Handing Out Flowers
Cancer survivor Amy Morin, left, Woodstock Academy coach Marty Hart, right, and members of the Woodstock Academy boys’ basketball team handed out flowers to cancer survivors prior to the Coaches vs. Cancer game. Photo by Marc Allard.

It’s something the Woodstock Academy boys’ basketball team has to work on.
“Closing out games,” senior Aidan Morin said. “We worked our butts off against (Fitch) but we have to get a few more shots off in the last few minutes. Most of us are young and to keep this game close showed a lot.”
Fitch came in undefeated.
The Falcons left the Alumni Fieldhouse that way as well but they were tested by the Centaurs in a 49-44 Fitch win Jan. 24.
“We have to be able to expand the rotation so that we have the depth to be able to finish. We’re putting together a half of basketball, three-quarters of a game, we just have to stave off the runs,” said Woodstock Academy coach Marty Hart.
That run came in the fourth quarter for the Falcons (11-0, 5-0 ECC Div. II).
The Centaurs had gone ahead to start the final quarter on a Liam Blanchflower basket. Seamus Greaves (15 points) tied the game for the Falcons but Ethan Davis answered for Woodstock Academy to put the Centaurs up, 39-37, with 4:45 to go.
It was to be the Centaurs (4-7. 1-4) last basket for the next 4:15.
Ajia Brown (14 points) found the range for Fitch.
The senior guard hit a 3-pointer to put the Falcons up, 40-39, with 4:05 to play. The Centaurs committed an offensive foul to give Fitch the ball back and Brown hit another 3-pointer.
“They set a lot of double screens down low. They have variety on that play where different guys will come up because they can all shoot the ball really well. He happened to come up twice and hit those 3’s off good screens,” Morin said.
Brown then stole the ball in the backcourt and made the easy layup to put the Falcons up, 45-39. Both teams hobbled to the finish line.
The Centaurs made just 2-of-3 from the floor and 1-of-3 from the free throw line while Fitch missed its only shot in the final 3:07 and went 4-of-10 from the line.
Woodstock Academy got some balanced scoring to open the game.
Nick Bedard and Davis, both of whom finished with eight points, scored four each in the first quarter to help the Centaurs to a 14-11 first quarter lead.
Fitch rallied to tie the game at 19 by the half.
Morin decided he had to make something happen.
The senior didn’t have a point in the first half.
He scored all 14 of his points in the third quarter and finished with a double-double, adding 10 rebounds.
It was the Coaches vs. Cancer game and prior to the contest, the Centaur seniors and Morin’s mother, Amy, a cancer survivor, handed out flowers to cancer survivors in the stands.
“I was thinking about that a lot in the game,” Morin said. “It felt great. Even though we lost, I know the team gave it their all. That’s all you can ask.”
It was also the second game the Centaurs were playing minus their leading scorer, Logan Talbot (17.2 ppg) who injured his ankle in practice.
With just four minutes left in practice on Jan. 19, the Centaurs were playing a little intra-squad scrimmage. Talbot went up for a rebound and came down on a teammate’s foot. Talbot hobbled to the side. He showed up for the game with Killingly early in the week on crutches.
It was not the condition Hart needed to see his leading scorer in just prior to a game against their rivals.
The Centaurs played well in the first half but could not do so for 32 minutes and suffered a 46-34 defeat in a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday matinee on their home floor.
It changed the game plan against Killingly (5-5). Instead of trying to get Talbot out on the break and score some baskets in transition, the Centaurs (4-6) hunkered down.
A deliberate offense was called for and was very effective in the first half.
The Centaurs limited Killingly to 10 first quarter shots and only 17 for the half.
What was even better was that Killingly made only three and Woodstock Academy enjoyed a 16-9 halftime advantage.
Killingly senior Shayne Bigelow was held to just four points.
Baskets by Liam Blanchflower and Andrew Johnson, who shared team-high honors with 12 points each, raised the Centaurs lead to 20-9 at the start of the third quarter.
It was the end of the good news. Bigelow got hot.
A field goal by the senior with 6:20 left in the third began an 11-0 Killingly run, Bigelow getting nine of those points.
The 11-0 run tied the game at 20.
It remained a one-point game or less until 4:50 was left in the game.
Bigelow, who finished with a game-high 24 points, hit a 3-pointer and later a free throw to put Killingly up by five.
Nick Bedard cut it back to three with a field goal but Killingly freshman Yianni Baribeau (11 points) hit a 3-pointer and both Bigelow and Baribeau hit free throws to give Killingly the 10-point lead with only 1:30 to play.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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