By BRIAN JENNINGS
FARMINGTON—After the Southington Lady Knights (12-5) won two solid games at home against Conard (10-7) and Plainville (6-11), the girls hit the road for what would be matchups against two solid teams on the road.
Wednesday night, Feb. 4, the Lady Knights traveled to Northwest Catholic High School in West Hartford to take on the Indians (12-5). The last time both teams met on Jan. 6 at Southington High School, the Indians defeated the Lady Knights 49-37.
This time out wouldn’t be as close. The Lady Knights were defeated for a second time this season by the Indians, 70-32. Kaitlin Paterson (6-17) led the Lady Knights with 15 points and five rebounds. Sarah Minkiewicz added six points, and Natalie Wadolowski (4 points) grabbed three steals.
Lauren Murphy led the Indians with 21 points on eight field goals. The Lady Knights committed 29 turnovers to the Indians’ 16.
“We knew going in that Northwest is the type of team that puts a lot of pressure on you. They’re very athletic and they’re able to run a lot of kids in and out of the game,” said Southington coach Mike Forgione. “The kids understood the mistakes they made, allowing Northwest to really come at us with their pressure.”
“The good thing about being a coach is when you talk about things after a tough loss, the kids understand the mistakes they made,” said Forgione. “So they’re actually telling you rather than you telling them. It shows you that they understand what we have to continue to work on. We gained some experience playing against a team like that. It was one of those nights you just have to forget about.”
Thursday night, Feb. 5 was senior night at Farmington High School for the Indians (17-0). And the Lady Knights were coming into the game with yet another injury on their roster. This time the girls would be without Wadolowski in the starting lineup because of an injury she had sustained early in the second quarter of Wednesday night’s game against Northwest Catholic.
Sophomore Tyra O’Regan started in her first varsity game Thursday night at the forward position in place of the injured Wadolowski. And junior Diana Verderame stepped up to play the minutes that O’Regan was playing, coming off of the bench for the Lady Knights.
Preparing to play the No. 2 team in the state, Forgione had an emotional talk with his girls in the locker room before the game.
“We talked about competing, and we talked about giving our best,” said Forgione. “We talked about how I was proud of them for always leaving everything on the court. And for the first time as a varsity coach, I told them that the score doesn’t matter. I said all we want to do is go out there tonight and try to compete and do the best that we possibly can.”
The Lady Knights lost to the Indians, 57-25. The Indians won the first meeting between the two teams, 55-48. Hartlee Meier (4-7) led the Lady Knights with eight points. O’Regan added seven points, and Kayla Kavanagh scored six.
Hannah Friend led the Indians with 15 points on four field goals.
The Lady Knights look to rebound this week at home against the Hall Warriors (6-11) and on the road against the Simsbury Trojans (14-3).