Maher Sees Good Things In Panthers' Loss To Whalers

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Although Cromwell came up short in a back-and-forth fourth quarter against New London on Tuesday night, the Panthers remain focused on the larger plan.

New London pulled away from the free-throw line in the final minute to secure a 66-60 victory at Jake Salafia Gymnasium.

“It will help us in the long run,” Cromwell coach Kelly Maher said following the end of her team’s six-game winning streak.

The Panthers (9-4) stormed back for a 22-21 lead at halftime after producing only five points in the first quarter. The game was tied at 44 after three.

A 3-point basket by New London’s Olivia Yard with 1:25 remaining snapped a 56-56 tie and gave the Whalers (11-3) the lead for good.

Vanessa Stolstajner, the reigning Shoreline Conference Player of the Year, rose to the occasion for the Panthers with a game-high 25 points on 10 of 17 shooting. She also had 9 rebounds.

“Vanessa shot the ball well and did a really good job of reading the defense and taking advantage of what they gave her,” Maher said.

Cromwell is 0-4 against non-Shoreline competition this season, but the defending Class M champions use these games – ones Maher schedules each year — to evaluate their own and prepare for the state tournament.

“This was a different type of game,” Maher said. “It was quick, defensive and it really did come down to last 30 seconds. Just closing out the game is what we really needed to do. With a veteran team, they’ve had that experience of several years of these. With a younger team this year, it’s more of understanding what to do in these situations and growing from them.”

“It’s tough to be on the losing side of it, but for where we are right now, this is something we can learn from and experience that will help us,” the coach added.

Khaya Skene had 14 points and 9 rebounds for Cromwell, while point guard Sadie Budzik finished with 6 points and 9 assists. Jayden Burns led New London with 19 points.

NEW LONDON (66)
Jayden Burns 7 5 19, Olivia Yard 3 0 9, Wendy Gethers 4 1 9, Desiree Johnson 1 0 3, Joniyah Bland-Fitzpatrick 6 3 15, Jade Langworthy 2 6 11, Nalyce Dudley 0 0 0. Totals: 23 15-18 66.

CROMWELL (60)
Sadie Budzik 2 2 6, Khaya Skene 6 2 14, Nevaeh Clark 3 0 8, Monica Dewey 1 4 6, Vanessa Stolstajner 10 1 25, Adela Cecunjanin 0 1 1, Likita Chanda 0 0 0, Marykate Sullivan 0 0 0. Totals: 22 10-18 60.

Score By Quarters
NL 11 10 23 22—66
C     5 17 22 16—60

3-Pointers: NL—Yard 3, Langworthy 1, Johnson 1; C—Stolstajner 4, Clark 2.
Records: Cromwell 9-4, New London 11-3.

Next Game

  • Cromwell hosts H-K, Thursday, 7pm

Elsewhere around the area Tuesday:

Sheehan 42, Mercy 35

MIDDLETOWN – Sheehan rallied from a first-half deficit to beat Mercy in an SCC Housatonic Divison game. Sophie Hedge led the Tigers with 10 points.

SHEEHAN (42)
Hayleigh Lagase 2 0-0 5, Caitlyn Hunt 8 0-0 16, Maddi Larkin 0 8-10 8, Caitlyn Velez 1 6-7 8, Caroline Dighello 2 0-0 5. Totals: 13 14-17 42.

MERCY (35)
Lilly Hedge 3 0-0 7, Sophie Hedge 3 2-2 10, Lily Sokolowski 0 1-2 1, Ava Giansiracusa 1 4-4 6, Jasmine Mendez 0 2-2 2, Abby Bradbury 4 0-0 9. Totals: 11 9-10 35.

Score By Quarters
S     7 10 11 14–42
M 15   4   4 12–35

3-Pointers: S–Lagase 1, Dighello 1; M—S. Hedge 2, L. Hedge 1, Bradbury 1.
Records: Mercy 4-10, Sheehan 11-3.

Next Game

  • Mercy at Foran, Friday, 7pm

North Branford 48, Old Saybrook 35

NORTH BRANFORD – Kayla Holt finished with 11 points, 3 assists and 3 steals in the Rams’ loss to the Thunderbirds. Beldina Feratovic grabbed 8 rebounds for Old Saybrook.

