The cost of winning: Girls basketball gets 2 wins but lose a player

Maggie Meehan drives past a defender during Southington’s win over Hall on Thursday. The Knights are 2-0, but a key injury could be felt for a while.

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

The Lady Knight basketball team earned a pair of wins to start the 2016-17 season, but those victories came at a cost.

Southington managed to come away with a close 51-45 win over Hall at home on Thursday, but the Knights lost their top, all-around talent in the process. Late in the second quarter, Janette Wadolowski took a hard foul. She left the game and left fans with more questions than answers.

“Janette said that she thinks that a hall girl came down and hit her on the wrist-hand area when she came down with a rebound and went back up for a shot,” said Southington coach Mike Forgione, who didn’t look like a coach that had just won a basketball game. “It wasn’t where she hit the floor or wall. She couldn’t really pinpoint it exactly, but she feels that’s how it happened.”

Wadolowski could be out for the rest of the season, but there is also a possibility that she could return. Brianna Harris took her spot to finish out the game.

“She’s irreplaceable,” the coach said. “What do you say? What do you do? Bri Harris took her spot, so we played the entire second half against a good team with three freshmen on the floor.”

Losing a player to an injury is nothing new to Forgione, as he has had his share of injuries with the girls basketball team throughout the years, especially Wadolowski. She missed her entire freshman season due to an injury.

“My job every year is to coach like crazy and just try to plug dams,” said Forgione. “I’m just keep praying that it doesn’t break, and it broke.”

Southington held a 32-17 lead at halftime, but Hall crept to within three points with just under six minutes to play in the contest. However, the Knights pulled away with the help of a three-point play completed at the foul line by Hartlee Meier and five points scored by Maggie Meehan.

“I told the kids after the game that I was proud of them,” the coach said. “The only way we could withstand a run without Janette from a good team like Hall was if we built the lead up. We earned it by building that lead up so that we had that little room to work with. When they made their run, they never got to within one possession.”

Meehan (5 steals, 3 rebounds) paced the offense with 24 points and went 4-for-7 from the free throw line. Meier (8 rebounds, 4 steals) contributed with 15 points on a triad of three-pointers and went 2-for-3 from the free throw line. Madison Hulten grabbed 12 rebounds and scored six points.

Earlier in the week, the Knights opened their season with a 59-31 victory at Rocky Hill. Southington held a 24-16 lead at halftime.

Meehan (5 assists, 3 steals) marshaled the offense with 21 points. Wadolowski (14 rebounds, 4 steals) contributed with 20 points and went 3-for-5 from the foul line.

Saturday’s game against Farmington was cancelled due to inclement weather.

Southington is currently 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the CCC Central Blue (1-0 in Central Region). The Knights will look to keep their winning streak going this week with games against Weaver (0-2) and Simsbury (1-1).

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.

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