In the midst of a 42-game losing streak, Law boys basketball coach Tim Dooley said the players kept the faith.
That’s a pretty hard thing to do, asking kids to maintain that positive attitude in the midst of such a struggle, and to keep doing the things in practice that would, hopefully, mean an eventual win.
“The group has been super-resilient,” Dooley said. “We definitely had some low points. We saw a turnaround in how they were playing 10 days ago against Weston and Branford. We didn’t win but we had a couple of good practices after that so if we could cut down on some mistakes, maybe we could squeak out wins against Lyman Hall and Platt Tech.”
Squeak out wins was exactly what Law did last week. And a freshman ended up hitting both game-winning shots: Diontae Eady. The 71-70 win against Lyman Hall was in regulation while Eady’s shot with approximately 6 seconds left in overtime beat Platt Tech 64-63. Both victories were on the road.
“That first win was so sweet. The kids celebrated like we won the national championship,” Dooley said. “We didn’t have a great game against Platt Tech. We had a lot of unforced errors and Platt Tech played well. We were lucky to escape with the win.”
Ironically, Law’s last win was against Lyman Hall back on Jan. 14, 2015.
“The kids kept that positive attitude even when they didn’t believe what we were saying sometimes,” Dooley said. “Our athletic director (V.J. Sarullo) has always been supportive of what we are trying to do and we have great parents. It sounds corny an cheesy but we do take things one game, one possession at a time. We’ve gotten the kids to but into it. It’s tough when you are losing, but they do it and keep after it.”
Sam Nassar scored 30 points in the win over Lyman Hall on Jan. 23. Dooley credited his play, along with captain Tom Gambardella, Conor Crean and Dean Pettway among others throughout the season.
Dooley has been down this road before at Law (2-12). A former player at both Notre Dame-West Haven and Manhattanville College, he endured a 36-game losing streak before beating Amistad in February of 2013.
“We won three of our last five (in 2013),” Dooley recalled. “We still have a long way to go. We are going to stay after it and I’m going to continue what I do. I’m not going to give up.”
By the numbers
• Sacred Heart has won 66 consecutive games against in-state competition. The Hearts’ last loss was to Crosby in the NVL championship game in 2014.
• Sacred Heart, Notre Dame-West Haven and Hillhouse are the last remaining undefeated teams.
• Hillhouse has won 14 of its last 15 games against Wilbur Cross.
• Like Law, Bridgeport Central endured a long losing streak – 29 games – before winning two of its last three.
• Coach Jake Palluzzi was one win away from 300 at Branford going into Monday night against West Haven.