Woodland rallies, tops Naugatuck


NAUGATUCK — The Woodland girls basketball team showed persistence in rallying past the Greyhounds Jan. 6 to pull out a 46-39 win.

Naugatuck (3-6) took the lead with three minutes left in the first half and held it until the Hawks went ahead with 4:24 left in the game.

Woodland’s (3-3) Morina Bojka (24 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists) hit her second 3-pointer of the game with 5:52 to play to tie the score at 36-36. Haley Andrews (6 points, 5 steals, 3 assists) stole the inbounds pass and converted the bucket to put the Hawks on top 38-36, leading to a Greyhounds timeout with 4:24 to go.

Bojka made both ends of a one-and-one at the line on consecutive trips down the floor to open up the largest lead of the game 44-37 with under a minute to play. Bridget Rosikiewicz (6 rebounds, 3 steals) made a last ditch effort to save the Greyhounds, hitting a pair at the line, but it was too little too late.

“There comes a point in the season where you can no longer count moral victories,” Naugatuck head coach Ron Plasky said. “And we are way past that point. We were ahead for most of the game in spite of missing crucial free throws and numerous layups under the basket. Someone needs to step up and make plays down the stretch. We just need to stop giving away games and it all comes down to consistency.”

Naugatuck went 2-for-9 from the foul line in the first half but held a 21-19 lead at the break as the Greyhounds turned it over just four times. Things were reversed in the second half. Naugatuck went 10-for-13 at the line but turned it over 13 times.

Alexis Woods (7 rebounds) had four points in the first quarter and helped Naugy control the boards. In the second quarter, the Greyhounds’ pressure defense forced eight Woodland turnovers. Alyana Sosa (8 points, 4 assists) and Alyssa Peterson (12 points, 8 rebounds, 4 steals) led Naugy as the Greyhounds turned an 8-6 first-quarter deficit into a halftime lead.

“Plasky is a great coach and he gets his girls fired up,” Woodland head coach Jess Moffo said. “They play physical and hard and play for all four quarters. This is a big rivalry, and they gave us some problems, especially in the second quarter when we turned it over so many times.”

Woodland started to even up the rebounding battle in the second half. Maddie Hupprich battled to pull down six rebounds, as Eliza Smith (10 points) and Jenna Pannone (6 points) converted opportunities in the lane. Hana Bojka, Cam Johnson and Meg Sirowich come on to shore up the Hawks’ defense as they stayed within striking distance.

Molly Kennedy (3 points) went 3-for-4 from the line to start the third quarter for Naugy, with Shannon Burns and Mia Rotatori coming off the bench to try and spark the offense.

Hailey Deitelbaum made sure Naugy stayed out in front as she converted back to back three-point plays. Rotatori hit an open jumper to give the Greyhounds a 32-31 lead heading into the final quarter.

That’s when the consistency started to slip away for Naugatuck. Woodland went on an 11-1 run, which started with Morina Bojka draining a 3-pointer to tie the game, before pulling away as Naugatuck managed just one basket in the final quarter.

“We showed our resilience hanging in there and when the opportunity came we took full advantage,” Moffo said. “Jenna, Maddie and Morina really stepped it up in the second half, and we got the ‘W’.”

The Hawks were back at it Monday as they hosted Sacred Heart. The Hearts left Beacon Falls with a 43-38 victory. Hupprich led the Hawks with 14 points on Monday, and Bojka added 12.

Woodland will host Wilby on Wednesday. The Hawks will visit Torrington on Friday and host Oxford on Jan. 17.

Naugatuck will visit Ansonia on Wednesday. The Greyhounds will host Watertown on Friday before heading to Wolcott on Jan. 17.