By BRIAN JENNINGS
Janette Wadolowski was ahead of the stampede as the Lady Knights stormed across the court at the season opener. Maggie Meehan threaded a perfect pass, and Wadolowski’s eyes widened with the joy of a child spying her presents on Christmas morning.
Defenders closed in, but Wadolowski bounced off two Rockville defenders and soared to the hoop for a hard-earned lay-up.
The Knights were off and running to a 2-0 start with a home and road victory in the opening week.
Southington began their season at home with a 32-point victory over Rockville (0-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 15.
Sarah Minkiewicz led all scorers with 12 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field with a pair of three pointers. Janette Wadolowski contributed with 11 points, and her sister Natalie (seven steals) finished with nine. Natalie was also strong off of the glass, picking up where she left off from last season with a team-high 11 rebounds.
At the end of the week on Friday, the Knights set out for West Hartford where they won their second straight game in a 59-41 win over Hall (1-2).
Meehan (six steals) felt the hot hand, dropping a team-high 17 points, shooting a solid 8-for-15 from the field.
“I was not only impressed with her shot selection on the offensive end, but the way she was sprinting back on defense,” said Southington coach Mike Forgione. “We talk about kids being complete players, and the fact that you have to play both ends of the floor. She made good shots for us, and some shots that we needed, but she played so hard on the defensive end, guarding one of their three guards [Amber Raisner, Alexa Gellerman, Melanie Binkhorst]. That’s a tough tandum. They’re one of the better groups in the area.”
Janette was not far behind with a double-double, scoring 16 points with 12 rebounds. Hartlee Meier also jumped into the action with 12 points, including a pair of three pointers. The Wadolowski sisters anchored the Knights at the charity strip, as Janette went 6-for-6 from the foul line and Natalie finished 4-for-4.
“I was really happy with our intensity, the way we sprinted we sprinted back on defense, and the way we communicated tonight,” said Forgione. “Hall is a good team, and I think we matched their intensity tonight. They have three excellent guards. Their senior Melanie Binkhorst is one of the better guards in the area. She’s really tough.”
Binkhorst scored 29 points against Platt in Hall’s opener, but the Lady Knight defense held her to 12 points.
Although Southington won big on the road, turnover still seemed to be an issue for the Knights. Southington committed a total of 22 turnovers as a team, but Forgione said that he is not worried.
“That’s one thing we have to work on,” the coach said. “Being in the second game of the year and our first game that we won pretty easily, we really didn’t have a chance to work on certain things. Tonight, we saw some things that we have to clean up a little bit, but the one thing about this group is that it’s never for a lack of effort. So we’ll get back to work. It’s always good to have things you have to work on even after a nice win on the road.”
The Knights will return home to host Simsbury (1-3) on Wednesday, Dec. 23.