Answering the call: Young Knights regroup from injuries

Bri Harris leads a Southington drive during a loss to Simsbury. The freshman guard has stepped up to the call as the Knights deal with an early injury.

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

After starting their season off with a pair of wins, the Lady Knight basketball team has yet to find another win, dropping their last two games this past week.

Losing all-around star guard, Janette Wadolowski, for possibly the rest of the season is one thing, but starting three freshmen in the varsity lineup is another. However, Southington coach Mike Forgione said that, regardless of his team’s experience, he still expects his team to compete.

“We’re going to play teams that are a lot better than Weaver and Simsbury coming up,” the coach said. “I don’t want this to be an excuse or how they’re freshmen. I start five, they start five. Whether they’re freshman, juniors, or seniors, it is what it is.”

Loss at Weaver

DEC. 19—Southington suffered its first loss of the season after falling, 74-58, to Weaver at home on Monday. The Beavers held a 39-24 advantage at halftime, but pulled away with 24 points in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we did a decent job attacking the rim and scoring,” said Forgione. “But defensively, we just had way too many breakdowns. We let them push us around with their athleticism.”

Maggie Meehan (4 steals, 3 assists) marshaled the offense with 38 points, including five three-pointers. Meehan also went 7-for-7 at the free throw line. Hartlee Meier added 11 points, seven rebounds, and three assists.

Southington committed 17 turnovers in the contest. Weaver turned the ball over 23 times.

Loss vs. Simsbury

DEC. 22—The Knights returned home a few days later to host Simsbury, but sustained their second-straight loss, 46-34.

Southington trailed Simsbury by seven, 21-14, at halftime, but trimmed the deficit to one point early in the third quarter. That’s when the Trojans scored an 8-0 run and a 6-0 run to put the game out of reach.

“They’re a very controlled team and like to really work the ball around,” said Forgione. “We knew it was going to be a lower-scoring game. I felt that we could pull it out if we shot the ball better, but we just didn’t shoot well.”

Although the Trojans struggled with their jump shots, they beat the Knights from inside of the paint and controlled the post, scoring easy buckets off backdoor passes. Southington’s inexperienced showed on the court by the errant passes and number of turnovers the Knights forced.

“Sometimes in a varsity game, it happens a lot faster when you’re young,” the coach said. “I think they know where to be at certain times on defense with their rotation, but they’re just a step slow getting there. You have to do it in the game and be physical.”

Meehan paced the offense with 11 points. Hartlee Meier contributed with nine points.

“We just have to continue to fight,” said Forgione. “Hopefully, we’ll get stronger and tougher. We won’t give them second opportunities on the glass. We’ll also do a better job of bumping the cutters and being big inside, not giving them easy looks at the basket.”

Although there is a lot of work still to be done and a learning curve to be developed, Forgione said that there is also potential.

“I did see a little more out of Bri Harris and Madison Hulten,” the coach said. “They’re all trying. No one’s ever going to play for me and not give 100 percent. They wouldn’t be on the floor, and I wouldn’t tolerate it.”

Southington will look to get back on track this week when they travel to Cheshire (0-4) on Friday, Dec. 30. The Knights are currently 2-2 overall (1-1 in the CCC Central Blue).

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

 

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