MILFORD — In the midst of a three-game losing streak, Law girls’ basketball coach Dan Young felt his team was ready to break through. What Young did not know was yet another sophomore would make a key contribution.
Inserting Kailee Frank into the starting lineup to join fellow sophomores Jessica Centore, Laura Dulin and Erin Saley, Frank helped shut down Foran’s offensive spark plug, Teneya McLaughlin, in the fourth quarter as Law rallied to defeat cross-town rival Foran 51-47 at Jonathan Law Saturday night.
“We did a great job at the end,” Young said after his team improved to 4-4. “We came back in the fourth quarter. I give a ton of credit to Kailee Frank, a sophomore. We had her go against a player as good as Teneya and she did a great job.
“It was nice to get back home after a three-game losing streak. We came out the way we did in what was really our first close game of the season.”
Trailing 39-34 after three quarters of play, Law held Foran to just four field goals in the final quarter, including one at the buzzer by Kyra Blacketter.
The Eagle defense helped lead to a 17-8 run in the quarter and propelled Law to the win.
Law scored the first four points in the fourth quarter on baskets by Centore and Saley, before Foran’s Jenna Zacarelli extended the Foran lead to 41-38 with 3 minutes 57 seconds left.
That was Foran’s last lead of the game as Law went on a 9-0 run started by a 3-pointer by Dulin to tie the game at 41 with 3:48 left and ending with a basket by Centore to give Law a 47-41 lead with 1:26 remaining.
“It is frustrating,” Foran coach Scott Nails said after his team dropped its fourth in a row to fall to 3-5. “It all comes down to playing basketball. Our kids fought hard.”
McLaughlin, who was held to just four points in the fourth quarter, got Foran within 47-43 with 1:12 remaining but a basket by Centore and two free throws by Dulin iced the contest.
“You have to give credit to the Frank girl,” Nails said. “Wherever Teneya McLaughlin was, she (Frank) was there.
“You have to give them credit. They scored 17 points in the fourth quarter and all three are sophomores. They just play basketball all the time.”
Law led 16-13 after one quarter as Centore had six points and Saley added five more. Centore gave Law leads of 12-9 and 14-11 before Blacketter cut the Foran deficit to 14-13.
The Eagles jumped out to a 23-17 lead in the second quarter on buckets by Jenna Bernard and Frank before Foran closed the quarter on a 5-0 run on buckets by McLaughlin and Blacketter and also a free throw by Blacketter.
“We tried to shut down Teneya,” Young said. “We did a great job with that. That helped in the game and we were able to get key rebounds.”
The Lions forced the dramatic fourth quarter for Law by scoring the final seven points of the third quarter for a 39-34 lead. McLaughlin sandwiched a basket and a 3-pointer around a bucket by Lauren Notholt to give Foran a 39-34 lead after three quarters.
“We started four sophomores against a good Foran team,” Young said. “I am proud of the way we finished the game.”
McLaughlin led Foran with 18 points, while Blacketter had 13 and Zacarelli six. Centore led three Law players in double figures with 14 points, while Dulin had 13 and Saley 12.