Good pg 11 3-14-19

There were no world-beaters in Division IV of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference boys’ basketball state tournament.
It gave hope for teams like Woodstock Academy which played a tough regular season schedule.
“We liked our draw,” said Centaurs coach Marty Hart said. “We thought we could compete and we did compete hard.”
It wasn’t enough.
The 23rd-seeded Centaurs lost to No. 10 Abbott Tech a long way from home in Danbury, 61-53, in a first-round game March 5.
The loss meant the Centaurs ended the season with a 10-13 overall mark.
“I’m proud of the wins we had. It was great to get Killingly twice. We had a really strong win over Fitch and competed hard against the upper echelon of the (Eastern Connecticut Conference) - the big win over second-seeded East Lyme to get us, a seventh-seed, into the ECC semifinals. We ran into a very competitive (Norwich Free Academy) team there was very close to knocking off Waterford in the championship,” Hart said. “We would have liked to have a few more wins but it was great to have the time with the team, they’re a great bunch of guys.”
Unfortunately, most will not return for the Centaurs.
“We have a lot of great seniors. We’re certainly going to miss them,” Hart said.
Eight to be exact and they contributed the majority of the points, rebounds, assists and steals generated by the team.
Chase Anderson, who became a 1,000-point scorer during the season, led the team with an 18.3 point per game average including 37 3-pointers, also pulled down 8.1 rebounds per game, with 58 assists and 54 steals.
Inside players Cole Hackett (9.7 ppg, 8.6 rebounds, 20 blocks), Luke Mathewson (6.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 34 assists) and John Rogers have also played their final games in a Woodstock Academy uniform.
The list continues with guards Aaron Johnson (9.5 ppg, a team-best 38 3-pointers and 45 assists); Ethan Adams (3.0 ppg), Jake Marsalisi (3.7 ppg) and team leader Eric Preston (2.2 ppg).
“In some ways, they’re irreplaceable, but in others, we’re just going to have to morph and other guys will have to step up,” Hart said. “It’s going to be difficult. They have been a strong group who has been together a long time and to graduate that many will leave it wide open for the underclassmen to step up and create a new identity for the team.”
Only one starter, swing player Aidan Morin (5.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 33 assists, 19 steals), will return for the Centaurs.
“It’s going to be a whole new group. I’m hoping the guys work hard on their development in the offseason, continue to play. We’re going to have to develop more physicality to compete and our basketball skills, too,” Hart said.
It was a long ride to Abbott Tech.
The school is located in Danbury, over two hours away by yellow bus.
“There was definitely some travel involved with it,” Hart said with a chuckle.
But the Centaurs got off the bus relatively well.
Hackett scored 10 of his 16 points in the first quarter and Anderson added eight of his 24.
“Cole gave us a really big lift. That was working well. We had a strong advantage inside,” Hart said.
The problem for the Centaurs, they couldn’t pull away.
Despite the production, Woodstock Academy was only up, 20-18, at the end of the opening stanza.
“They were scoring inside in the first half because we were guarding their 3-point shooters,” Hart said.
At halftime, the Centaurs clung to a 32-30 lead.
But the Wolverines adjusted in the second half and packed it in.
“The outside opened up a little. We just couldn’t get shots from the outside to fall,” Hart said.
Woodstock Academy made just 2-of-17 from beyond the arc.
Woodstock Academy built a little lead which forced Abbott Tech outside.
“They got a little desperate, started shooting 3’s and they started to go in. They were deep 3’s. Well-guarded 3’s. But they got them, developed a little confidence and put a couple of runs on us, which took the wind out of our sails,” Hart said.
The Wolverines made four 3’s in the third quarter.
Abbott Tech sealed the win from the free throw line.
The Wolverines made 9-of-10 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.
Woodstock Academy only had five attempts in the whole game from the line and made one of those.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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