SOUTHINGTON — The Southington Blue Knights girls basketball team improved to 8-0 on the season Thursday night with a 38-30 victory over the Glastonbury Guardians.
Freshman guard Lily Cooper led the Blue Knights with nine points, four assists, four steals and three rebounds. Junior guard Gabriella D'Angelo also scored nine points for the Blue Knights, with all of her points coming beyond the arc.
“Glastonbury is one of the best-coached teams that we’ve played, and they did a phenomenal job” said Southington coach Howie Hewitt. “We’ve got to start making some foul shots. We had some good set-ups, but we couldn’t hit some shots tonight. Glastonbury was tough.”
The Blue Knights launched the night with the game’s first 10 points. Junior forward Hailey Zembrzuski scored four of those 10 points and finished the quarter with six points.
Glastonbury, sparked by sophomore Lily Woodworth, ended the quarter on a 8-5 run to cut the lead to 15-8 after one quarter.
Things moved a little slower in the second quarter, as the Guardians were able to slow down the Knights. Southington scored just six points in the quarter due to Glastonbury’s 2-2-1 defense and substitutions.
Southington struggled to find a way to score, mustering just one point in the first 5½ minutes of the quarter.
“We were a little bit more concerned with ourselves than as a team,” Hewitt said. “We ran our offense beautifully in the first quarter. The second quarter came and we got away from that.”
While it took a few minutes for the first points to be scored in the second quarter, they came at a big moment. Sophomore Hailey Moriarty hit a three for Glastonbury to make it a four-point game. Then, with baskets from sophomore Skylar Fiske and senior Kiley Feeney, the Guardians drew to within one point, 16-15.
Southington finally got some momentum, scoring five straight points to go back up by six. Glastonbury scored the final two points of the half and Southington led 21-17 at intermission.
The game got more competitive as it went on. Glastonbury cut it to one again, 24-23. Senior forward Sydney Kehl scored four straight for the Guardians and started to be a problem for Southington down low.
The Blue Knights were able to take a deep breath as they scored the next six points. A D’Angelo three sparked the run.
A layup by Glastonbury’s Gisel Astiasaran to end the quarter made it four-point game heading into the fourth quarter.
The final quarter began with an exchange of baskets in the first 30 seconds. Cooper scored the first basket for Southington. Glastonbury freshman guard Madison Handrahan matched Cooper with a lay-up seven seconds later.
Cooper responded the next possession by nailing a three to put the Knights up seven.
“I think my teammates set me up well tonight,” said Cooper, who scored seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter. “Glastonbury played tough defense, and once we switched our defense up we were able to slow them down.”
Glastonbury scored just five points in the fourth quarter and wouldn’t come within five points of Southington for the rest of the game.
Sydney Kehl led Glastonbury with seven points, but struggled from the free-throw line, shooting just 1-for-8. As a team, Glastonbury shot 25 percent from the line and committed 15 fouls with 13 turnovers.
The Blue Knights also struggled from the line, shooting less than 50 percent, while committing 11 fouls with seven turnovers.
Southington, which stands atop the CIAC Class LL playoff rankings, will look to remain unbeaten at home against Darien this Saturday at 1 p.m.
“Every night we go out there we’ve got to be ready to play,” said Hewitt. “We’ve just got to keep doing the fundamental things that got us here, and do what we’re supposed to do, and we’ll keep winning.”