— Mike Madera (@MikeMadera2) February 25, 2021
MILFORD — For three quarters, things were not looking good for the Jonathan Law girls basketball team. Missing numerous shots inside and unable to convert from the free throw line, Law managed just 23 points through 24 minutes and trailed by 12.
Then, something clicked. Becoming more aggressive and draining shots from all areas of the court, Law rallied to defeat Shelton 48-46 in a SCC Division I West contest on Senior Night at James L. Richetelli Memorial Gymnasium at Jonathan Law Wednesday evening.
Law went on a 25-13 run in the final quarter behind a pair of 3-pointers from junior Mariyah Reid and senior Madilyn Lula. The pair of 3-pointers got Law within 41-40 with 3 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the game, before Law took off for good.
“Tonight showed great character from the girls,” Law coach Dan Young said after his team improved to 3-3. “They proved it. We talk about what defines us as a team. The whole game was frustrating. We hung in there and made some big shots at the end. I am super proud of them.”
Trailing by one point, junior Shelby Green gave Law a 42-41 lead which Law never relinquished. Reid followed with a bucket with 1:14 remaining and senior Katie Konareski hit a pair of free throws with 58 seconds to go for a 46-41 lead.
“Definitely, in the first three quarters we identified the mistakes we made and had to correct them,” Konareski said after finishing with a team-leading 14 points. “We knew we had to move the ball around to get some open shots.”
Shelton (4-2) did not quit and got within 46-44 on a 3-pointer by Sophia Alkaul with 45 seconds to go, and 47-46 on a bucket by Keira O’Connor with 20 seconds left, but a last-ditch effort by the Lady Gaels fell short.
“When you look at it, they scored more points in the fourth quarter than they did in the first three,” Shelton coach John Danielski said. “They made some quality shots and some tough shots. 12 (Reid) and 3 (Lula) made some big 3’s for them. You have to give them credit. They came back and hit some big shots. They pressured us a little bit and we forced some shots.”
The key for Law was holding Shelton senior Clarissa Pierre to just six points in the fourth quarter. Pierre finished with a game-high 26 points, including 12 in the second quarter, before Law adjusted in the final eight minutes to hold Pierre to just a pair of field goals and two free throws.
“We definitely used the momentum to our advantage,” Konareski said. “We could see they were definitely getting tired. We kept pressing them.”
The first half saw Shelton’s Pierre take over as she scored 12 points in the second quarter to help give Shelton a 21-17 halftime lead.
While Pierre was lighting up the scoreboard on one end, Law was struggling on the other, connecting on just four shots from the field in the second quarter. The Lady Gaels took advantage with a 14-9 run to take a five-point lead to the half.
“They slowed us down with their size,” Young said. “It seemed like we were a little hesitant with our shots. In the fourth quarter, we had no time to be hesitant. We hit a lay-up or two, then a couple of big 3’s and we were off and running.”
The first quarter saw Shelton’s O’Connor drain a 3-pointer and hit a field goal to give the Lady Gaels a 7-5 lead, before Law’s Konareski drained a 3-pointer with less than a minute to go in the opening quarter for an 8-7 Law lead.
Law needed the big comeback as the team shot just 35% from the free throw line, connecting on just seven of 20 attempts.
O’Connor scored nine points for Shelton, while Alkaul finished with six. Green added 11 points for Law, and Reid and Lula each had eight.
Player of the Game
Law offense – After scoring just 23 points in the first 24 minutes, Law scored 25 in the final quarter behind the shooting of Madilyn Lula, Mariyah Reid and Shelby Green.
“Tonight showed great character from the girls. They proved it. We talk about what defines us as a team. The whole game was frustrating. We hung in there and made some big shots at the end. I am super proud of them.” – Law coach Dan Young
LAW 48, SHELTON 46
SHELTON 7 14 12 13—46
LAW. 8 9 6 25—48
SHELTON (4-2): Keira O’Connor 3 1 0-0 9; Laryssa Guimaraes Gabriel 1 0 2-4 3; Clarissa Pierre 11 0 4-7 26; Sophia Alkaul 0 2 0-0; Ashia Askew 1 0 0-0 2; Team 16 3 6-11 46.
Jonathan Law (3-3): Katie Konareski 3 2 2-2 14; Shelby Green 5 0 1-8 11; Mariyah Reid 1 1 3-8 8; Madilyn Lula 2 1 1-2 8; Paige Jolley 0 1 0-0 3; Sarah Paulus 2 0 0-0 4; Team 13 5 7-20 48.