The last time the Southington girls basketball team was challenged in a single-digit score game, the Blue Knights came up short against Hall. The Blue Knights were tested again on Monday, this time against another West Hartford foe.
The Knights went on to win their first game this season under 10 points, and improved to 6-1 on the season. That record has propelled head coach Howie Hewitt’s squad to No. 4 in the Class LL rankings.
Southington is almost doubling their opponents’ score on the season, as the average score of their games so far is 50-28.
For the fourth time already this season, Southington did not allow its opponent to score 10 or more points in any quarter as they cruised to a 58-19 win over South Windsor.
Outscoring the Bobcats 20-5 in the first quarter and 14-4 in the second quarter was enough for the Lady Knights as they picked up their fifth win.
Livvy Pizzitola led the way with 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 2-of-3 from three-point range. She also racked up five rebounds. Jessica Carr and Madison Hulten each had seven points while Allison Carr had four points and a team-leading seven rebounds.
Southington as a team had 22 steals.
Southington went into halftime with a slim 26-23 lead. However, Southington’s stellar defense showed up in the second half as they allowed just nine fourth quarter points in a 50-42 victory.
Pizzitola and Kelley Marshall had a big third quarter, combining for 13 points, helping increase Southington’s lead to 14 heading into the fourth.
Southington scored as many points in the third quarter as Conard scored all second half. Pizzitola finished with 14 points, adding two more three pointers, while Marshall finished with 10 points. Allison Carr added 11 points for the Blue Knights.
Southington was also able to neutralize Conard’s scoring threat, Azaiyah Felder, in the second half, holding her to just eight points after scoring 14 in the first half.
“That kid from Conard was a sensational talent,” Hewitt said. “We tried keying on her in the second half and we did a very good job. “
Hewitt said he does not like to compare the win to the loss to Hall earlier in the season.
“To me, those are two totally different teams and situations,” Hewitt said. “In the Hall game, we were leading by 15. Stuff like that, it is an experience thing. There is only three seniors on the team. A lot of the kids play. I am in my first year here. I think we are still learning a lot of things, like about each other, what we do well, and how to close out a game. We are making great strides in that.”
The schedule for the Lady Knights gets stronger as they enter the second half of the season. They still ave rematches with Conard and Hall, along with games against Suffield, NW Catholic, Avon, and Glastonbury.
Hewitt said he is happy where the team is in the rankings but the team can’t be complacent with plenty of season left.
“Being at the top of the rankings is obviously where you want to be,” Hewitt said. “But the competition for us is going to be more consistently top-flight. We have more than our work cut out for us. But I am certainly proud of where we are at. We have been on the local news highlights twice already. The girls certainly deserve that recognition.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.