One last look at the winter season and best wishes to Waterford's Adily Martucci

The last few seasons I’ve covered the UConn women’s basketball team during the winter and, therefore, haven’t gotten to know as many of the high school girls’ basketball players in the area as I used to.

That changed this year. And one of the first new people I met in coming back to the high school beat wasWaterford’s Adily Martucci. I hadn’t seen her play before. I hadn’t talked to her. I met her for the first time in November, the day she signed a National Letter of Intent to play at Division I Quinnipiac University.

Today, Martucci was announced as a member of The Day’s All-Area Girls’ Basketball team. On Saturday, Martucci plays in the annual Jewish Community Center of Bridgeport Schoolboy/Schoolgirl Classic, as willWaterfordclassmate Nolan Long, chosen to compete in the boys’ game. She’s an Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division all-star and a Class M all-state selection.

Here’s what else I learned about Martucci this season: she’s fast, well-spoken, friendly, competitive, rises to the occasion and is still getting better and more competitive with every game she plays.

Martucci had 27 points inWaterford’s second-round state tournament victory over Sport Sciences of Hartford, the most impressive game I had seen her play, the first time I saw her take over a game to that degree.

She followed with 15 points in the Lancers’ final game of the season, but showed a toughness, along with backcourt mate and fellow senior Alyssa Hancock, that caught Ellington off guard and possibly everyone in the gym off guard exceptWaterfordcoach Rob Von Achen.Waterfordtrailed 34-18 at halftime and pulled within three points in the second half before running out of steam and out of time.

“That’s what made her so special,” Von Achen said of Martucci. “She wasn’t afraid to put the team on her back. She knew she had to lead the team. … All season long it was the four coaches and those two (Martucci and Hancock). One of them would come into the huddle and say, ‘They’re not going to score off a 1-3-1.’ And I’d turn to the other three coaches and say, ‘What do you think, 1-3-1?’”

Martucci finished her career with 915 points, 352 rebounds and 277 assists.

Here’s what she said after her final game, the loss to Ellington:

“First and foremost I want to thank God for bringing us this team. Second, I want to thank my teammates and coaches. Without them this wouldn’t be possible. Third, I don’t think we played like ourselves the first half. I don’t want to end our season this way. I’m extremely proud of our team; I never thought we’d make it this far. We have the best chemistry this season.”

Martucci, whose name Adily is a variation of her mom’s, Adi, now heads to Quinnipiac. I didn’t get a chance to talk to Quinnipiac coach Tricia Fabbri, who was busy with her own team’s postseason when I tried to reach her on a couple of occasions recently. The Bobcats lost toTemplein the first round of the WNIT. I hope Fabbri knows she’s getting a player even better than the one she recruited in Martucci, who has grown into a leader in just the short time I’ve seen her.

Nothing but the best wishes going forward to Martucci: an impressive kid with an impressive work ethic.

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