OLD SAYBROOK (35)
Kayla Holt 5 1-2 11, Jenna Tully 0 3-4 3, Priscilla Gumkowski 3 1-7 7, Wendy Bowden 1 0-1 2, Beldina Feratovic 2 0-0 4, Lily Cody 0 0-1 0, Taylor Stone 1 3-7 5, Abby Bergeron 1 0-0 3. Totals: 13 8-22 35.

NORTH BRANFORD (48)
Hanna Senerchia 0 1-2 1, Julia Ricardo 8 2-3 18, Braeden LeBeau 7 0-3 14, Marissa Ricardo 0 0-0 0, Avonlea LeBeau 4 0-0 8, Lily Blomster 0 2-2 2, Julia Cassista 0 1-2 1. Totals: 21 6-12 48.

Score By Quarters
OS  11   5   7 12—35
NB 17 15 13 03—48

3-Pointers: OS—Bergeron 1.
Records: Old Saybrook 2-13, North Branford 8-6.

Next Games

  • Old Saybrook at Westbrook, Thursday, 7pm
  • North Branford hosts Old Lyme, Saturday, 7pm

Boys Basketball

Xavier 74, East Haven 44

MIDDLETOWN – Parker Hunter scored a game-high 20 points in the Falcons’ blowout win. Stephen Kohs added 13 points and Marcus Williams and Connor Jenkins 10 each.

EAST HAVEN (44)
Ian Reynolds 4 0-0 11; Nicky Furino 5 2-2 12; Shea Carasone 3 3-3 10; Shane Franklin 3 3-4 11. Totals: 15 8-12 44.

XAVIER (74)
Marcus Williams 5 0-0 10; Kareem Grisham 3 1-2 7; Stephen Kohs 5 0-0 13; Andrew Brown 2 2-2 6; Parker Hunter 8 0-0 20; Mick Sipples 1 0-0 2; Nick Beaulieu 1 0-0 2; Connor Jenkins 5 0-0 10; Justin Menard 1 2-2 4. Totals: 31 5-6 74.

Score By Quarters
EH  10 12 19  3—44
X    11  20  27  16—74

3-Pointers: X–Hunter 4, Kohs 3; EH Reynolds 3, Franklin 2, Carasone 1.
Records: Xavier 9-2, East Haven 3-9.

Next Game

  • Xavier at Notre Dame-West Haven, Friday, 7pm

Valley Regional 62, Westbrook 48

DEEP RIVER – Cade Ensinger finished with 14 points, 11 assists and 5 rebounds and Chris Sparaco had 13 points and 13 rebounds as Valley won its ninth straight game.

Gavin Grabowski scored 13 points and added 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals for the Warriors. Jack Naccarato scored a game-high 21 for Westbrook

WESTBROOK (48)
Jesse Whitney 6 1-2 13 Jack Naccarato 8 1-3 21 Brandon Naccarato 1 1-1 3 Brenden Engels 3 1-1 7 Sammy Freeman 1 0-0 2 Josh Maura 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 4-7 48.

VALLEY (62)
Jake Grow 4 0-0 10, Gavin Grabowski 5 0-0 13, Dylan Sparaco 1 0-0 2, Chris Sparaco 6 1-2 13, Cade Ensinger 5 4-9 14, Macklin Miezejeski 1 0-0 2, Jeremy Arnum 1 0-0 2, John Tibbetts 3 0-0 6. Totals: 26 5-11 62.

Score By Quarters
W  13 7 17 11—48
VR 19 14 16 13—62

3-Pointers: W—J. Naccarato 4; VR—Grabowski 3, Grow 2.
Records: Valley 10-3, Westbrook 4-8.

Portland 79, Old Saybrook 74

PORTLAND – Josh Doering poured in a game-high 24 points and the Highlanders held off the Rams down the stretch for the Shoreline Conference win. Cody Daggett scored 15 for Portland.

Old Saybrook scored half of its 28 field goals from 3-point land. Mike Almada led the Rams with 20 points.

