Pictured: Cromwell’s Cameryn Hickey gets a hand on Braeden LeBeau’s shot attempt in the post during the first half of Wednesday’s game at Jake Salafia Gymnasium. (Photo by Paul Augeri)

By Paul Augeri
middlesexcountysports@gmail.com

CROMWELL — Nevaeh Clark scored seven consecutive points out of the halftime break to give Cromwell the lead for good, and the Panthers’ clutch free-throw shooting in the waning minutes helped put away North Branford 51-42 on Wednesday night at Jake Salafia Gymnasium.

Nevaeh Clark scores the jumper as part of her string of seven consecutive points at the start of the third quarter. (Photo by Paul Augeri)

Cromwell’s win ended North Branford’s three-game winning streak in Shoreline Conference play. The Panthers have won eight of nine overall to keep pace with undefeated Valley Regional and East Hampton (11-1) in the conference.

Clark finished with a team-high 17 points and 6 assists and Adela Cecunjanin, despite first-half foul trouble, put up another double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The game was tied at 26 at the half before her third-quarter burst — a free throw, two layups in transition and a pull-up jumper — gave the Panthers a seven-point cushion.

Braeden LeBeau, who scored her 1,000th career point in the Thunderbirds’ last game, hit the second of two free throws to end the run and Marissa Ricardo scored on the break after a LeBeau blocked shot to cut the deficit to 33-29, but Jessica Grodzicki drilled a 3-pointer to push Cromwell’s lead back to seven.

Cromwell’s Grace Mikan and North Branford’s Natalia Lucibello battle for possession of a loose ball. (Photo by Paul Augeri)

The Thunderbirds would get no closer than six the rest of the way. Both teams couldn’t buy a shot from the floor in the fourth quarter — North Branford was 2 of 11, Cromwell 1 of 9 — but the Panthers were 7 of 9 from the free-throw line over the final 2:45 to maintain their lead.

Cromwell’s defense also came up with 9 steals.

Grodzicki has a terrific all-around game with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists for the Panthers, who host Hale-Ray on Friday.

LeBeau scored 15 points and grabbed 16 rebounds (9 on the offensive glass) and Keana Criscuolo also finished with a double-double (17 points, 13 boards).

NORTH BRANFORD (9-5)
Hanna Senerchia 1 1-2 4, Callie  Holzer 0 1-2 1, Braeden LeBeau 4 7-12 15, Keana Criscuolo 6 3-6 17, Marissa Ricardo 2 1-2 5, Delaney Norman 0 0-0 0, Natalia Lucibello 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 13-24 42.

CROMWELL (8-1)
Grace Mikan 2 0-0 6, Cameryn Hickey 2 0-0 4, Jessica Grodzicki 4 3-5 13, Nevaeh Clark 6 5-6 17, Adela Cecunjanin 3 5-6 11, Kayla Nappi 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17 13-17 51.

Score By Quarters
North Branford…12 14  5 11–42
Cromwell………..14 12 14 11–51

3-pointers: North Branford–Criscuolo 2, Senerchia 1; Cromwell–Mikan 2; Grodzicki 2.
Up next: Cromwell vs. Hale-Ray, Friday, 7pm; North Branford vs. Westbrook, Friday, 5:30.

In boys basketball Wednesday:

Old Saybrook 49, Old Lyme 32

OLD LYME (4-7)
Nick Cox 2 0-0 4, John Almy 3 4-4 11, Jacob Ritchie 1 0-0 2, Frank Sablone 0 2-2 2, Sam Mullaney 1 1-2 3, Caden Monte 3 0-2 6, Mav Swaney 1 2-2 4. Totals: 11 9-12 32.

Riley Lawson scored 11 points in Old Saybrook’s win over Old Lyme.

OLD SAYBROOK (6-4)
Ajdin Cecunjanin 1 0-0 2, Wes Nobile 2 0-0 4, Riley Lawson 5 0-6 11, Auggie Albert 2 1-4 5, Aaron Tolve 2 0-0 5, Ryan Stratton 6 0-0 14, Bradley Kulmann 2 0-0 6, Gene Sylpha 1 0-0 2, Brayden Cody 0 0-1 0. Totals: 21 1-11 49.

Score By Quarters
Old Lyme………..7  8  8  9–32
Old Saybrook…11 13 6 19–49

3-pointers: Old Lyme–Almy 1; Old Saybrook–Kulmann 2, Stratton 2, Lawson 1, Tolve 1.
Up next: Old Saybrook at H-K, Friday, 7; Old Lyme at East Hampton, Friday, 6.

East Hampton 52, Shepaug 39

EAST HAMPTON (7-4)
Brady Lynch 3 3 9, Connor Michalowski 1 0 3, Drew DiStefano 4 1 11, Jye Lynch 2 1 5, Jack Blakey 2 0 4, Nate Ireland 6 5 17, Jack Watkins 1 0 3, Miller Koziel 0 0 0. Totals: 19 10 52.

SHEPAUG (4-7)
Cam Schmus 0 0 0, Logan Pacific 2 0 6, Cade Sivick 0 0 0, Mike Andrews 2 0 4, Luke Schneider 5 1 11, Matt Ruffler 1 0 2, Kaelan McDonald 1 0 2, Riley Guilbeault 1 1 3, Liam Pacific 2 0 6, Phil Ostrosky 3 0 6. Totals: 17 2 39.

Score By Quarters
East Hampton…15 15 14 8–52
Shepaug………..11 8 10 10–39

3-pointers: East Hampton–DiStefano 2, Michalowski 1, Watkins 1; Shepaug–Logan Pacizio 2, Liam Pacizio 1.
Up next: East Hampton vs. Old Lyme, Friday, 6.

