gave the Westies a 29-26 advantage. Amistad, led by Darien Barfield’s 3-pointer, evened the game at 29 before Jackson scored with one second left in the half to give West Haven a 31-29 lead.
Jennings scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Coleman had nine points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Barfield led Amistad Academy with 29 points.
Tieron Jackson scores against Foran, January 3, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
BOYS BASKETBALL 2011-2012
Darius Coleman goes up for the shot against Foran, January 3, 2012. Photo courtesy of Todd Dandelske.
Tieron Jackson goes up for a layup against North Haven, January 10, 2012. Photo courtesy of Russ McCreven.
State Champions - '87
All-State Players - Mike McMahon '85; Paul McMahon '87; Terry Rountree '91; Ivoree Stanley '95; Bruce Wesley '96; Matt Turner '98; Sly Williams '06
Retired Numbers - Michael McMahon (Class of 1985) #31; Jerry Gambardella (Class of 2000) #21
THE HOME OF WEST HAVEN SPORTS