Uhl leads Hawks in Candy Cane Classic
BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys brought their own Uhl-tide to the Candy Cane Classic last week as senior David Uhl went on a scoring spree to lead the team to the championship game.
Woodland defeated Ansonia 64-46 behind Uhl’s game-high 25 points in last Thursday’s semifinals. Uhl added 22 in a 71-60 loss to Amity in Friday’s championship game.
Amity took a commanding 23-10 lead in the first period of the finale. Tanner Kingsley threw down 15 points as Woodland outscored Amity 38-32 in the second half but it wasn’t enough to overcome eight 3-pointers by the Spartans.
Zach Campbell led Amity with 23 points while Gardner Broderick added 14 and Dave Ryan had 12 as the Spartans dished the Hawks their first loss of the season.
In the tournament opener against Ansonia, Woodland went on a two-minute, 8-0 run to turn a tight, 8-6 game into a 10-point lead.
Ansonia chased that deficit for the remainder of the game. Rahmi Rountree had a double-double for the Hawks, scoring 12 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Kirk Chamenko gave Woodland a presence in the paint with 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
That allowed the Hawks to close out the first period with a 22-10 advantage. Uhl led the way by dropping 10 points and continuing the offensive assault into the second period.
Ansonia tried to close the gap on a three-point play from Rayshawn Pender (15 points) only to have Uhl come down the floor and ripple the net with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
By the time the half ended Woodland was out in front by a 32-20 margin. The Hawks’ 19-13 edge in rebounds played a significant role in the 12-point halftime lead.
“We did a real nice job on the boards,” Woodland coach Tom Hunt said. “We had some key contributions. I thought David Uhl handled the ball really well and Stephen Baeder stepped up on defense. Kirk Chamenko did yeoman’s work on the boards.”
Ansonia tried to make a game of it, dropping in three treys in the third period, but it was no match for the Hawks’ inside play with Baeder (eight points) and Anthony Ross crashing the boards for putbacks.
Shane Classey (five rebounds, four points) continued to put pressure on the Chargers as the Hawks’ 11-6 edge in rebounds in the third period allowed them to take a 46-36 lead into the final period.
Kingsley (five assists, five rebounds) threw in a runner to push the lead back to 10 after Ansonia snuck within seven points at 48-41 with 6:11 to play. Woodland closed out the game on an 8-0 run.
“These kids have been in the program for a while now and they are staring to understand what their roles are,” Hunt said. “I thought Tanner did a great job distributing the ball. No one is looking to be a superstar here. We win as a team and it’s going to take everybody contributing. They have bought into the fact that it’s about the wins and losses, not about the points after their name. That’s what separates the good teams from the average teams.”
Woodland fell to Wolcott, 49-34, on Wednesday. The Hawks (5-2) will host NVL frontrunner Crosby on Friday before visiting Torrington on Tuesday.