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Week 9: A very successful Senior Day for Centaurs

It was what every coach wants to see in a Senior Day game.

On a day when emotions can, sometimes, cause havoc with players, the Woodstock Academy girls basketball team took care of business.

“It’s always tough. There is always a lot of emotion so we kind of had to move past that, focus on the game and have fun,” said Woodstock Academy senior Lennon Favreau.

After honoring Favreau and fellow senior Leila MacKinnon prior to the game versus Montville on Thursday, that’s exactly what the Woodstock Academy girls basketball team did.

They rained down five 3-pointers on Montville in the first quarter, broke out to a 19-4 lead after the first eight minutes, and had little to worry about the rest of the way as the Centaurs posted the 60-24 win at the Alumni Fieldhouse.

“We’ve worked hard for four years, in and out of the pandemic, so to have a good season, we’re winning this season, to play a great game with my teammates was awesome,” MacKinnon said.

The Centaurs, after a loss to Fitch the day after the Senior Day contest, finished the week with a 12-7 overall record with one regular season game left to play.

“Like I said at the beginning of the season, we just wanted to keep working toward getting a higher seed in the States (tournament) so we needed this one,” MacKinnon added.

The long-distance sharpshooting fueled the Centaurs early against Montville.

Isabel D’Alleva-Bochain sank two and Sophia Sarkis, who hit a team-high three 3-pointers, hit from beyond the arc in the first four minutes to help Woodstock Academy break out to an 11-0 lead.

MacKinnon and Sarkis added treys in the last four minutes as Woodstock Academy led by double digits going into the second quarter.

The Centaurs had a little drought from long-range in the second quarter but it was only a temporary reprieve for Montville.

Woodstock Academy drained three more in the third and another in the fourth, nine in total, to make for a very nice finish to the Senior Day game.

“We’ve been planning this day for months now I guess but we always thought February 9th was so far in the future. Now, it’s over but it’s fun and exciting to reflect on what we’ve done here. It’s pretty awesome, but it’s also sad,” Favreau said.

Eva Monahan didn’t hit a 3-pointer but was dominant on the inside and finished with a team-high 13 points while guard Kaylee Saucier added 12.

The week started on a good note for the Centaurs as well.

After trailing by double digits since the second quarter, East Catholic looked like it was going to make a run late in the third quarter earlier in the week.

The Eagles had managed to knock down the deficit to nine points heading into the final quarter.

But Woodstock Academy’s two freshmen guards were not about to let the Eagles make any more in-roads as D’Alleva-Bochain and Saucier put down some big fourth quarter baskets to help lead the Centaurs to a 55-28 win.

Saucier and D’Alleva-Bochain have known each other for awhile, having played in middle school together.

“I think it’s just easy for us to play off of each other,” D’Alleva-Bochain said. “We can see plays develop before they happen. We know each other well and I’m looking forward to the next few years.”

Saucier struck first as she buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key just 59 seconds into the fourth quarter.

Just 23 seconds later, an East Catholic miss resulted in a fast break bucket for Saucier for the final of her 14 points in the game.

The it was D’Alleva-Bochain’s turn.

She hit nine of her game-high 18 points in a 2:16 span of the fourth quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers, to end all hopes for East Catholic.

“I have not been shooting well. I didn’t expect them to go in, honestly, but it’s nice to have a good night,” the freshman said.

The Centaurs not only finished, but also started on the right note.

They scored the first 10 points of the game.

The defense played a large part of that as it helped force seven turnovers by the Eagles in the first 5 ½ minutes.

“We definitely need offense so to get out, 10-0, and let our defense take hold is something we look forward to. It doesn’t always go that way but it’s a benefit as to what we’re trying to do,” said Woodstock Academy coach Will Fleeton.

The Centaurs held a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter and increased that to 12 by the half, 26-14.

Reegan Reynolds contributed nine points.

Monahan led the way with eight rebounds and MacKinnon added five boards, four of them off the offensive glass, and a pair of assists.

“I think it was a full team effort in every way,” Fleeton said. “We held them defensively. We got our hands on a ton of balls. I thought we moved it patient and unselfishly on the perimeter and created open looks. When those showed themselves, we knocked them down.”

There was only one blemish during the week.

The Centaurs played their final regular season home game on Friday and came up on the short end of a 42-39 overtime score to Fitch.

The Centaurs were up by 10 in the third quarter but the Falcons put together a comeback and tied the game at 34 with 3:44 left in regulation.

Sarkis, who had an impressive double-double game with 14 points and 11 rebounds, hit her fourth 3-pointer of the game to put the Centaurs back on top 28 seconds later.

Fitch closed back within one but Saucier made it a two-point game with a free throw with 46 seconds to play.

The Falcons forced the extra time when Maleeya Robbins was able to get a layup to fall as the buzzer sounded.

Fitch (13-7) scored four points in the overtime on a basket by Ada Ellis and two free throws from Mariette El Khoury (12 points).

The Centaurs could muster only one on a free throw by Monahan (8 points, 7 rebounds)

D’Alleva-Bochain added nine points for Woodstock Academy which finishes off the regular season on Monday with a 7 p.m. game at Killingly.