NEW HAVEN >> One frantic final sequence was all that stood between the East Haven girls’ basketball team and a perfect ending to a most glorious summer.
Thirteen teams began play in the high school division in the 33rd season of the New Haven Summer League but East Haven proved to be the class of the field pretty much from the first time a ball was thrown into the air at Wilbur Cross High School.
With only one nailbiting loss keeping East Haven from an undefeated run through the league, the players were able to walk off the court on Friday night with trophies a reminder of all that they accomplished over the last month and a half.
The championship game wasn’t a thing of beauty but the Yellow Jackets emerged with a 29-26 win over defending champion Career.
“We definitely improved a lot, we improved our passing, our teamwork and we definitely communicated more” said Kylie Schlottman, who led East Haven with a game-high 14 points.
“It was good for October (for the start of practice) and we got to work hard together before that.”
East Haven was leading for most of the game before Career rallied to take a three-point lead. Schlottman scored five straight points for East Haven and Tori Carlson hit a pair of clutch free throws to put East Haven up by five.
With Career leading by three the Panthers got off a couple of shots in the final possession but couldn’t send the game into overtime.
“It was kind of hard to explain,” Schlottman said. “We were tying to not to get too excited so we didn’t give it away at the end because we worked hard.
“We just gave it all and it was good enough.”
Felestine Greene led Career with 10 points.
In the college division title game Plus 2 defeated DBA 70-65 as former Wilbur Cross and Northeastern star Kendra Walton had 24 points and Courtney Sturdivant had 19.
DBA, led by Michelle DeSantis’ 22 points, rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half to pull within three points before Walton scored five points in the closing minutes.
The game was delayed in the second half after DeSantis was bleeding after taking an elbow to her nose. Sturdivant had back to back baskets after the game resumed.