Win streak ends at three for Woodland

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys basketball team just didn’t have an answer Tuesday night for one of the most prolific scorers in the Naugatuck Valley League.

Naugatuck’s Jean Lukau tallied a game-high 27 points, including five 3-pointers, as the Greyhounds routed the Hawks, 69-39, at the Mariano Gymnasium.

“They knocked down some shots and knocked down some deep threes that we weren’t able to get out to,” Woodland coach Tom Hunt said of Naugatuck, which buried nine triples on the night. “They’re a quality team. We talked about (Lukau) before the game and he lived up to his billing. We weren’t able to get a hand up like we talked about.”

Naugatuck (4-1) built up a 17-5 lead after one and Woodland (3-3) never recovered. As the Hawks faced a mounting deficit throughout the second quarter and into the second half, Hunt’s focus shifted to searching for positive building blocks.

“You try to find small moral victories,” Hunt said. “We were able to get a couple of kids some minutes who haven’t played. We need to make sure we have guys who can step in when other guys need to sit, and it’s games like these when you run your offense and find guys who are able to produce.”

Justin Marks scored a team-high nine points for Woodland. Mickey Meier added seven, and Zach Bedryczuk and John Frasco tacked on five apiece.

Tuesday’s showing against the Greyhounds stood in contrast to what the Hawks had demonstrated during a three-game winning streak. In some games, Bedryczuk had been leading the charge — just look at his 29-point effort in a 58-41 win over Thomaston on Dec. 29 — while in others a quality supporting cast had emerged. In a 55-50 victory over Watertown on Jan. 3, Marks led the way with 14 points while Frasco added 12, Meier 10 and Bedryczuk eight.

Hunt said the Hawks need to become more consistent with their variety of scorers when Bedryczuk, an All-Iron Division pick a season ago, isn’t lights-out from downtown.

“Zach Bedryczuk was knocking down shots. Right now he’s in a slump we need to get him out of,” Hunt said. “I don’t want to be a team that goes as its best scorer goes. We have guys who need to step up and score when Zach’s not knocking it down.”

Still, it took Woodland just five games to equal its win total from all of last season.

The Hawks will host Wilby on Wednesday before visiting Torrington on Friday. Woodland will return home Jan. 17 against Oxford.