BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys’ basketball squad currently finds itself in a position it has not enjoyed in almost five years—above .500. For the first time since the 2004-05 Hawks finished 14-9 overall, Woodland holds a winning record with its current, 2-1 mark. All right, perhaps a 2-1 record is not something to rave about, but what could lie ahead for the Black and Gold might be special.
Coming on the heels of a 21-point second-half rally at Wolcott to secure its first win of the season, the Hawks outlasted previously-unbeaten Watertown, 61-50, in last Tuesday’s home opener.
While by no means was it the best game Woodland could play—especially considering four players fouled out—Hawks head coach Tom Hunt didn’t consider it a bad game either. In fact, it was another example of a game Woodland needs to win to contend in the Naugatuck Valley League Brass Division.
“It was an ugly one,” Hunt said, “but it was a game that we need to win. As we get into the third year of the program, we need to do the things like we did tonight that get us a victory when we are having an off night.”
Once again, it was the tandem of seniors Bryan Spickle and Shaine Thompson leading the way for the Hawks, as Spickle posted another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds while Thompson contributed 14 points and seven assists, keeping both on the NVL’s top 20 scoring list. And not to be overlooked, sophomore forward Ryan Angeloszek grabbed 10 more boards with seven points, as he continued to play very well in the early going.
“Teams around the NVL cannot take Woodland lightly,” Spickle said. “We are going to come out strong. The coach wants me to dominate down low and get to the boards.”
Woodland has indeed dominated down low and gotten to the boards in its two wins thus far. And Spickle is certainly not blowing smoke when he says Woodland will be a contender. Take a look at the competition in the Brass: Watertown, Wolcott, Seymour, Ansonia, St. Paul, and Derby. And don’t look now, but the Hawks sit on top of the division with its 2-0 record in the Brass.
Woodland could conceivably host Sacred Heart Jan. 8 with a 5-1 record, as the Black and Gold’s next three dribbles are against Derby, Naugatuck, and Ansonia, who have just one win put together.
We don’t want to jump the gun here, but who knows? It might finally be time to clear some space on the gym wall for an NVL basketball banner.