Less than a month ago, the Branford girls’ basketball team played Sacred Heart Academy (SHA) in Hamden and fell to the “Sharks” by nine points, 42-33. This past Friday night you wouldn’t think it was the same Hornets’ team as they crushed SHA by 35 points, 49-14. Here Sophomore Mikayla Brown looks to pass as she’s guarded by SHA’s Elena Farquharson.
“It feels good to win tonight. It’s good to win any night,” said a smiling Coach Justin Henry. “I’m happy for the seniors.” Friday was Senior Night honoring the four senior girls on the team, (L-R):The four seniors are Mia Tomasello, Marisa Minore, Victoria Raffone and Emma Pierson.
“We had to win the last two games to qualify for the SCC tournament,” said Henry (pictured). “One down and one tough one left to go on Monday,” said the coach referring to the last regular season game against arch-rival East Haven. The Yellowjackets defeated the Hornets 67-39 back on Jan. 6. And the Yellowjackets won again last night, 54-39 to the #7 ranked Easties, taking the Hornets out of SCC playoff consideration.
Branford finished the regular season with a 7-13 record. They needed eight wins to qualify for the SCC’s. They already qualified for the state tournament which begins the end of February. Here Senior Mia Tomasello is followed up court by Sophia Araneo (20) and Emma Pierson.
The Sacred Heart Academy game was never in doubt from the jump ball on. The Lady Hornets led 8-2 after the first quarter and increased it to 23-6 at the half. Senior co-captain Emma Pierson (pictured) scored 20 points including four three-pointers to lead Branford in scoring. “Emma played very well tonight,” said Coach Henry. “We need her to shoot like that all the time.”
Here Sophomore Karly King guards an SHA player bringing the ball up court.
And here Issy Mannie has her eye on the ball as a Sacred Heart Academy player brings it up court.
Co-captain Victoria Raffone puts up a layup for two of her six points.
Here Senior Marissa Minore brings the ball up the court for the Hornets.
As good as Branford played on offense making good shots, and putting pressure on the Sharks on defense, the visitors struggled the whole game and missed many scoring opportunities.
Junior Sophia Araneo (pictured), the Hornets 6’1” center, played well on defense and pulled down a number of rebounds. She also scored eight points for the Hornets.
Following Pierson and Araneo in scoring were senior co-captain Victoria Raffone with six points, sophomore Karly King with five, and senior Mia Tomasello with four.
It was a special night for the seniors. Here the senior girls and their families pose prior to the start of the game.