Academy pg 1 1-12-23

Academy gets
win over
The Woodstock Academy boys’ basketball team needed a win in the worst of ways.
On Friday, it got it.
The Centaurs, who had played five games in a row on the road before the week began, enjoyed the home cooking a bit more than they did earlier in the week against New London as they posted a 61-37 win over Ledyard.
“It was a big win,” said senior Brandon Nagle. “We needed to get our confidence back and I think this achieved it.”
The win raised the team’s record to 2-6 overall and 1-2 in Div. II of the ECC.
Prior to the win over the Colonels, the Centaurs had been bothered by a four-game losing streak.
“I wouldn’t call it a slump, but we just got ourselves together and the guys really wanted this one. No matter the competition, we always have to come out and play hard and that’s what we did. I can truly say that we deserved this win,” said coach Donte Adams.
His team also found its shooting touch in the process.
The Centaurs had been struggling to put the ball in the basket of late, averaging only 41 points per game in those four consecutive losses.
It looked, early on, as if that would continue against Ledyard.
Woodstock made only three of its first 12 shots and was clinging to a 9-5 lead going into the second quarter.
That’s when something clicked.
“The guys were really unselfish and played hard on defense and the offense came together. We got a lot of one-more passes, got the ball into the open guy, rebounded, and that’s why we were able to score a couple of points,” Adams said.
A few more than a couple, actually.
The Centaurs went on a 24-4 tear in the second quarter and no one was happier than Nagle.
The senior found his shooting touch again, getting eight of his team-high 16 points in the second quarter including a pair of 3-pointers, to help the Centaurs build a 33-9 halftime lead over Ledyard.
“It was nice to get back into the flow of it. This game definitely felt like we were hitting shots and were back to where we were at the start of the season,” Nagle said. “Hitting those 3-pointers felt great. As soon as they went in, my confidence went up.”
That confidence had been waning a bit for the shooting guard.

“He needed this one, just from a confidence standpoint. You have games like this and it’s a confidence booster. You can see yourself taking good shots, he’s been having good practices and it starts to come together. He just needed this game,” Adams said.
Nagle wasn’t the only one as the Centaurs, as a team, made 10 of their 15 shots in the quarter.
“I didn’t know that, that’s huge,” Nagle said of the 24-4 second quarter advantage. “We really needed it to push into the half and we knew we had to come out strong in the second half.”
Junior Hunter Larson, who finished with 11 points, scored six of those in the second quarter and senior Carter Morissette had five of his nine points. Garrett Bushey also had a 3-pointer in that uprising.
A 24-point halftime advantage is normally considered insurmountable.
But the Colonels were able to cut into it early in the second half, making it 36-20.
The Centaurs took the wind out of Ledyard’s sails by scoring the next 11 points, four by Morissette, to establish a 27-point lead which truly was insurmountable.
The Centaurs were able to hang in early against the New London Whalers earlier in the week.
Unfortunately, New London just had too many answers and posted the 63-36 win over Woodstock.
It started out OK. Brady Ericson scored seven of his team-high 16 points and the Centaurs trailed by only four points, 15-11, going into the second quarter.
Ericson would finish with a double-double, 16 points and 14 rebounds.
“He had a good game and he’s capable of doing that every night,” said Adams. “He’s adjusting to the matchups such as when the (opposing) teams go zone or man, that will be the case the whole season. He played big for us.”
The Whalers (4-1) then outscored the Centaurs, 19-6, and were able to double up the score on their hosts by the half, leading 34-17.
Sophomore guard Devan Williams was a thorn in the side of the Centaurs the entire game. He scored 16 of his game-high 28 points in the first half to help New London build the early advantage that it would not relinquish.
“They are a tough, gritty team that never gives up, always in it. New London has a great program and it’s a credit to the coaches and kids- they came out and played hard,” Adams said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

Woodstock senior Brandon Nagle (right with the ball), who scored a team-high 16 points, looks to make a move against Ledyard senior James Green in the Centaurs 61-37 win.  

Sophomore Brady Ericson, left, goes up for the opening tip of the game against Ledyard’s Chris Washington.

Senior Braiden Saucier (10) works on the defensive end against Ledyard’s Cameron Weber in the Centaurs 61-37 win. Photos by Marc Allard.


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