Overtime: It’s March, and we all know what that means … MADNESS!

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Round of Applause

The Woodland girls basketball team’s Class M first-round game against Waterford was, without a doubt, the most exciting and well played basketball game I’ve seen all season long. The first half was played at a very fast pace, as Woodland jumped out to a 23-15 lead after the first quarter before Waterford took a 38-34 halftime lead. The scoring slowed a bit in the second half, but the energy was high as ever. The last 10 minutes might have been the most exciting high school basketball I’ve ever seen as neither team took more than a two-point lead for the rest of the game. I’ve run out of things to say about Heather Framski, who scored a career-high and school-record 37 points in the game, including 17 points in the first quarter and 12 points in the fourth. Lindsay Feducia was also excellent with several crucial drives to the basket and 11 assists, most of which went to Framski. Woodland has a nice matchup in the second round against No. 7 Sacred Heart, which the Hawks beat by 14 earlier this season. A win Friday night would mark the first time the Woodland girls ever advanced to the state tournament quarterfinals.

March is undoubtedly one of the best months of the year. I mean, look at everything that happens in this fine month we’re finally enjoying. First, it’s no longer February, which holds the reputation of being one of the worst months of the year. Second, we know warm weather is on our doorstep—which, as I said last week, can be a bit of a tease, too. Third, spring training is now in high gear for major league teams, and high school baseball starts in a week and a half when pitchers and catchers start practice in the gyms. Is there something I’m forgetting. Oh yeah … March Madness. It’s absolutely, unquestionably the best sporting event in the world. I’m sure I don’t just speak for myself when I say my life shuts down for the first four days of the NCAA tournament. This year, with four different networks showing tournament games (in case you haven’t heard, CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV will all be showing games for the first few rounds), I’m going to need to construct a giant television wall. I’ve got my usual TV already hooked up, and I can watch another game on my computer. I think I have two more TVs in the basement … but I need to figure out how to make them all work at once. This is clearly very important, don’t you think?

Chorus of Boos

The CIAC state tournament charges $5 to get into games at teams’ home courts. That seems like an awful lot to watch your friends, relatives, or just your local high school team play. Prices are usually $2 or $3 during the regular season, yet a high school sophomore who wants to go watch his friends play a game has to spend $5 to get into his own gym to watch it. Where is he going to get that money? I understand these games take some money to put on, but the CIAC tournaments have corporate sponsors. What’s the point of them if you’re still going to raise ticket prices for a crowd half-comprised of kids? Luckily, the ticket prices didn’t stop a very enthusiastic and loyal crowd from showing up at Woodland on Tuesday night to cheer on the Hawks in their Class M first round game. For as high as that ticket price was, it certainly was worth the price of admission as fans were treated to one of the best high school basketball games around here this year.

Tony’s Takes

Tony’s in the groove and making takes like Orville Redenbacher makes popcorn. Here’s this week’s look into the mind of Tony…

1. Spring training is useless to watch.
2. The Celtics will defend their NBA Eastern Conference championship this spring, outlasting the Heat, Magic, Bulls, and the rest.
3. The San Antonio Spurs are a fluke and their age will catch up to them come playoff time with guys like Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.

Lips to CN’s Ear

“It was lucky. It was just a last attempt. I’m not gonna lie and say I practice that shot in my backyard. But we had 3 seconds, I had to get a shot up. I didn’t want this to be my last game. I had to do everything to make sure this wasn’t my last game.”

HEATHER FRAMSKI

Woodland girls basketball star senior forward after she led the No. 10 Hawks to a thrilling, 64-63 win over No. 23 Waterford Tuesday night in the Class M state tournament first round. Framski poured in 37 points, which was not only her career high, but also a record for any Woodland basketball player, male or female. Framski is already the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,230 points and has at least one more game left when Woodland takes on No. 7 Sacred Heart in the second round Friday night in Waterbury.