By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knight basketball team extended their winning streak with a pair of wins last week, but a conference loss at the end of the week put Southington’s hopes of clinching a berth for the CCC tournament in jeopardy. Southington is currently ranked 15th in the CCC, and only the top 16 qualify for the conference tournament.
Win vs. Avon
FEB. 6—The Knights began the week with a comfortable 57-32 victory over Avon at home.
Southington held a 34-14 lead at halftime, outscoring the Falcons, 22-4, by the end of the first quarter.
Maggie Meehan (3 rebounds, 2 steals) marshaled the offense with 19 points on five three-pointers. Hartlee Meier (6 assists, 4 rebounds) was right behind with 18 points on a triad of threes and went 3-for-3 from the foul line.
Avon went 1-for-1 from the charity stripe.
Win at Bulkeley
FEB. 8—A couple days later, the Knights earned their fourth-straight win by achieving their largest victory, 60-19, on the year at Bulkeley.
The Knights led, 24-15, at halftime and allowed the Bulldogs to score just four points in the second half.
Meehan led the offense with 19 points on four three-pointers. Janette Wadolowski backed Meehan with 14 points, 12 of which came in the third quarter. Meier and Megan Mikosz contributed with 10 points apiece. Mikosz went 4-for-6 from the foul line.
Loss vs. Farmington
FEB. 10—Southington’s four-game winning streak came to an end when the Knights fell, 58-50, to Farmington at home.
“This is a passionate game, and you have to bring that every single night,” said Forgione. “You have to bring that energy and desire, and we obviously didn’t do that tonight. This was tough to take with the way we played.”
The Southington girls wore custom pink jerseys in honor of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.
The Indians led by three, 27-24, at halftime. Trailing by as much as 12 in the fourth quarter, the Knights went on an 8-0 run and got to within three after Meier sunk a pair of free throws with 34.9 seconds to go in the contest. The Indians went to the foul line with 31.7 seconds and missed the front end of a one-and-one, but put back the rebound and went up, 55-50, pulling away with two more free throws.
Only four players scored for Southington. Meier (7 rebounds, 3 assists) paced the offense with a career-high of 26 points on a triad of three-pointers and went 5-for-7 from the foul line.
“She’s usually our first option off our break,” the coach said. “We try to get the ball up to her. She’s a spot shooter, and that’s her thing. But tonight, she did a nice job of also taking the ball to the rim.”
Meehan (3 steals, 2 rebounds) contributed with 16 points on a pair of threes. Wadolowski picked up three quick fouls in the first quarter and was limited on the floor throughout the remainder of the game.
“Obviously, you want her to be smart,” said Forgione. “You don’t have to tell a kid like that. “We’re trying to pick up the energy and keep her in the game, but you can’t put yourself in position to commit a third foul that early.”
The Indians outrebounded the Knights, 61-20, grabbing 37 offensive rebounds compared to Southington’s seven.
“Second, third, fourth opportunities killed us,” said Forgione. “That’s tough to take because rebounding is 90 percent effort, heart, and desire.”
The Indians also went 14-for-21 from the foul line, while the Knights went 5-for-9.
The Knights will close out the regular season next week when they host Suffield (18-1) on Monday, Feb. 13 and hit the road the next day for NW Catholic (7-11). Suffield is currently the top team in Class M. With a win over NW Catholic, the Knights will clinch a spot in the CCC tournament.
Southington is currently 10-8 overall.
Meehan scores 1,000
Meehan came into Friday’s game with 999 points, and with a basket at the start of the second quarter, Meehan became Forgione’s first 1,000-point scorer and Southington’s first since Ashley Borofsky (1,203) in 2007.
“It was a great achievement,” said Meehan. “I kind of wanted it since freshman year. It’s something I’ve worked towards, and it just shows how hard I’ve been trying to become an offensive threat over the years. It was great to finally get that.”
Meehan joins a short list of Lady Knights to reach the 1,000 point milestone. Val DePaolo still holds the record with 1,333 career points, followed by Borofsky, Jen Gombotz (1,135), and Kelly Hart (1,132). Hart and DePaolo achieved the accomplishment when the high school was a three-year program.
Meehan scored her 1,000th point on a four-low out-of-bounds play. Meier took the ball out.
“We run it every practice,” said Meehan. “I screen, and then another person screens the screener. I roll down to the basket for a layup, but that didn’t happen. I took a jump shot on the outside, but still got the bucket.”