By BRIAN JENNINGS
The 13th seeded Lady Knights never recovered from their loss to RHAM in the CCC Tournament and ended their season on Monday, Feb. 26 with a 61-54 loss to No. 20 Glastonbury at home in the first round of the Class LL Tournament.
The defense allowed RHAM to hit too many three-pointers. The offense suffered multiple turnovers, and shooters missed crucial free throws. It added up to a first round loss to end the winter season.
The Knights trailed by five at the half, but rallied back to knot the score with a little under five minutes remaining in regulation. The Tomahawks built their lead back up in the final minutes of the game until the Knights cut the deficit to two with 37.3 seconds to go.
A pair of free throws put the Tomahawks up by three following a Southington foul, and a missed three-pointer at the other end clinched the win for the Tomahawks. The Knights went 19-for-28 from the foul line, in the double bonus for the most of the fourth quarter, as the Tomahawks finished with seven threes.
“When they took that lead in the second quarter, we just didn’t finish enough shots,” said Forgione. “Defensively, we had a few breakdowns, but give Glastonbury credit. They made plays. They made their shots.”
Janette Wadolowski paced the offense with 36 points and went 11-for-15 from the charity stripe, finishing as the second-highest scorer in Southington girls basketball history with 1,229 career points. Wadolowski came into the game 10 points behind Ashley Borofsky (1,203) and finished 104 points behind all-time leading scorer, Val DePaolo (1,333).
Wadolowski certainly left an indelible mark on the girls program. Forgione said that she’s going to go down in Southington basketball history as one of the top two or three players, if not the best, that ever went through the school. But he said he’ll miss her leadership by example most.
“Here’s a kid that could’ve looked at the youth on our team and sort of just said, ‘What am I going to do,’” said Forgione. “But she decided to go the opposite way and helped everyone on this team get better.”
Allison Carr and Kelley Marshall contributed with six points each. Aleigha Partee and Charlotte Basset led the Tomahawks with 17 points each.
“We knew they had the really two guards of Basset and Partee,” said Forgione. “At the end of the day, we knew that the two and Janette would even out. The rest of the kids did their best, but we didn’t have enough.”
Glastonbury (12-9) will travel to No. 4 Simsbury (19-2) for the second round on Thursday.
Putting the whole season into perspective, Forgione said that he thought a lot of people counted them out, but his girls embraced that challenge.
“I feel that they embraced that challenge of me trying to push them out of their element to be the best player that they can be,” said Forgione. “I hope they got that bug, and we’ll carry this on into next year with the games we had.”
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.