MILFORD — Law sophomores Laura Dulin, Jessica Centore and Erin Saley are a piece of the puzzle for the team’s success — make that three big pieces.
Combining for 38 points, the three sophomores helped lead the Eagles to a 52-34 win over Branford Friday night at Jonathan Law.
“We knew tonight was going to be a tough game,” Dulin said after finishing with 15 points. “We just wanted to come out and show everyone what we are capable of doing.
“We have good chemistry. We are doing well so far. We are a young team, but we know how to play.”
Dulin and Saley took over the middle two quarters to seal the game for Law.
After Law (3-1) held Branford to just a field goal by Courtney Canterbury in the opening quarter, the Hornets got within 18-10 in the second quarter.
Thanks to Dulin, the Hornets got no closer.
Dulin scored nine points in the quarter, including six of the team’s final eight points to give Law a 26-14 lead at the half.
“We are young, but we do have good senior leadership with the captains,” Law coach Dan Young said. “We know we can still be competitive. We are young, but we are coming along.”
Saley and Dulin combined for all 14 Law points in the third quarter to blow the game open with a 40-20 lead. After a 3-pointer by Branford’s Keira Integlia got Branford within 26-17, the sophomores took over.
Saley and Dulin followed with consecutive 3-pointers for a 15-point advantage and Saley scored six of the team’s final eight points in the quarter for a 20-point advantage.
“We need to play a little better on defense,” Branford coach Justin Henry said. “We need to make some shots. We have to finish. We have to have a little more intensity on defense.”
Branford (1-3) played much better in the fourth quarter, but did not have enough to cut into the deficit. Adrienne DiGioia hit a 3-pointer to get the Hornets within 47-26 but the Hornets never overcame a slow start.
Canterbury gave Branford a 2-0 lead 2 minutes, 50 seconds into the game, but the Hornets never scored again.
Missed shots and four turnovers were a big part of the scoreless drought along with Law’s tenacious defense.
“We missed a lot of shots early,” Henry said. “They got the lead and they outworked us. They got after the loose balls. They played really well. (Laura) Dulin is a very good player.”
Senior Lianne Maynard and Centore each had four points in the first quarter with Centore’s free throws giving Law the lead for good.
Baskets by Maynard, Kira Topalain and Centore closed the quarter for Law with a 12-2 advantage.
“We talked about getting off to a good start,” Young said. “The start was big for us. We held them to two points. We got the momentum going from there. That was a key to the win.”
Canterbury and Integlia led Branford with nine points apiece, while DiGioia and Robin Norko each scored six.
Saley had 12 points for Law, Centore added 11and Maynard finished with eight.