Woodland girls poised to make noise in tournaments

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BEACON FALLS—It’s usually the same old story for the Woodland girls basketball team—the Hawks make the Naugatuck Valley League and state tournaments but don’t get much done in either.

This year, an experienced group led by 1,000-point scorer Heather Framski and veteran point guard Lindsay Feducia are looking to gain more in the postseason than ever before.

The Hawks weathered—literally and figuratively—a short slump during the middle of January when they lost their first game to Seymour on Jan. 14 followed by a blowout loss at St. Paul on Jan. 17.

“Those were two bad games,” Framski said plainly.

The 54-33 drubbing by the Falcons in Bristol looms particularly large for Framski and the Hawks. Not only was it probably the team’s worst performance of the season, it likely cost Woodland a chance at the Brass Division championship.

“It was a big disappointment,” Framski said. “I can put it behind me but personally I don’t want to. We need to remember how that game went and always learn from it.”

The loss dropped the Hawks behind St. Paul in the Brass standings and it’s unlikely that Woodland (12-2, 7-2 Brass) will catch the Falcons (14-1, 9-0) without unexpected help.

Framski scored a season-low 12 points in Bristol but has since regained her form. She eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for her career by scoring 23 in a win over Kennedy on Jan. 20 before she added 22 in a win over Wolcott on Jan. 25. She put in 19 in a pounding of Watertown last Friday to give her 1,042 for her career. That’s 25 shy of tying Sam LaCroce for second in school history and 115 short of tying Jen Valente’s school record of 1,157 career points.

Framski said she can’t help but think about the possibility—or probability—of breaking the record, but that isn’t at the top of her priority list.

“I’m not going to lie and say it’s not on my mind,” Framski said. “Of course it is. Friends and family ask me all the time how close I am. It’s a big thing. But during the game it’s not important. All that matters is the team winning.”

The team’s winning has been propelled by Framski’s 19.7 points per game, which is second in the NVL. Feducia averages 12.1 points per game, which is 10th best in the league, while Kate Tuckey, Andrea Piccolo, Kelsey Deegan, Shannon Meany, and Carli Mariotti have all played well recently.

The Hawks are in line to be a top-four seed in the NVL tournament and host a game in the Class M state tournament for the first time since 2008. But from this point forward, things are bound to get tougher for Woodland with regular season battles with Holy Cross, Sacred Heart Academy, Ansonia, Torrington, and St. Paul before the NVL and state tournaments.

The elephant in the room is the fact that the Hawks have never won a game in the state tournament despite the number of solid teams they’ve sent to the playoffs over the last decade. Framski thinks the team’s experience will be an asset in helping get the proverbial monkey off their backs.

“I think this is the year,” Framski said. “We should have won in past years and I feel the team knows what we need to do. We need heart. If everyone shows up playing as hard as they can, we can be very good. We need to play like there isn’t going to be another game because for our seniors there won’t be.”