By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls basketball saw its season end with a 35-30 home loss against NW Catholic on Feb. 11 inside the Walt Lozoski Gymnasium. The Lady Knights kept giving the effort that coach Mike Forgione said was there every day during the season, but in the end, they couldn’t get the shots to drop.
Southington finished the season at 5-15. It was the lowest win total for the Knights since the 2011-12 season, when they went 9-12 and lost in the first round of the Class LL state tournament. It’s the lowest win total in Forgione’s nine years as head coach of Southington.
“The kids fought hard, we just couldn’t knock down shots,” Forgione said. “We had a few breakdowns there, and those mistakes against good teams will come back to bite you.”
Seniors Kristen Longley and Diane Williams were honored before the Feb. 11 game. Longley was a co-captain, along with junior Megan Mikosz. Williams scored Southington’s first basket of the game, which drew loud cheers from the Knight bench. It was the lone two points of the game for Williams, who started and played for the first three minutes. Longley had a layup for the second Southington basket and finished her last game with seven points, four rebounds and two steals.
Sophomore Livvy Pizzitola led the Knights with 10 points. She also had four rebounds and two steals. Fellow sophomore Kelley Marshall tallied six points, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks while freshman Sam Sullivan recorded a team-high nine rebounds. Mikosz added five rebounds for the Knights.
“The schedule didn’t do us any favors this year, so we knew that it was going to be a challenge,” Forgione said. “We lost two starters before we started the season [Madison Hulten and Alli Carr], which really hurt us, but I thought the kids played hard, they gave me a good effort every day. They’re coachable kids, and they gave the best they could.”
Forgione said: “Sam Sullivan really stepped up this year, I thought Kelley gave me everything she had. Everyone tried, Livvy and everybody else gave it a good effort. Just a little bit short.”
Southington shot 30.9 from the field as a team and averaged 17.1 turnovers per game. The Knights forced 16.2 turnovers per game and averaged 6.9 steals. Marshall led the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game and rebounds at 7.4. Marshall was the lone Southington player to average in double figures in points. Harris (6.9), Mikosz (6.7) and Pizzitola (5.6) had the next highest scoring averages for the Knights. Sullivan averaged 6.7 rebounds per contest while Pizzitola averaged 3.9 boards and 3.2 assists.
Forgione said the focus in the offseason needs to be on strength, conditioning and footspeed. There are some good incoming freshmen, so competition for playing time will be more intense.
“If you look in big games, that’s what it comes down to, that speed and quickness, and of course finishing shots, too,” Forgione said. “That’s something that we’re really going to have to try to improve on in the future is our footspeed.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com