Woodland boys continue to seek 32 minutes of basketball

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BY KEN MORSE
CITIZEN’S NEWS
In order to get into rhythm, you need to keep dancing until the music stops. That has been the biggest issue for the Woodland High boys basketball team to overcome this season. The Hawks have shown a penchant for playing strong for three quarters and watching games get away from them during a futile eight -minute stretch.
Woodland began the season with five straight losses and each game contained the same element in defeat. It all came unraveled in one quarter as the Hawks put up a game effort in the other three stanzas.
“If you look at each of the box scores there is one glaring consistency. We had one bad quarter and couldn’t make up that difference,” said Woodland coach Ryan Sullivan.
To prove that this point is not just a flash in the pan, the winless Hawks went into the most intimidating building in the NVL on Dec. 30 when they took on undefeated Holy Cross at the Tim McDonald Gymnasium.
Woodland fell, 88-60, but the score didn’t indicate what transpired for much of the game. The Hawks led by three points, 18-15, after one quarter. Woodland was down just 41-35 at halftime. A bad third quarter (26-14) did the Hawks in as the Crusaders ran away with the game.
“We have some players,” said Sullivan, referring to the Hawks having four double-digit scorers in three of six games played. “We just need to figure out how to play a full four quarters. We are getting there and once we develop some of the guys on the bench to give us some depth, we are going to put some games in the win column.”
Woodland figured it out in the next time it went out on the floor and took care of business, winning its first game of the season, 71-60, over Derby on Jan. 3. The Hawks were led by four double-digit scorers and a shooting touch that led to eight 3-pointers. Woodland scored 20 points in each of the first two quarters for a 13-point halftime lead. Dean Accetura led the team with 16 points, Dan Hartnett added 15, with Darren Gasparri and Andrew Borajkiewicz contributing 11 points each.
“We are essentially one quarter away from being 5-1, 4-2,” added Sullivan. “It’s amazing when you look at it that one quarter is doing us in. I told the guys we have to start putting together a full 32 minutes, four quarters.
“We had Oxford, 34-22, at the half and wound up getting outscored, 28-18, in the third. We are only playing with one of two guys that had varsity minutes. We are just trying to put the pieces together. We are only 15 practices into the season as well, so with a little more time we will get there.”
Woodland faced rival Naugatuck on Jan. 6. The Hawks were away at Torrington on Tuesday and Seymour on Thursday.