By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls basketball finished out a frustrating week with losses to Glastonbury on the road and Farmington at home. The Lady Knights struggled at the foul line in the defeats, which were 59-46 to the Tomahawks and 40-37 to the Indians.
Southington fell to 1-2 on the season and hopes to turn things around at this week’s John Rossi Memorial Tournament at Wolcott High School, where coach Mike Forgione is a wellness teacher. Here’s more on each game from this past week:
DEC. 18—The Knights had their chances, but struggles at the foul line and on the boards contributed to a road loss to the undefeated Tomahawks.
Southington shot the same percentage from the field (41.9 percent) as Glastonbury, but Southington struggled at the foul line. Southington was also outrebounded 47-33 by Glastonbury.
Megan Mikosz led the Knights with 13 points while Bri Harris added 10 points. Freshman Sam Sullivan pulled down nine rebounds while Kelley Marshall and Kristen Longley each grabbed six boards. Southington trailed by just three points entering the fourth quarter, 36-33, but Glastonbury outscored the visitors 23-13 over the final eight minutes.
“We kept playing until the end, we kept fouling, but we just couldn’t get over the hump at the end,” Forgione said.
It didn’t help that Livvy Pizzitola and Marshall fouled out between late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter. Without much depth on the bench, the Knights wound up in trouble.
Too many misses
DEC. 21—Facing a team that was much better than their 0-4 record, the Southington girls struggled again at the foul line during a close loss to the Indians inside the Walt Lozoski Gymnasium.
“At the end of the day, I think the most frustrating part was we were 6 for 17 from the foul line,” Forgione said. “We emphasize it all the time, since Day 1, make our foul shots and layups. We try to practice them in different scenarios during practice. We’re pretty successful in our practices, but we’re struggling to figure out ways to have that carry over to a game.”
Southington held a 19-13 lead at halftime, but it quickly dissipated in the third quarter. Farmington ran off the first seven points of the third quarter to take the lead and wound up outscoring the home team 20-8. The Knights struggled with the full-court pressure defense of the Indians in that quarter.
“Farmington had some active hands, they got some turnovers, got some layups, and it kind of got away from us there in the third quarter,” Forgione said.
Farmington, finally mostly healthy for the first time this season, welcomed back point guard Carolyn Ives, and she was a catalyst at both ends of the floor. On offense, Ives faked shots and took the ball to the basket on strong drives. On defense, Ives picked off errant passes and drove in for layups.
The game was tied 24-24, but the Indians ripped off a 9-0 run to lead 33-24. The Knights ended the run on one of Bri Harris’ five 3-pointers, but they still trailed 33-27 after three quarters. Forgione said Southington’s players know how to handle full-court pressure, but they need to be more fundamentally sound in game situations.
“We weren’t coming to the ball, they were getting a lot of deflections,” Forgione said. “Give them credit, they made their run and we couldn’t come back.”
Southington did pull within one point in the fourth quarter, 33-32, on a Harris 3-pointer, but it couldn’t get any closer. The Knights missed opportunities at the foul line, and the Indians converted just enough to maintain the lead.
Southington had one final chance to tie or take the lead, down 39-37 in the waning seconds. Forgione said the Knights tried to get Harris open for a 3-pointer to win the game. If that didn’t happen, Harris was to drive and pass out to Pizzitola to go for another option. Harris drove into the lane and put up a shot, which missed. Farmington got the rebound, made one foul shot and a Pizzitola desperation shot from over half-court at the buzzer was well short.
Harris finished with a game-high 19 points (5-of-11 on 3-pointers) while Marshall added 11 points and eight rebounds. Pizzitola didn’t score, but she had a team-high 11 rebounds to go along with two steals. Emma Novajasky led Farmington with 14 points while Ives chipped in 11.
Up next: Southington heads to Wolcott for the Second Annual John Rossi Memorial Tournament. The Knights played Joel Barlow on Thursday. Southington faces either Wolcott or Watertown on Friday.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com