By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knights basketball team (4-1) split the week out on the road by picking up their fourth conference victory before suffering a loss to a state championship contender.
Southington began their journey at New Britain (3-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 29 where they outlasted the Golden Hurricanes by 13 points, 54-41.
Janette Wadolowski (3 steals) was queen of the court with a double-double, scoring a career-high of 23 points and ripping down 10 rebounds. Maggie Meehan (5 rebounds, 4 assists), Natalie Wadolowski (12 rebounds, 5 steals, 3 assists), and Kayla Kavanagh (6 rebounds) each contributed with eight points apiece.
Sarah Minkiewicz added eight rebounds, four steals, three assists, and seven points.
“The kids played a really strong game,” said Southington coach Mike Forgione. “Every time New Britain went on a run, we answered.”
Kelsey Hernandez led the Hurricanes with 21 points.
The Knights ventured out to Classical Magnet High School in Hartford a few days later to take on the perennial powerhouse Weaver (4-2), but fell short, 58-46. Weaver has been playing their home games at Classical Magnet due to current renovations of their home gymnasium facility at Weaver High School.
The Knights trailed by 10 points at the half, 29-19, but got it to within five points, 38-33, by the end of the third quarter. Weaver’s 18 points in the fourth quarter kept the Southington out of reach of a possible comeback.
Janette Wadolowski (2 steals) scored her fourth straight double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Meehan (3 rebounds, 2 assists) dropped 15 points with some help from a trio of three-pointers. Natalie Wadolowski (6 steals, 2 blocks) scored eight for a second time and cleaned up the glass with 11 rebounds.
The Knights shot a perfect 100 percent from the free throw line as Natalie Wadolowski, Kavanagh, and Janette Wadolowski were all 2-for-2 from the charity stripe.
“Having to come right back and play a good Weaver team on the road the next night after our five starters had to play pretty much all 32 minutes against New Britain, was a tough game,” said Forgione. “We battled the entire game and really fought hard to stay in it, pulling it within four, but we just kind of ran out gas going that second night in a row.”
Shaquana Edwards led the Beavers with 30 points on 11 field goals. Edwards is the current state scoring leader, averaging 28.2 points a game.
“She takes the ball to the basket like no one I’ve ever seen,” the coach said. “She can take the ball to the rim, and if you foul her, she’s one of the best foul shooters in the state as well. So, it’s a tough draw.”
The injuries came creeping back to the Knights over the week, showing a familiar face from last season, as the team was without Hartlee Meier and Diana Verderame for both games.
Southington leads the way in the Blue Division of the Central Region in the CCC with a 3-0 division record, and is currently tied for fifth in Class LL, behind Conard (7-0), Mercy (6-0), NFA (4-0), and Greenwich (4-0).
The Knights will look to get back on track when they take a road trip to Glastonbury (3-1) on Monday, Jan. 4, a home game against Windsor (2-6) on Thursday, Jan. 7, and another road game at Farmington (5-0) on Saturday, Jan. 9.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@ SouthingtonObserver.com.