Tuesday’s boys basketball roundup:

Hale-Ray 57, Valley Regional 47

VALLEY REGIONAL (5-7)
Di’Angelo Jean-Pierre 6 0-2 13, Andrew Yermenson 2 3-3 8, Sam Hutchinson 2 0-2 4, James Marsden 5 1-2 16, Brayden Shea 3 0-0 6. Totals: 18 4-9 47.

HALE-RAY (10-2)
Drew Conroy 0 0-2 0, Loudon Chupas 4 3-4 11, Mamush Ciccarello 4 7-8 17, Miles Gagne 4 2-2 13, Nate Matetich 6 3-3 16. Totals: 18 15-19 57.

Score By Quarters
Valley………4 6 11 26–47
Hale-Ray..15 10 8 24–57

3-pointers: Valley–Marsden 5, Jean-Pierre 1, Yermenson 1; Hale-Ray–Gagne 3, Ciccarello 2, Matetich 1.
Up next: Valley vs. Coginchaug, Thursday, 7; Hale-Ray vs. Cromwell, Friday, 7.

Cromwell 62, Old Lyme 48

Jake Salafia drained 5 triples and finished with 17 points as the Panthers won on the road to improve to 9-0. Victor Payne also scored 17 points for the Panthers and Gianluca Albert added 15. Cromwell’s busy week continues with a game at North Branford on Thursday and at Hale-Ray on Friday.

Jacob Ritchie led the Wildcats with 11 points and 5 assists and Caden Monte contributed 10 points and 3 rebounds.

Xavier 34, Guilford 32

Anthony Parker’s 12-foot jumper with 1.4 seconds on the clock gave Xavier the upset SCC win over the Grizzlies in Middletown.

GUILFORD (9-2)
Cal Bucci 2 0-0 6, Theo Freeman 1 0-0 2, Brady Lynch 1 0-0 2, Kevin Goldberg 2 0-1 4, Justin Hess 0 0-3 0, Luke St. Marie 6 4-4 18. Totals: 12 4-8 32.

XAVIER (5-6)
Ethan Bessoni 0 3-4 3, Colby Ciampi 2 0-0 4, Vik Vakati 2 0-0 5, Anthony Parker 4 2-5 12, Aidan Driscoll 3 2-2 8; Mark Schoonmaker 1 0-0 2. Totals: 12 7-11 34.

Score By Quarters
Guilford….9 10 4 9–32
Xavier…..11 7 6 10–34

3-pointers: Guilford–Bucci 2, St. Marie 2; Xavier–Parker 2, Vakati 1.
Up next: Xavier at North Haven, Thursday, 7.

East Hampton 62, Old Saybrook 54

EAST HAMPTON (6-4)
Brady Lynch 6 4-5 16, Connor Michalowski 1 1-2 4, Drew DiStefano 5 8-11 18, Jye Lynch 2 4-6 8, Jack Blakey 3 0-0 6, Nate Ireland 5 1-1 11. 22 18-25 62.

OLD SAYBROOK (5-4)
Riley Lawson 1 2-3 4, Ryan Stratton 6 1-4 16, Auggie Albert 3 7-8 13, Aaron Tolve 9 1-3 21, Ajdin Cecunjanin 0 0-0 0, Brayden Cody 0 0-0 0, Wes Nobile 0 0-0 0, Jake Butler 0 0-0 0, Bradley Kulmann 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 11-18 54.

Score By Quarters
East Hampton….11 17 15 19–62
Old Saybrook…..16 10   8 14–54

3-pointers: Old Saybrook–Stratton 3, Tolve 2, Lawson 1.

Morgan 70, Westbrook 50

WESTBROOK (4-7)
Brandon Naccarato 7 3-5 18, Joey Caslin 5 0-1 10, Jesse Whitney 1 1-2 3, Sam Freeman 2 1-2 5, Evan McIntyre 3 1-2 7, Ryan Engels 3 0-1 6, Vin Naccarato 0 1-2 1. Totals: 21 7-15 50.

MORGAN (7-4)
Drew Nye 1 1-2 4, Cooper Galdenzi 9 2-2 25, Tim McComiskey 0 0-0 0, Alex Fratamico 6 6-7 18, Connor Duffy 6 0-0 12, Eddie Swake 1 0-0 2, Michael Fragola 0 1-2 1, Matt Reed 2 0-0 5, Brady Fritz 0 1-2 1, Robby Estabrook 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 11-15 70.

Score By Quarters
Westbrook….8 14 15 13–50
Morgan……..20 20 21 9–70

3-pointers: Westbrook–B. Naccarato 1; Morgan–Galdenzi 5, Nye 1, Reed 1.

Portland 62, Haddam-Killingworth 56

PORTLAND (7-5)
Joe Rusczyk 8 0-0 19, Harrison Collins 7 0-1 16, Jake Thompson 5 2-2 17, Ryan Kerr 0 2-2 2, Eli Evison 1 0-0 2, Evan Johnson 2 2-3 6. Totals: 23 6-8 62.

H-K (0-11)
Joe Giaccone 1 0-0 2, Adam Alonzo 3 2-4 8, Ryan Erskine 1 0-0 2, Lucas Kamoen 4 2-2 10, Blake Kamoen 2 0-0 4, Tate Callender 5 4-4 15, Callen Powers 6 1-2 15. Totals: 22 9-12 56.

Score By Quarters
Portland…14 12 15 21–62
H-K……….15 10 12 19–56

3-pointers: Portland–Thompson 5, Rusczyk 3, Collins 2; H-K–Powers 2, Callender 1.
Up next: Portland vs. Morgan, Friday, 7; H-K vs. Old Saybrook, Friday, 7.

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