Greyhounds in NVL tourney, Hawks pick up another win

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The Naugatuck boys basketball team has achieved its second goal of the season — qualifying for the Naugatuck Valley League tournament.

The Greyhounds secured their spot as the No. 8 seed in the NVL tournament with a convincing 63-44 win over Watertown Friday and Waterbury Career Academy’s loss to Kennedy on Monday night.

The Greyhounds reached their first goal, qualifying for the state tournament, with a 53-47 win over Wolcott on Feb. 14.

Naugy (9-10) will close the regular season tonight versus Oxford (7-12) before the first round of the NVL tournament on Saturday at Wilby High School in Waterbury. The Greyhounds are looking to put together their second three-game winning streak of the season heading into the postseason.

“We don’t want to back into the tournament,” Naugatuck head coach Mike Wilson said. “We are on a hot streak and would like to take that momentum into the postseason. We are in Class LL this year and want to make a good showing.”

Naugatuck will face top seed Sacred Heart (19-0) in the first round of the NVL tournament at a time to be announced. The Hearts defeated the Greyhounds 66-42 two weeks ago.

The Greyhounds faced Torrington (12-8) twice this season, the only team in the NVL tournament where they had a second chance. Naugatuck lost the first game versus Torrington by 20 points. The second time around, the Greyhounds fell by six in overtime.

“We did well the second time around with Torrington,” Wilson said. “And we are looking forward to doing the same thing the second time around with Sacred Heart. Playing them right before the state tournament will have us ready to be competitive with whoever we face in Class LL.”

The Greyhounds have established themselves in the paint with Shane Swierbitowicz, Josh McFarland and Tyler Deitelbaum. The perimeter game of Jean Lukau-Mbalandaka, Elijah Robinson, Andre Trosan and Jamar White has also been key to Naugatuck’s success.

But, it’s been the outside shooting of Corey Plasky that jumpstarted the latest winning streak. Plasky blistered the nets against Watertown hitting on six 3-pointers and scoring a career-high 27 points to lead Naugatuck.

Naugatuck will be looking to have all three aspects of its game going on Saturday.

Woodland entered the final week of the regular season looking to end on a high note. The Hawks started the week off doing just that with a 46-42 win over Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy on Tuesday.

The Hawks (2-17) trailed HMTCA (6-12) by two at halftime. Woodland grabbed control of the game in the third quarter and held off the Phoenix for the final eight minutes.

Dylan Sender led Woodland with 21 points, including five 3-pointers. Zack Bedryczuk hit on three 3-pointers of his own to tack on 10 points. Mickey Meier added 10 points, as well.

Woodland dropped a heartbreaker to Derby, 52-50, last Friday.

Derby jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter. Woodland outscored Derby the rest of the way but couldn’t make up for the deficit.

Woodland tied the game with 19 seconds left before Derby hit a layup to go ahead with 10 seconds to play. The Hawks’ last shot came up short.

“We were chasing 14 points early on,” Woodland head coach Tom Hunt said. “Zack (Bedryczuk) fouled out with five minutes left, but our guys continued to battle and didn’t fold up the tent.”

Sender led the way with 14 points and Mickey Meier scored 12 points. The Hawks received a solid effort from Rich Rousseau and Zack Bedryczuk, both added eight points.

Woodland will take on Kaynor Tech on Wednesday to close out the season.

“Hopefully we can end the season on a high note and put another one in the win column,” Hunt said.