MILFORD — Foran girls’ basketball coach Scott Nails has marveled at the off-season work of Teneya McLaughlin. Nails knows hard work always pays off and McLaughlin is living proof.
The senior point guard was all over the court for the Lions Friday night, finishing with 18 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, five assists and two steals as Foran defeated North Haven 49-36 in an SCC interdivisional game at Foran High.
“One thing about Teneya McLaughlin is, in my three years coaching here, she has gotten better every year,” Nails said. “She really took the game over.
“You get out of it what you put into it. She never stops working. What we saw out here tonight is a result of all the hard work she put in during the spring and summer.”
The Lions, who never trailed in the game, jumped out of the gates quickly, taking a 14-4 lead in the first quarter.
Taylor Ceballos had six points in the opening quarter, including a basket and foul to give Foran a 7-2 lead.
Ceballos’ basket with 30 seconds remaining in the first quarter had the Lions (1-1) on top 14-4.
North Haven (1-1) battled back in the second quarter behind the play of Jillian Johnson, who scored eight points in the quarter. Johnson’s 3-pointer got the Indians within 14-10 and her free throw at the end of the quarter had North Haven within 21-18.
The Indians continued to battle in the third quarter, twice getting within a point on a pair of free throws by Johnson to make it 25-24 and a bucket by Johnson to get within 27-26.
Junior Jenna Zacarelli then helped swing the game in Foran’s favor. Two buckets by Zacarelli gave the Lions a 33-26 lead at the end of three quarters and started a 16-0 run by the Lions to put the game away.
McLaughlin had six of the points in the run in the fourth quarter, with her final bucket in the rally increasing the margin to 43-26 for the Lions.
“You have to give McLaughlin a lot of credit,” North Haven coach Chris Barry said. “She is really talented. She is a special player. She handles the ball extremely well. They have some tough kids.”
The Indians got as close as 14 points on a 3-pointer by Johnson, but two more buckets by McLaughlin ended any hopes of a North Haven rally.
“It is exciting to get our first win,” McLaughlin said. “We just said we were not going to lose our first game at home.
“We have to pick the tempo up the whole game. We want to run the whole game.”
Lindsay Broderick finished with nine points for the Lions, including five points in the second quarter where she nailed a big 3-pointer to give the Lions a 19-10 lead.
“I told the girls, like anything in life, you have to play with confidence,” Nails said. “Lucy Weissauer had a nice post up and finish. She played with confidence.
“You can have one or two stars, but others have to come to the party.”
Ceballos finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Kyra Blacketter added 10 rebounds.
Johnson had a game-high 27 points, including four 3-pointers, and eight points in each of the second and fourth quarters.