SOUTHINGTON - The Southington girls basketball team knew Monday night against Simsbury was going to be a tough test.
And tough it was.
Although the game started out close, once the Blue Knights fell behind the No. 3 ranked team in the state, according to the New Haven Register's coaches poll, they were never able to recover as they fell to the Trojans 51-37.
The loss snapped a six-game win streak for Southington as Simsbury moves to 16-0.
“We struggled,” Blue Knights head coach Mike Forgione said. “We knew they were going to play a really good locked-down man [defense], and at the end of the day, we just couldn’t knock down enough shots.
“But we knew they were going to be aggressive and we knew they had shooters. We were really trying to play aggressive man, but the thing is when you have to go out on shooters you don’t really have help and that’s what killed us. We got beat off the dribble way too much, and unfortunately, give Simsbury and their guards credit, because they attacked the basket on us.”
Southington’s leading scorer, Janette Wadolowski, who averages 22.9 points per game, was held to 16, while Alli Carr scored seven.
“We definitely knew it was going to be a battle,” Carr said. “We don’t get many opportunities to play one of the top 10 teams in the state and we knew that we were going to have to fight.
“If we made our shots, talked with each other more we could’ve been a lot closer than what it was.”
Down just four points at the end of the first quarter, Simsbury effectively took the game over from the second quarter on.
McKenna Finke led the Trojans with 15 points, while Sophie Rosenberg scored 14.
“We came out with a plan,” Wadolowski said. “And we were with them the first couple quarters of the game, then we just kept getting beat off the dribble. We also fell into some foul trouble which really kind of killed us, that’s what really hit us hard.”
Overall, the Blue Knights committed 17 fouls to Simsbury’s 14.
But Southington wasn’t able to find any kind of offensive rhythm until midway through the second quarter when Wadolowski generated a tough three points. Not too long after, Madison Hulten found herself at the line, hitting one-of-two foul shots.
Trailing by eight at the end of the first half, the Blue Knights struggled coming into the third quarter. Simsbury began the quarter on an 8-0 run that was finally broken by a 3-pointer from Carr.
The fourth quarter played out much like the third - with the Trojans going on a run and Southington having to play catch up.
Simsbury’s Mary McElroy started a 6-0 run after Kristen Longley hit a 3-point shot. The Blue Knights added six more points until the final minute of the game.
“Obviously we want to play them again, we’re ready to play them again,” Wadolowski said.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org