Girls pg 1 2-7-19

Girls head
for Class
LL tourney
The biggest win of the season.
That’s what Woodstock Academy girls’ basketball coach Will Fleeton was thinking after his Centaurs downed E. Lyme, 51-46 Feb. 2.
It was the first win over an Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I opponent.
“We needed a win in the division for our confidence,” said Fleeton. “Obviously, we could reach a lot of our goals without getting (a divisional win). It wasn’t a high priority for the girls but I will be honest and tell you that it was something I wanted. To get one reinforces, with our division being so tough, that we’re able to build the confidence to rise to the challenge. I think it was bigger than the actual ‘W’ because I think now maybe the team believes that it is quality.”
The other thing that the win accomplished was that it officially qualified the Centaurs (8-7, 1-4 Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I) for the Class LL state tournament.
“That’s a goal the girls early in the year wanted to go after,” Fleeton said. “Knowing that we got bumped up to LL and a lot of people thought we wouldn’t be there or didn’t deserve to be there. It was good to get that out of the way. I was hoping it would come before now. It’s a relief for the players. Maybe now we can continue to advance because we got that goal out of the way. Now, we can finish off the season.”
The Centaurs had to rally from a from a halftime deficit.
East Lyme held only a one-point advantage, 12-11, after the first quarter.
But the Vikings (11-7, 2-3) found their bearings in the second quarter.
East Lyme outscored the Centaurs, 20-10, to take a 31-22 halftime lead.
The Centaurs, who have thrived off their defensive presence this season, put that to use in the second half.
They limited the Vikings to just six points in the third and nine in the fourth to come out with the win.
“Every possession mattered both ways,” Fleeton said. “It was a tight battle to the end and I’m just very proud of the kids to see their mental fortitude and toughness. They stayed locked in and focused and played a full four quarters.”
The inside players were the key for Woodstock Academy. Senior forward Heather Converse and junior Katie Papp both finished with 17 points.
“We had a great effort in the paint, both defensively and offensively, rebounding the ball, and trying to even out the size advantage that (East Lyme) has,” Fleeton said.
In addition to Converse and Papp, Rachel Lambert came off the bench and, despite not scoring, added some key plays inside the paint.
Kayla Gaudreau was dangerous from the outside. She dropped a trio of 3-pointers on the Vikings to finish with nine points.
Megan Bauman paced the Vikings with a game-high 18 while Sophie Dubreuil added 10.
“They are a quality team,” Fleeton said. “To use them as a gauge as to where we are, or where we can get to, is very important. I also think the kids themselves, they felt whether we won or lost (Saturday) was a little redemption because we did not bring our game when we played them earlier in the year.”
The Centaurs lost that game in East Lyme, 65-42.
The Centaurs needed the win after a game in New London Jan. 28.
The Whalers broke out to a 20-point lead by halftime and rolled to a 57-29 win over the Centaurs.
“I thought we played pretty well (at New London), we were just dealing with a monster,” Fleeton said with a chuckle. “I think it actually may have helped us (Saturday). We played our hearts out in that game, didn’t get the ‘W’ but playing pretty well is what we’re after. It may have given us a little confidence to go into the (East Lyme) game.”
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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