Senior Rachel Lambert will serve as Woodstock Academy’s captain this girls’ basketball season Photo by Will Fleeton/The Woodstock Academy.


New London’s quickness causes trouble for Centaurs girls


The Woodstock Academy Centaurs girls’ basketball team knew its first real foray on to the court was not going to be easy.

They invited the fifth-ranked team in the state, New London, to the Alumni Fieldhouse Dec. 20.

A shaky start put the Centaurs behind early, but they didn’t give up and acquitted themselves pretty well in the end, falling 41-26, in their season opener.

“(New London) has lightning fast feet, quick hands, they try to get a steal on every pass,” said Woodstock Academy coach Will Fleeton.

To make matters worse, the Centaurs had troubles handling the ball early, committing some 18 turnovers in Fleeton’s guesstimate and not all of those turnovers were forced by the Whalers.

“There were passes that should have been stolen,” Fleeton said.

Fortunately for the Centaurs, New London’s shooting wasn’t exactly perfect either.

The Whalers (2-0, 1-0 ECC Division I) scored the first eight points of the game but it took them most of the first quarter to do so.

Woodstock Academy’s first basket wouldn’t come until senior captain Rachel Lambert (3 points) scored with 2:16 left in the first quarter.

The Whalers would own a 12-3 lead at the end of the first quarter and then scored the first 11 points of the second quarter. Sophomore Joniyah Bland-Fitzpatrick had four of those and freshman D’Nazia Uzzle added a 3-pointer.

“We started to settle down in the second quarter and broke through that pressure which got us some shots and we were able to score,” Fleeton said.

The Centaurs scored seven of the last eight points of the half, five by sophomore Aurissa Boardman and only trailed at the half, 24-10.

“Once we relaxed a little, did the things we know, took care of the ball and made better passes, it wasn’t as effective,” Fleeton said.

The Centaurs did get it down to as few as 11 points in the third when Boardman hit a putback with 2:51 left in the quarter to make it 27-16.

Boardman finished with a team-high 11 points.

“This was her first varsity game. She played last year and got some spotty minutes but this was her first varsity game with huge expectations and I think she did a good job. I think she did a better job on defense than she did on offense to be honest,” Fleeton said.

New London re-took control, scoring 11 of the next 13 points to put the game out of reach.

Wendy Gethers led the Whalers with 13 points, Jayden Burns added 10.

Fleeton said he thinks the experience of playing a fast, aggressive team like New London right out of the gate may help down the road.

“I think it’s just a matter of relaxing,” said the Woodstock Academy coach. “Their speed and aggression took us out of the game early and forced us into some bad decisions. We dribbled it into trap spots and got trapped. That’s going to happen. You are going to turn it over. I think the experience of learning from those mistakes and making better decisions will keep us out of those spots.”

Marc Allard

Director of Sports Information

The Woodstock Academy

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