By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knights got off to a slow start, but have won five of their last six games to get back into the race. Southington coach Mike Forgione said he’s pleased with where the team is currently after going 2-1 this past week.
“We knew going in that we were going to be challenged right away,” said the coach. “The one thing about playing a difficult schedule is that it helps prepare you for down the road.”
The Knights will be back on the hardwood this week when they host New Britain (3-6) before hitting the road to face NW Catholic (0-10) on Friday. Southington is 6-4.
Loss at Hall
JAN. 8—Southington’s three-game winning streak was snapped by a 63-51 loss at Hall of Monday. Despite the loss, the Knights split the season series, beating the Warriors by two points earlier in the season.
The Warriors built a 10-point halftime lead, scoring 21 points in the second quarter alone. The offensive triplet threat of Amber Raisner (14 points), Alexa Gellerman (13 points), and Madison Mandyck (13 points) was too much for the Knights to handle, as Gellerman made three of Hall’s eight three-pointers.
“I was proud of our effort,” said Forgione, noting that Hall was coming off a big win that ended Enfield’s undefeated start. “I was proud of how hard we fought. We battled.”
Janette Wadolowski paced Southington’s offense with 21 points, going 6-for-8 from the foul line. Brianna Harris backed Wadolowski with 12 points on a triad of threes, and Allison Carr contributed with 11 points.
Win vs. Conard
JAN 9—The Knights got back on track the following night, edging Conard, 39-37, at home. The Knights registered just four points in the first quarter, but battled back to knot the score at halftime.
Down by a pair late in the fourth, the Chieftains missed three-straight free throws and a jump shot, but managed to knot the score with a layup on an offensive rebound off a missed three-pointer with 40 seconds remaining.
Conard’s full-court press nearly forced a turnover on Southington’s inbounds after the Chieftains poked a loose ball out of bounds. However, Wadolowski escaped Conard’s pressure on a second attempt to bring the ball up the court and was fouled on a fast break, making one of two free throws with 30.2 seconds remaining.
On Conard’s next trip down the court, a dribble drive towards the basket was halted by a double-team effort, forcing the Chieftains to turn the ball over on a travel call with 11.5 seconds remaining. An intentional foul sent Wadolowski back to the charity stripe, where she capped off the victory by sinking another free throw.
“We were just trying to really play good, solid man defense,” said Forgione. “We always talk about keeping them east to west, which means don’t let them get to the basket and force them to take a bad look. And the girls did that.”
The Chieftains never got a shot off before the final buzzer, and ended up going 1-for-5 from the foul line in the fourth. After struggling with just six points in the first half, Wadolowski returned to lead the Knights to victory by scoring 24 of the team’s 39 points by erupting with 18 points in the second half.
Win at Newington
JAN. 11—The Knights capped off the week with a 10-point victory at Newington, 47-37. The Knights led by eight points at halftime and never let up.
Although Wadolowski (21.9 average) has accounted for almost half of the team’s 47.3 points per game, the workload was shared in the victory. Wadolowski led the way with 15 points, but Madison Hulten (10) scored in double digits, including eight points to spark a third quarter rally. Carr was right behind with nine, going 3-for-3 from the foul line.
“Going in, we had to take care of the basketball and play good team defense,” said Forgione. “We had to play with that passion and aggressiveness that we talk about all the time, even though we might have been tired playing our third game in four nights. But I thought the kids did that.”
The Indians went 5-for-14 from the charity stripe.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2018/01/16/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-jan-19-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.