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Girls basketball: Sheehan beats Mercy for the second time this season 48-29

Hartford Courant 2020-02-15 08:46:56

Mike Busillo has been coaching girls basketball at Sheehan for 14 years.

He can’t ever remember beating Mercy – until this season.

Friday night, Sheehan beat the Tigers for the second time this season, 48-29, on Senior Night at Sheehan and clinched the SCC Housatonic division title.

Junior center Caitlyn Hunt led Sheehan (17-3) with 22 points and junior point guard Caitlyn Velez had 10.

“Honestly, it seemed like I played [Mercy coach] Timmy [Kohs] twice a year forever and anytime we made it to the quarterfinals of the SCC tournament, we’d get beat by Mercy,” Busillo said. “Timmy and I would always joke I was about 0-100 against him ... so he told me, this was my opportunity, take advantage of it because it’s not going to be around for long. And he’s probably right.

"We’re fortunate to beat them twice. Listen, they’re young, but they’re going to be real good.”

Maddi Larkin models her Cathy Inglese shirt that the Sheehan girls basketball players wear at all home games. Inglese, a Sheehan grad, spoke to the Titans before their Class M state final appearance last winter before her untimely death last summer #ctgb pic.twitter.com/emuDNxrNvC

— Lori Riley (@lrileysports) February 15, 2020

Mercy is 9-11, after graduating eight seniors and four starters from last year’s Class LL quarterfinalist team. The Tigers have one senior. They were on a five-game win streak until Friday. Their last loss was to Sheehan.

“They’re big and they’re long and they make it difficult for us to run the kind of offense we would like to run,” Kohs said. “I thought we got good looks for most of the first half and didn’t make enough shots.

“We’ve come a long way. We’ll be good down the road. We’re right there in a lot of games. We just can never really get ourselves on track.”

Senior Maddi Larkin, who had six points, was happy to win on Senior Night, especially against Mercy. The Titans had beaten Mercy 42-35 for the first time on Jan. 28. They lost to Mercy last year during the regular season, despite making a run to the Class M championship game where the Titans lost to Cromwell.

“That’s a team we’ve been trying to beat for a while now,” Larkin said. “We took a tough loss to them a few years ago [in the SCC Tournament] so we’ve definitely been looking to avenge that.

“To beat them twice in the year and win the division is a great feeling.”

In the last 10 years, Mercy has beaten Sheehan three times in the SCC Tournament quarterfinals, including a 72-37 win two years ago, and once in the tournament semifinals.

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Sheehan led Mercy 23-18 at halftime Friday and pulled away in the third quarter. Mercy struggled to score and didn’t hit a field goal until 13 seconds remained in the quarter and the score was 35-22. Mercy had no answer in the post for Hunt.

“When she can settle in the post and we can get it to her, there’s no stopping her,” Larkin said.

“When we did give up open shots, Mercy didn’t hit their shots,” Busillo said. “We did play very well defensively and you add that to the fact that Mercy had a cold night from the floor….it was a good defensive effort. Our zone defense kind of did the job.”