Wolves end Lady Trojans’ season

CRYSTAL FALLS—It’s been a long time since the Forest Park girls didn’t survive their first game of the postseason. But it’s also been a long time since the Lady Trojans ended the regular season so banged up and worn out.
    Take nothing away from Carney-Nadeau, which defeated Forest Park 48-41 on March 4 in the first round of the Division 3 District 99 tournament here. The young, strong Wolves took a first quarter lead and ran with it for the rest of the night.
    (Carney’s season ended two nights later, when Stephenson defeated them 58-53.)
    “It just wasn’t our night,” said FP coach Jackie Giuliani. “We’d come down and do something good, and then they’d come down and do something better.” The Lady Trojans finish the year with a 9-11 record. Remember, at one time, they had a 9-5 mark.
    Things happened after that. The 17-day break over the holidays was scheduled. The 18-day break between
 Jan. 24 and Feb. 11 was not—dictated by an ice storm, subzero cold and several snowstorms. From Feb. 11 to the end of the season, the Lady Trojans squeezed in three consecutive three-game weeks as winter weather continued creating chaos.
    “Just a very awkward year, with all the cancellations and cold days and snow days,” Giuliani noted. “And we had some injuries in there. I just feel we never really got into our flow.”
    The Lady Trojans lost their last five games, and at North Central on Feb. 26 star junior center Mercedes Simmons dislocated the pinkie finger of her right hand. She had it wrapped in a black bandage against Carney.
    Also hurting was Claudia Nocerini, who battled back problems much of the season. But she started and gave the Lady Trojans a big early boost with back-to-back 3-pointers that boosted Forest Park to an 8-6 lead.
     But too quickly that momentum vanished. Forest Park missed several threes, as Carney launched a 12-1 rally, on baskets by freshman center Tessa Wagner, Sandra Boulton and a three from Layla Blahnik-Thoune. Later, Blahnik-Thoune and Boulton both converted three-point plays to put Carney ahead 20-11 after one.

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