Week 9: 4th quarter betrays Centaurs twice
The Woodstock Academy boys basketball team had to go to two tough Eastern Connecticut Conference gyms over the course of the week where wins for visiting teams are not easy to come by.
The Centaurs held leads in both of their contests with Norwich Free Academy and Ledyard, only to fall short in the fourth quarter in both.
It was nip-and-tuck throughout against Ledyard with the Colonels pulling out a 45-41 victory.
The return of 6-foot-6 sophomore center Brady Ericson from an illness provided the Centaurs with a little more in the way of offense but the Ledyard defense proved to be up to the task.
Thanks to four early points from Ericson, Woodstock Academy held a 10-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
But the Colonels gradually chipped away.
The hosts cut the deficit in half by halfway through the second quarter and forged into the lead, 18-17, by halftime.
That lead grew to six by the end of the third quarter, but the Centaurs showed some resilience and pulled even at 35 with 4 ½ minutes to play.
It was still tied, 40-40, with 1:17 left but Ledyard put up five of the last six points scored to post its second win in 17 games this season.
Ericson finished with 11 and Hunter Larson nine for the Centaurs (4-13).
Woodstock Academy put a scare into Norwich Free Academy on its home floor on Tuesday night before falling to the Wildcats, 64-52.
The Centaurs did get into a hole early as they trailed by 12 at the end of the first quarter, 22-10.
But Woodstock Academy fought back with a team effort to reduce the deficit to three by the half, 33-30.
Six different players scored in the second quarter for the Centaurs led by senior Brandon Nagle who scored five of his 12 points in the game during the rally.
That comeback continued following halftime.
Woodstock Academy took the lead just 2 minutes, 40 seconds into the quarter, 36-35, and was able to hold on to it until the end of the quarter where they clung to a three-point advantage, 45-42.
But the good news would come to a stop there.
NFA (8-9) went on a 14-2 run in the first three minutes of the final period to put the Centaurs back on their heels and avoid the upset.
The win qualified the Wildcats for the state tournament.
Tony Williams paced NFA with 29 points, nine coming in the fourth quarter.
Edwin Santana was the only other player in double figures with 10 for the Wildcats.
Carter Morissette led Woodstock Academy with 13 points.