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Week of Feb. 5: Senior Night does not end on hoped for note

The night started out very well for the Woodstock Academy girls basketball team.

In their final home game of the regular season, the Centaurs recognized both captain Reegan Reynolds and Kerry Blais in the annual Senior Night activities.

Unfortunately, things did not go as well during the game as Fitch came out of the gates, rolled to a nine-point lead by the end of the first quarter and never led by less than eight the remainder of the way in a 50-41 victory at the Alumni Fieldhouse.

“It was extremely special,” Blais said of the Senior Night festivities. “From the moment we got here, the team was waiting for us. They brought us into the gym, it was this huge surprise. We felt so loved and appreciated and could not ask for anything better from our team.”

Reynolds was a four-year varsity player for the Centaurs.

“I started as a freshman. I grew up playing basketball, just like my other sports, so (Friday) was very happy but also very sad to see it end. We’re certainly not done yet. We can’t be too sad yet,” Reynolds said.

Woodstock Academy coach Will Fleeton has had it nice for the past two years.

It was the second year in a row that less than a handful of players have been honored on Senior Night meaning the young core will return mostly intact.

“Kerry came in and worked at the freshman and JV level, clawed and worked, and got better, stronger and faster and earned her way up the ranks. That’s special for a coach to see, you like to see players grow through your program, stay with your program for four years and benefit from it,” Fleeton said.

Reynolds epitomized what Fleeton wanted to see in a player.

“Her hustle is the first thing that caught my eye. We made a connection early, she started eating what I was cooking right off the bat. She symbolizes who we are. Her efforts, her defense, everything I try to instill in these kids, she is the walking proof,” the Woodstock Academy coach said.

Friday night’s game was, unofficially, the battle for the fourth seed in the upcoming Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament.

The winner likely earned the right to host the fifth seed on Thursday in the league tournament quarterfinals and that honor belonged to the Falcons (11-9) after the win.

“We looked at the beginning of the season and we picked Fitch (for Senior Night) because we knew they were a good opponent and knew they were going to come at us. We were ready for it but they brought it to us and props to them, they are a great team and a great program. It was a good game to go out on. We played hard, everybody worked really hard and that was special to see,” Reynolds said.

The Centaurs (14-5) could not find an answer for Maleeya Robbins who weaved her way through the Centaurs defense to finish with a game-high 23 points.

The only player in double figures for the Centaurs was Sidney Anderson who finished with 16 points.

The Centaurs still have a game at Somers on Monday before heading to Groton on Thursday to play the Falcons again in the league quarterfinal.