For the second time this season the pieces are starting to fall into place for the Weston High girls basketball team. Now the Trojans hope they have had enough time to build a foundation strong enough to withstand postseason pressure.
The Trojans (13-8) visit No. 1 seed Lauralton Hall in the first round of the South-West Conference playoffs Saturday at 7 p.m. The Class M playoffs will begin in 10 days. The Trojans were riding high at 11-1 after a 48-32 win over New Fairfield on Jan. 25. In that game, however, senior point guard Christina Welsh was lost for the season with a knee injury. Sophomore point guard Taylor Swanson was lost for the season with a knee injury just a few weeks earlier.
Facing the teeth of its schedule without two starters, the Trojans went 2-6 in their final eight games. They finished the regular season with a 56-37 win over Stratford, a game that coach Dan Rosen says was the team's best since the injuries.
"The girls are adjusting,'' Rosen said. "We've got three kids playing new positions and we're definitely playing better."
Senior Hannah Hutchins has stepped into the point guard role and had her best game at that position against Stratford. She scored 11 points and dished out seven assists. "She's done a tremendous job and is working really hard at it,'' Rosen said. "It's something that she hasn't had to do for more than a few minutes since sixth grade. The biggest thing is she doesn't have a knockdown shooter like herself on the wing."
Weston has also used a bigger lineup, and now starts four players who are 5-9 or bigger. Junior Ellie Martin has continued to shine, averaging 14.1 ppg and 10 rpg. She scored 24 in the win over Stratford.
Lauralton Hall defeated Weston, 52-25, on Feb. 12. With a few more games under its belt, however, the team Lauralton will face Saturday is much different. "We're going to come out and play really hard,'' Rosen said. "They're a very good team. There's a reason why they're the No. 1 seed."
Weston also figures to be a tough out in the state tournament. Rosen isn't looking that far ahead just yet. He's focused on Lauralton Hall now. And on the success the team has had despite dispiriting adversity.
"We met a couple of our goals when we beat Stratford,'' Rosen said. "We got into the SWC tournament and we got a home game for the playoffs."
How do you think Weston's girls team will fare in the SWC and state playoffs? Start the discussion below!
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