Southington girls basketball is off to a 9-1 start and entered their game Thursday versus Platt riding a seven-game winning streak. That is the highest winning streak for the Blue Knights since 2015-16, when they also started 9-1 on their way to a 17-3 record.
The last four in the win streak all came in seven days. Head coach Howie Hewitt said he was impressed with how much fight the team showed during a busy point in their schedule.
“I had to give the girls credit,” Hewitt said. “We played Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Monday. I don’t care what sport you play or what level. Four games in seven days can be tough for any team. With having to focus on school on top of it, I give them credit for their time and energy.”
The schedule might have caught up to Southington in the second half against Avon on Monday, but they were able to ride their shut-down defense on the way to another win by 10 or more points.
With the schedule only getting more difficult, the Lady Knights can’t ask for a much better position than third place in both the Central Connecticut Conference and Class LL. Here is how they continued their winning streak last week:
Victory over Simsbury
JAN. 9—Southington trailed at halftime for the first time this season when they hosted Simsbury. But a huge performance by Kelley Marshall and a strong fourth quarter helped overcome the 19-14 deficit to keep the win streak alive.
Marshall had 23 points and 6 rebounds, both team highs, while shooting 10-of-14 from the field. She also made three out of four three pointers.
The Knights outscored the Trojans 13-6 in the fourth quarter and that ended up being the difference. Livvy Pizzitola chipped in with seven points and four rebounds.
It was Southington’s second straight victory by less than 10 points.
Win at Suffield
JAN. 11—The Lady Knights outscored the Wildcats 20-2 in the second quarter and never looked back from a 34-10 halftime lead.
Brianna Harris scored 15 points off of five three-pointers, four of them coming in the first half. Marshall scored 10 or more points for the third straight game as she put up 14 to go with five rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Jessica Carr had six points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Win over Avon
JAN. 13—It was once again a dominant first half that was the difference as Southington defeated Avon, 38-27 for their seventh straight win. The Lady Knights scored as many points in the first half as the Falcons scored all game as they led 27-7 at halftime.
Southington lost some of its steam in the second half. Hewitt recognized the busy schedule but said they could have finished the game stronger.
“Our defense has obviously been very good and they were good once again against Avon,” Hewitt said. “But I thought we could have done a better job offensively. I liked the 27 points at halftime but we just didn’t execute as well in the second half. I think we are still learning our strengths and weaknesses. We have players with varying experience and skill sets. So it will take some time.”
Harris led in scoring with eight points. Marshall had seven points, six rebounds, and four steals while Megan Mikosz had seven points and eight rebounds, five of them on offense. Madison Hulten had a team-high nine rebounds.
Southington has a tough remaining schedule, which includes two showdowns with NW Catholic (8-2) and a rematch with the team who handed them their one loss, Hall (5-4). They also still await Glastonbury (8-2) and Bloomfield (5-2).
At the top of the CCC and Class LL rankings, Southington may see the best from each team going forward. But Hewitt said he was already prepared for that.
“To me, the second half of our schedule is tougher than the first half,” Hewitt said. “We are obviously in really good shape, but in any sport, a competitive team aspires to win as the underdog. Our remaining games are all in conference and we also have division games coming up. Regardless of our record, we expect each team’s best.”
Southington hosted Platt on Thursday. They will be back home on Jan. 21 when they take on Capital Prep at 6:45 p.m. The Lady Knights beat Capital Prep earlier this season, 59-39, in the Wolcott holiday tournament.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at SDreher@SouthingtonObserver.com.