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Weston Girls Basketball Enters Critical Stretch

WESTON, Conn. – At exactly the halfway point of its season, the Weston High’s girls basketball team finds itself at an important crossroads.

Weston (4-6) was pointed in the right direction as it won four of five games before facing New Fairfield last Thursday. But in a winnable game on the road, Weston came out flat and faced a big deficit. The Trojans rallied but fell, 50-45.

Weston plays another winnable game on the road Tuesday against Notre Dame of Fairfield. The Trojans need to find consistency, however, if they want to play in the South-West Conference tournament.

“I was hoping we’d find ourselves by now,’’ coach Dan Rosen said. “We take three steps forward and one step back. We didn’t play well for a half against New Fairfield, and it really hurt us. That happens in high school basketball. It will probably happen again over the course of a long season.”

Weston stands at 3-3 in the league entering Tuesday’s contest against Notre Dame, which is also 3-3 in league play. Masuk, New Fairfield, Oxford and Brookfield all have four losses. They are among the teams trying to secure one of the eight league playoff positions. It will be a scramble to see which teams come out on top. After meeting Lauralton Hall (10-1) on Thursday, Weston faces key games next week against Brookfield and New Milford.

“I’m not surprised where we are with this team,’’ Rosen said. “We’re lacking a little depth, and we have some flaws. Maybe we could be a game or two better. But we’re about where I thought we would be.”

Senior captain Ellie Martin has had a tremendous season. She scored 17 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in a 46-29 win over Oxford and had 24 points and 16 rebounds in a win over Masuk. “She’s been fantastic,’’ Rosen said. “She does whatever we need her to do.”

Anna Mahoney and Lianna Hursh have emerged as secondary scorers. Lindsay Koch and Morgan Moubayed have made timely contributions.

Weston’s key in the homestretch might be junior point guard Taylor Swanson, who has improved as the season has progressed. Swanson missed most of last season with a knee injury that kept her from playing basketball for 10 months. She has the talent to be an effective point guard with her scoring and ball distribution. The lost time however, cost her valuable experience. “I’m expecting her to have a good second half,’’ Rosen said.

Weston’s improvement of late stems from improvements on the basics. The Trojans turned the ball over frequently early in the season, but Rosen said they have made better passes recently. Weston also plays relentless defense, and Mahoney and Martin give them an inside presence. As wins over Wilton and Masuk showed, Weston is a solid team. The key for the Trojans will be to play consistently over the final 10 games.

“There’s a whole bubble of teams trying to grab those last playoff spots,’’ Rosen said. “We’re not sure where we fit in yet.”

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