ELLINGTON — Zach Bedryczuk netted 15 points in the final game of his Woodland basketball career, but the No. 27-seeded Hawks suffered a 64-41 defeat to No. 6 Ellington on March 5 in the first round of the Division IV state tournament.
Ellington (20-5), the runner-up in the North Central Connecticut Conference tournament, overwhelmed Woodland (8-13) from the outset and built a 33-9 halftime lead. The Knights also won their second-round game over Canton and advanced to the quarterfinals March 8 against conference rival Granby.
The Hawks didn’t have any other scorers in double figures. Nate Bodnar and Joey Giuliani netted six and five points, respectively. In their final career games, Mickey Meier and Justin Marks tallied three points apiece.
Bedryczuk ended his career as the second-leading scorer in program history, having surpassed the 1,000-point mark for his career Jan. 18 against Torrington. He finished with 1,218 points, behind only Tanner Kingsley (1,312 from 2010-14).
Although Woodland will lose its three leading scorers to graduation, the Hawks will bring back a strong nucleus of young players. Point guard Jason Palmieri surged throughout the second half of his freshman season, and Bodnar saw plenty of quality minutes as a fellow rookie. Woodland will also bring back key upperclassmen in Tyler Bulinski, Trey Mastropietro and Mike Szturma, as well as sophomores Nathanel Smith and Joey Giuliani.