Berlin’s Lyzi Litwinko had a week to remember.
A few days after hitting a 35-foot shot at the buzzer, beating E.O. Smith 47-46, the senior guard knocked down two free throws with no time left, giving her team a 44-42 over Wethersfield.
During the Wethersfield game, Litwinko became Berlin girls basketball’s all-time leading scorer with 1,268 career points, moving past Katelyn Zarotney’s 1,267 points set in 2010.
“A huge accomplishment for Lyzi. And one I am very happy that she has accomplished,” Berlin coach Sheila King said. “She works tremendously hard in the off season, training, conditioning and playing AAU. She is the last one out of the gym after practice taking extra shots or working on another craft of the game, and studies game film when she can.”
“Breaking the all-time scoring record, I am sure has always been in the back of her mind, but not something we ever talked about until about a week or so ago. Breaking records are rewarding and nice, but they are not her number one concern. Winning games is what matters to her. She is a very humble young lady. Team accomplishments have always been Lyzi’s focus. But she was thrilled to have broken it.”
Good thing for the humble Litwinko, her personal accomplishments only added to Berlin’s magical season.
Heading into play Tuesday, No. 9 Berlin is 14-2, having lost to Bristol Eastern 48-42 Thursday, snapping a five-game winning streak.
King hopes the close games the last week serve to make the Redcoats stronger as they make a push for the school’s first girls basketball title.
“Our last two games against great competition have been nail biters for sure. It is awesome to be playing such good competition at this point in the season,” King said. “It has allowed us to find our deficiencies, make fixes and build our confidence in finishing tight games. The atmosphere has been electrifying and loud thanks to our fan support and has allowed us to play in tournament type environment which is very important.”
The team was already cruising along before the return of junior Ashley Wenzel from a knee injury suffered in the preseason of the soccer season.
Wenzel adds a second all-state caliber player to the floor, along with Litwinko.
“It is great to have Ashley back. It’s even more special for her. Her return was the result of great determination, focus and hard work,” King said. “She continues to get back to her original game and gaining confidence each night out.”
SHORELINE STREAK SNAPPED
It took three years but somebody in the Shoreline Conference finally beat Cromwell.
Last Monday, Coginchaug snapped the Panthers 52-game regular season winning streak inside the Shoreline with a 49-28 win.
Three players had double-doubles in the game for Coginchaug with forward Molly Shields getting 14 points and 10 rebounds, center Jessica Berens scoring 13 points and pulling 11 rebounds and guard Kerry Turecek rounding things off with 10 points and 10 assists.
Cromwell had defeated Coginchaug 60-44 on Jan. 21.
Cromwell’s last regular-season loss in Shoreline play was a 35-31 loss to East Hampton Jan. 17, 2017.
MIDDLETOWN LEANING ON YOUTH
Injuries impact every team at some point but the Middletown girls team has seen enough.
The team lost junior Kya Mayo and two senior captains, Ayanna McCalla and Deziar Rose-Daniels, all to ACL injuries this season, leaving them down three starters.
That has left the team starting three sophomores most nights.
Shadae Bushay has been leading the sophomore charge as the Dragons try to qualify for the state tournament.
Bushay recently scored 57 points in two games, with 37 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals in a 67-60 win over RHAM and 20 points earlier in the week in a win against Platt.
“Shadae (Bushay) and fellow sophomore Tyah Pettaway have had to completely take over leadership roles,” Middletown coach Rob Smernoff said. “Shadae has averaged 21.2 points in her last five games. Tyah has averaged 15.8 points 5.3 assists and 3.8 steals in the past five games, all since we lost our third starter for the year.”
1,000 POINT CLUB
— Marlon Pitter (@marlonpresents) February 6, 2020
Conard junior guard Azaiyah Felder became the second girls player in school history to record 1,000 career points, joining Delaney Connors on the list.
In the process of scoring 26 points in the 54-46 win over Pomperaug, Wednesday, Felder tied Connors for the school’s career points lead with 1,020 with two free throws in the fourth quarter.
Felder broke the school scoring record, Friday against Avon.
— CT Starters AAU (@ctstarters) February 7, 2020
Maddie Patrick of Chase Collegiate scored her 1,000th career point in a win over Masters.
Ethel Walker senior Hannah Iwaszkiewicz became the first player in school history to score 1,000 career points, breaking the mark on two free throws in the third quarter against Miss Porter’s.