The Woodstock Academy boys’ basketball team held a little meeting following their loss to Ledyard earlier in the week.
“After our first 10 games, I asked then what we wanted to be about. We want to find our identity and talk about what is next. It’s a new season. It starts (Saturday) and we want to do the things we want to do,” said coach Marty Hart.
The first part of the season had been pretty rough.
The 87-48 loss to Ledyard Jan. 23 left the Centaurs with a 2-8 record halfway through the season.
It was time to turn the page.
The new chapter began Jan. 27 with an 86-62 win over University High School.
It means the Centaurs have to win five of their last nine games to qualify for the CIAC state tournament.
“We’re playing Montville, Killingly, and Stafford (this) week and they are three winnable games,” Centaurs junior Chase Anderson said. “We just need to step up right now and play well when we need to.”
Anderson has been the go-to player for the Centaurs and he was again against the Hawks (3-9).
Anderson scored 24 points to lead the team.
“I came into the game thinking defense, because you need to do that. I just got open shots from looking at my teammates. I had a pass-first (mentality), but when I’m open, I’m going to shoot,” Anderson said.  Aaron Johnson added 22.
“I was trying to look for him, because when his morale goes up, the whole team plays better,” Anderson added.
The Centaurs carried out what Hart wanted to see.
He wanted to see his team establish an inside game, looking to pass first and making defensive stops and rebound.
 “The guys bought in,” Hart said. “They want to share the ball. They know the game is better played when we go inside-out and that really showed (Saturday),” Hart said.
The Centaurs pressed University early and were able to jump out to an 18-4 lead over the Hawks.
Anderson scored 16 points and Johnson 12 in the first half as the Centaurs were able to build a 48-26 halftime lead and the Hawks did not challenge in the second half.
The win was a far cry from the Ledyard game.
The Colonels scored over 20 points in the first three quarters and were up 70-35 going into the fourth.
“It was tough, but we learned a lot from them and said, ‘Hey, that is the kind of team we want to be.’ We want to be a team that moves the ball, rebounds, goes inside and then hits open looks. That’s what we’re striving for,” Hart said.  Anderson and Johnson each had 10 points in the loss.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director

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