By John Goralski
Plainville scored twice to take a 4-0 lead in the opening minutes, and that was enough to kick the Lady Knights into another gear. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, the girls shifted into a full court press, and Plainville guards never knew what hit them.
“Plainville’s very young, so we wanted to be aggressive and attack their guards to try to get points off transition,” said Lady Knight basketball coach Mike Forgione. “That’s what we did. The kids worked really, really hard.”
Maeghan Chapman forced a jump ball at midcourt. Kaitlin Paterson and Stephanie O’Keefe anchored the press. O’Keefe drained a pair of three pointers to end the first quarter to give the Knights a 17-4 lead.
Plainville didn’t score another basket for the next 11:27 and managed just two more baskets in the opening half. The Knights cruised into halftime with a 15-point lead, and the Knights held on for a 43-23 victory.
“With our tough loss on Friday, we wanted to get back in the gym and play well. We wanted to score a few points and keep working hard,” said Chapman. “We need a few more games like this, but this is the way that we wanted to start off—with at least two wins.”
Danielle Charamut paced the Knights with a game-high 13 points. Chapman and O’Keefe contributed 11 points apiece as Southington put the game out of reach early as the defensive pressure sparked a 22-0 rally.
“We knew that Plainville was young and inexperienced at the guard position, so we just tried to take advantage of that and get some points off transition with our fast break,” said Forgione. “We wanted to get points off turnovers and stuff like that. The kids worked hard and hustled. We were working on some things like rotation, trapping, and snaking the next pass.”
Chapman said that the defense will be important as the Knights try to build on the early win, but she said that they still need to focus on boxing out and rebounding as the schedule continues to get harder.
“I think we play better when we press,” she said. “We’re all in good shape, and we can press. That’s when we are at our best.”
With the win, Southing-ton improved to 2-1 overall. More importantly, the team earned an early break before taking on Newington on Tuesday, Dec. 18.
“We’re going to work on our shooting. We’re going to keep trying to get better,” Forgione said. “We can’t take a night off the rest of the way. If we don’t play well, we’re going to lose. We have to play as a team, and we have to play together as a unit. I think they will.”