OLD SAYBROOK (74)
Tucker Gometz 3 0 7, Gino Gallitto 5 0 14, Shon Ryan 0 0 0, Will Bergeron 1 0 2, Mike Almada 6 5 20, Davis Brown 1 5 8, Riley Lawson 4 0 9, Ryan Stratton 2 0 6, Ben Yost 1 0 2, Toby Marineau 2 0 6. Totals: 28 10-15 74.

PORTLAND (79)
TJ Reddington 1 1 4, Mason Piersall 2 2 6, Josh Doering 7 7 24, Indomari Ellison 0 3 3, Cody Daggett 5 5 15, Peter McNickle 2 0 5, Caden Charpentier 3 3 9, Noah Charpentier 1 0 3, Eli Evison 4 1 9. Totals: 25 22-30 79.

Score By Quarters
OS 19 25 12 18—74
P    23 17 17 22—79

3-Pointers: OS—Gallitto 4, Almada 3, Marineau 2, Stratton 2, Lawson 1, Brown 1, Gometz 1; P—Doering 3, Reddington 1, McNickle 1, N. Charpentier 1.
Records: Portland 5-6, Old Saybrook 0-11.

Next Games

  • Portland at Platt Tech, Thursday, 7pm
  • Old Saybrook hosts Westbrook, Friday, 7pm

Cromwell 51, H-K 44

HIGGANUM – Cromwell overcame a first-half deficit to defeat host H-K in Shoreline Conference play. Michael Morgan led the Panthers with 15 points. Jimmy McGoey scored a game-high 16 points for the Cougars.

CROMWELL (51)
Tyler Baldwin 3 0 7, James Grodzicki 2 0 4, Connor Daly 2 2 6, Zykarie Wilborn 3 0 6, Nick Polizonis 1 0 3, Justin Valentin 4 0 10, Michael Morgan 4 7 15, Gianluca Albert 0 0 0. Totals: 20 9-16 51.

H-K (44)
Alec Erskine 2 3 7, Giacomo Volpicelli 1 0 3, Jimmy McGoey 6 4 16, Sam Erskine 2 0 5, Mason Gorham 3 0 8, Chase O’Linn 1 2 5. Totals: 15 9-10 44.

Score By Quarters
C 13 6 17 15—51
HK 10 12 12 10—44

3-Pointers: C—Valentin 2, Baldwin 1, Polizonis 1; HK—Gorham 2, S. Erskine 1, Volpicelli 1, O’Linn 1.
Records: Cromwell 7-4, H-K 4-7.

Next Games

  • Cromwell hosts East Windsor, Wednesday, 7pm
  • H-K hosts Rocky Hill, Thursday, 7pm

Morgan 81, North Branford 60

CLINTON – Zach Johnson dropped 28 points and Jason Cohen hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points in the Huskies’ rout at home. Mike Sitro led the Thunderbirds with 23 points.

NORTH BRANFORD (60)
Mike Sitro 7 9 23, Bret Fee 3 0 6, Ronnie Long 1 0 2, Josh Brigido 3 0 8, Trevor Holzer 2 0 6, Blake Pearson 3 4 12, John Onofrio 1 0 3, Jack Meehan 0 0 0. Totals: 20 13 60.

MORGAN (81)
Zach Johnson 11 4 28, Jason Cohen 6 0 16, Cam Carlsen 2 0 4, Rob Zirlis 5 4 14, Connor Duffy 4 0 8, Gavin Krott 2 0 5, Drew Nye 2 0 6. Totals: 32 8 81.

Score By Quarters
NB 15 13 19 13—60
M  25 16 24 16—81

3-Pointers: NB—Brigido 2, Pearson 2, Holzer 2, Onofrio 1. M—Cohen 4, Johnson 2, Nye 2, Krott 1.
Records: Morgan 9-3, North Branford 5-6.

Next Games

  • Morgan hosts Valley Regional, Friday, 7pm
  • North Branford at Wolcott Tech, Friday, 4:30pm

Old Lyme 80, Coginchaug 39

OLD LYME – Wildcats big man Aedan Using scored 25 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 6 assists in his team’s Shoreline Conference home win.

Ray Doll finished with 10 points and Brady Sheffield had 8 points and 7 assists for Old Lyme (10-1). Justin Penney and Chris Onofrio scored 8 points apiece for the Blue Devils (3-10).

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