BEACON FALLS — So far, so good for the Woodland girls’ basketball squad. The Hawks won their third game in as many chances Tuesday night in the Woods, as the Black and Gold shellacked Crosby, 64-37, to improve to a perfect 3-0 on the young season.
Junior forward Heather Framski continued her hot start, notching a season-high 23 points while adding nine rebounds and five assists. Her post mate, senior Katie Alfiere, also contributed a season-high 15 points, 12 of those coming in the first half.
The game was over almost as soon as it started, as Woodland jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first two-plus minutes of the night, thanks to buckets by four different Hawks. The Black and Gold utilized a suffocating, full-court pressure defense to create a number of fast-break opportunities and prevent the Bulldogs from setting up any offense.
“Our quickness helps a lot,” Woodland head coach Gail Cheney said. “We run and condition a lot, so we can pressure like this. A lot of team we can’t press, but hopefully our quickness lets us press a lot of teams. It really helps us get moving.”
“The pressure defense has helped a lot,” Framski added, “because if we communicate and are in the spots we’re supposed to be, then we can get a steal and hopefully get some points from it.”
The Hawks went on a 17-0 spurt in the final five minutes of the quarter, thanks especially to Alfiere’s nine first-quarter points, to mount a 28-6 lead heading to the second. Alfiere connected on all three of her lay-ups in the period, silencing a running gag on the team about her former inability to make short-range shots.
“The difference between this year and last year is the fact that I tried to practice more in the summer than I had before, and it’s helped the team greatly,” Alfiere said. “Now with Heather scoring double digits and me scoring double digits, it helps the team out a lot, knowing that we can both score.”
Woodland continued to maintain a firm grasp on its lead in the second quarter, answering a short rally by Crosby at the outset of the period with a 14-2 run to open the gap to 42-12 with 3:28 to go. Junior Lindsay Feducia added four of her six points in the period to help the Hawks to a 47-21 halftime lead.
“In the first half, we were playing hard defense,” Framski explained. “The pressure was always on. On the offensive end, everything was going smoothly. We all got significant touches. No one was being selfish, and the ball was moving nicely.”
Crosby and Woodland battled essentially evenly in a sloppy second half, but the Hawks held on for a 64-37 win. This is the second consecutive year Woodland has started 3-0, but the Hawks will try to not repeat the three-game skid it suffered following the perfect start last year.
“This is definitely the hardest-working team I’ve ever had,” Cheney said. “They take in a lot and try to change what they need to change in practice. We need to work on outside shooting, and we threw some different defenses out there to test them out tonight. But we’re playing well.”