BERLIN - All season long the Berlin girls basketball team has been losing games by just one, two or three points.
Friday evening, the Redcoats lost by nine points to the No. 4 team in the state according to the GameTimeCT / New Haven Register poll in RHAM.
“I hope in the rest of our season we realize our full potential,” sophomore guard Lyzi Litwinko said. “I feel like this was a game we could have won. We can be very good when we play as a team and we haven’t played to our fullest yet.”
Berlin was leading 10-5 at the end of the first quarter, but by the time the second quarter ended things had taken a turn for the worse. The Sachems took a lead they would not relinquish as they outscored Berlin 17-3 in the period.
“Our goal for the rest of the season is to take the positives from Friday night and each game and make the fixes that need to be made,” Berlin head coach Shelia King said.
“Up until [Friday night] we’ve had trouble sustaining play on the court. Free throws must improve and other than that, with a young team, with the chemistry, the passing just has to be cleaned up a bit.
“I think we’ve determined that we’re a pretty good defensive team and we’ll make those fixes to the offense. We have young kids that I think are eventually going to start scoring for us.”
Free throws got the best of the Redcoats Friday evening, as they made just 50 percent of their shots (14-for-28).
“We have to keep working hard and make our free throws,” freshman guard Ashley Wenzel said. “That was a big problem for today, we missed a lot of them. We need to work together, stay with it and keep working for it.”
The Redcoats are putting their focus to fixing the “little things” for the weeks to come.
“We want to put together the little things that have been causing us to lose,” Litwinko said. “This is the most we’ve ever lost by this season. We’ve been losing by one, two, three, four - it’s the little mistakes that we need to fix.
“I don’t think it’s anything we can do at practice. I just think we have to find it within ourselves to go for all the 50/50 balls, hustle to our fullest and just play the full game.”
Although RHAM is the No. 4 team in the state, the Redcoats were able to hang in the game during the second half, matching the Sachems 14-14 in the third quarter and 17-17 in the fourth quarter.
“I am very proud of them,” King said. “They’re knocked down, but committed to being focused and finishing the rest of the season proud.
“[It was a] tremendous display from a lot of the players tonight. I don’t think I can pick out just one. They all did a tremendous job.”
Berlin will be facing Windsor, Middletown and Southington in the coming weeks.
“We have some tough games coming up. If we keep working together and working hard, I think we’ll be able to win them,” Wenzel said.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860)801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org