SOUTHINGTON - It’s Friday afternoon and the Southington girls basketball team is back in the gym.
Fresh off their win over E.O. Smith on the night before, the Blue Knights are practicing, looking at film and preparing for what’s up next.
“We know we can beat anyone,” Janette Wadolowski said after winning the first round of the CCC Tournament Thursday evening. “We were able to come out strong [Thursday] and we were able to keep that constant throughout. That is what led us onto the next game.”
Southington will now take on the No. 1 seed in the CCC, RHAM, today at 4 p.m. in the CCC quarterfinals.
“If someone said second round and there’s a lottery and you can play Simsbury, Enfield and RHAM, I would say give me RHAM,” Southington head coach Mike Forgione said. “Honestly, that’s what I would say. Give me RHAM and let’s get after it.”
Today’s game will be the second meeting of the season between the No. 8 Blue Knights and the Sachems.
The two teams played in the first game of the season - a matchup that didn’t go Southington’s way as the Blue Knights lost 55-40.
Throughout the first three quarters of the game, Southington was able to stay with RHAM. It wasn’t until the fourth when the Sachems went on a 14-0 run to take the game.
“We played them hard last time,” Forgione said. “I don't think people realize it was tied at half and we were down one with five minutes to go. They scored the last 14 points of the game, so it was a one-point game late. We just couldn’t finish at the end.”
Still, it will be a tough task.
The Sachems come have nearly a perfect record with just one blemish. RHAM (20-1) fell to Enfield 58-50, midway through the season. But the Sachems were able to get revenge Monday evening, beating the Eagles 60-49. RHAM then beat No. 16 Plainville 70-43 in the first round of the CCC Tournament on Thursday.
The Blue Knights know what they’re going into and who they have to look out for. At the top of the list are the Sachems’ bigs, senior Katie Shea and senior Anna Barry. Shea is list at 6-feet and Barry is right up there with her at 5-foot-11.
With their height advantage, RHAM will be able to block shots and rebound the ball.
The Sachems also have senior Lia Baroncini and senior Gretchen Kron. Both are the team’s leading scorers.
“They only have one loss for a reason,” Forgione said. “Because they have good players.”
The senior driven Sachems will match up with Southington’s one senior, Wadolowksi, one junior in Kristen Longley and the underclassmen roster.
Despite the age difference, the Blue Knights are going into the game with confidence.
“[We] played them pretty hard the first time,” Forgione said. “And we didn’t really know what we were doing game one especially with all the young kids.”
Now with 20 games played since Dec. 11, Southington is expecting a different result the second time around. The Blue Knights will just have to show it on the court.
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801-5096 or firstname.lastname@example.org