BEACON FALLS — One of the best inside-outside tandems in the Naugatuck Valley League helped the Woodland girls to their fifth win in as many tries.
Senior center Heather Framski scored a season-high 28 points while senior guard Lindsay Feducia added 18 and the Hawks defense forced a number of key turnovers to carry Woodland to a 63-57 win over Watertown Tuesday night in Beacon Falls.
Woodland played a run-and-gun style that gave the Indians fits and rendered them unable to set up any sort of sustained offense most of the night.
“We strive to play up-tempo every night,” Woodland coach Gail Cheney said. “We just choose not to sometimes. We tried to push the ball. We knew Watertown was going to try to push so we wanted to beat them at their own game.”
The beating took place in earnest after halftime when the Hawks expanded on their 25-24 lead with a 12-2 run over the first three minutes, 48 seconds of the third quarter to give themselves a double-digit lead for the first time.
Leading, 31-26, with 5:31 to play in the third, Feducia stole an inbounds pass and converted it into a layup before Framski pick pocketed a ball at midcourt on the next possession and scored a lay-in of her own to make it 35-26.
Framski’s big plays were crucial in the fourth quarter after a three-pointer by Watertown’s Jessica Spezzano got the Indians to within 55-50 with 2:28 to play.
Following a Woodland timeout, Framski gave her team the momentum once again by hitting a 10-footer. The next time down the floor, Feducia tossed a bullet to Framski, who snatched it out of the air with one hand and knocked home a layup to give the Hawks a 59-50 lead with less than two minutes to play.
“Heather had a phenomenal game tonight,” Cheney said. “We definitely talked to her a little bit after the last game and she knows what she needs to do. The team knows what she needs to do, too. In my mind, we have five girls that are a threat on the court at all times. That’s one of the things that make us a good team this year. A star’s only as good as her supporting cast.”
Framski had hot streaks at several times throughout the game, including her 10-point first quarter, 12-point third period, and final barrage to seal the game in the waning minutes. She said the flow created by the fast pace is important although it’s tough on the body.
“We work hard in practice so that we can stay in the game like that because we try to keep our core players in,” Framski said. “We have players that we can take off the bench, but when we get in a rhythm with five going, we don’t want to sub out.”
The Hawks improved to 5-0 and are undefeated at the quarter pole for the second year in a row. Last season, Woodland remained perfect until a 48-41 loss to Ansonia on Jan. 5, 2010. Looking ahead, the Chargers might pose the next big challenge for the Black and Gold on Dec. 30.
Cheney hopes by then her team will be playing even better than it is now.
“You have Torrington, Ansonia, St. Paul, and Holy Cross [as league contenders], but I honestly think we haven’t played on all cylinders yet,” Cheney said. “When it happens we will be a very good team. It’s just trying to get us there.”