Tough pg 9 1-9-20

Sophie Dubreuil had not been on the floor for the East Lyme Vikings this season going into their game Jan. 4 with Woodstock Academy.
“She is an All-State player who hasn’t played,” said Centaurs coach Will Fleeton.
Until his Woodstock Academy team showed up.
Dubreuil made her season debut and made up for the lost time, scoring 21 points in the first half to lead the previously winless Vikings to a 68-44 win over the Centaurs.
It was the culmination to a tough New Year’s week for the Centaurs who also suffered a 53-35 setback against Waterford.
The two defeats left Woodstock Academy with a 1-5 overall record and a 0-2 ECC Div. I mark.
The stated goal for the season for the Centaurs has been to make the Class LL state tournament. To do that, Woodstock Academy has to win seven of its last 14 games.
It’s a tall order and one that Fleeton is not particularly concerned about.
“Even in the best situations, you have to stay focused, look at one game at a time and focus on one at a time. Being 1-5, you can’t look that far down the road; we have to look at today and tomorrow. If we were 6-1, I would probably feel the same way. It’s one step at a time. It’s not a smart move to look ahead,” Fleeton said.
The Centaurs hung with the Vikings (1-6, 1-1 ECC Div. I) for the first few minutes thanks to a pair of baskets by Katie Papp and Kaitlin Birlin.
But the rest of the first quarter was a blur for Fleeton.
East Lyme reeled off 16 unanswered points to open a 22-4 lead. Dubreuil scored 12 of those points.
“They play tough competition and that 0-6 record was not indicative of who they are. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk because of the personnel that he has,” Fleeton said.
The Centaurs played a little better in the second quarter, getting 16 points but E. Lyme got 24 and led 46-20 at the break.
To make matters worse, the Centaurs haven’t scored more than 44 points in a game this season.
“We don’t have the scoring capability to play from behind like that and we were down right out of the gates,” Fleeton said.
The Centaurs made Dubreuil their prime target for the rest of the game.
“We had to chase just her in the second half to try and stop her,” Fleeton said.
Woodstock Academy held Dubreuil (26 points) to five second-half points, but that opened up the floor for the rest of the Vikings who led 59-28 at the end of three.
The Centaurs did win the fourth quarter, 16-9, and it wasn’t against the Vikings JV unit.
E. Lyme kept its starters on the floor for the most part.
Fleeton surmised the Vikings did so to work Dubreuil back into the offense.
Birlin finished with eight points to tie for the team-high scoring honors with Papp and Peyton Saracina.
Birlin was making her first varsity start in place of senior Rachel Lambert who was injured in the Waterford game.
“She showed she deserved the start,” Fleeton said of the sophomore’s effort. “We tried a few new things to prepare for the game and she was a big part of that. She came through for us.”
Birlin also played well off the bench against the Lancers (4-1) who, like E. Lyme, had a player that the Centaurs didn’t have an answer for.
Milly Walker, a 5-foot, 11-inch sophomore center, scored 26 points against Woodstock Academy.
Sophomore Aurissa Boardman led the Centaurs with 14 points.
 “Victoria Garcia and Peyton Saracina really showed and stepped up coming off the bench in both of the games. The two of them and Birlin are the bright spots right now,” Fleeton said.
It doesn’t get much easier for the Centaurs this week.
They do have a home game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday but it’s against Stonington (3-1).
Woodstock Academy then goes on the road for their second game of the season against the fifth-ranked team in the state, New London (6-1), Jan. 9 and then on to Montville (3-2) Jan. 11.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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