By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls basketball was on a two-game winning streak entering its annual “Pink Zone” game against Avon on Feb. 1 inside the Walt Lozoski Gymnasium.
There was a good crowd to support the Lady Knights, and they were into the game until the end. Southington’s girls were in the game until the end, too, but a final shot from three-point range missed, and Avon took a 33-30 victory over the home team.
It was a game of what might have been for the Knights. Southington missed a whole bunch of layups, some of which came without much resistance from the Avon defense.
“If we can’t finish layups, it just puts us in a difficult position,” coach Mike Forgione said. “All of our full-court drills are finishing with layups in practice. I’m not sure and can’t put a finger on why we have trouble finishing them in games.”
Megan Mikosz led Southington with 10 points. Kelley Marshall had nine points while Sam Sullivan added six points.
In a tight game, every point counts. Southington battled until the final buzzer, using a full-court press to trim a 10-point deficit to just two, 32-30, with 1:26 to play in the game. The Knights came up with a steal, but missed a layup. Another chance for points was taken away by a tough offensive foul call.
Two more short misses and an Avon free throw put Southington down 33-30 with 20.9 seconds left. The Knights looked for the tying 3-pointer on the game’s final possession, but an attempt from the top of the key missed and the buzzer sounded without another shot.
“I believe that the effort is always there, and we talk about it all the time. If you are not knocking down shots or finishing layups, you got to do some other things,” Forgione said.
Avon’s Yasmeen Eldan got open behind a Southington trap defense twice for critical layups, the last giving the Falcons a 32-24 lead and forcing a Knight timeout with 3:39 to play in the game. Eldan scored all nine of her points in the second half, including seven in the fourth quarter.
Forgione talked about what was missing from last year’s team. Leading scorer Janette Wadolowski, who did a lot of everything, graduated and is playing at Amherst College. Alli Carr, a solid sophomore who played big minutes as a freshman, has been out with an injury.
“We don’t have that lockdown defender, like Alli was last year. We don’t have that scorer. We lost a lot,” Forgione said. “Madison Hulten was a two-year starter, she started as a freshman for us and was a big inside that used to get some real clutch baskets for us, and we lost her. You’re kind of starting from scratch a little bit when you lose Janette, Alli and then Madison. It’s a lot to make up.”
With a young team that’s learning how to win, everything counts. Against Avon, it was missed layups that hurt Southington.
OT loss to Coginchaug
FEB. 2 – The Knights battled into overtime of their non-conference road game against the Blue Devils, but came up short, 53-49, in Durham.
Southington led 20-10 at halftime, but couldn’t hang on in the second half. Coginchaug outscored the visitors 15-10 in both the third and fourth quarters to send the game to overtime tied, 40-40. The Devils edged out the Knights 13-9 in the four-minute overtime session.
Longley led Southington with 12 points, Harris added 11 points, and Mikosz chipped in 10 points and six rebounds. Sam Sullivan led the Knights with nine rebounds while Marshall added seven boards. Longley and Marshall each tallied two steals. Southington dropped to 5-11 with last week’s losses.
Up next: The Knights were scheduled to play their second-to-last home game on Tuesday against RHAM. Southington was slated for a road game against Simsbury on Wednesday. That game was rescheduled from Jan. 29. The Knights are at Hall on Friday at 6:45 p.m.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com