A year of what could-haves ended for the 14th-seeded Weston girls basketball team on the other side of the state. Injuries prevented Weston from having a better season than it did and last Friday's game in the second round of the Class M playoffs reflected how the non-stop bruises made a difference.

The Lady Trojans were already without two starters, senior tri-captain Christina Welsh and sophomore guard Taylor Swanson before finding out they were going to miss a third starter, senior tri-captain power forward Dakota Sloop at third-seeded Plainfield.

With only two original starters from the beginning of the year, the Lady Trojans lost 57-35 at Plainfield to end its season at 14-9. Plainfield raised its record to 20-4 and hosted sixth-seeded Tolland last night after press time.

"The girls played very hard but Plainfield is very good," Weston Coach Dan Rosen said. "They are significantly better than the team I could put out. I'm proud of the kids because they played hard until the final whistle and that's all we can ask for. As a first-year head coach, I couldn't ask for anything better."

The Lady Panthers dominated from the start and jumped out to a 15-6 lead after one quarter and 34-14 at the half. Plainfield embarked on runs of 7-0 and 9-0 to break it open and defensively, it garnered 15 steals and 11 blocked shots. Juniors Hailey Griffin and Kim Bouten led the Lady Panthers with 15 points. Griffin also had five assists, three steals and four blocks. Senior Denise Vergato had 12 points and junior Heather Evans had 10 points, three assists and four steals for Plainfield.

"I was really proud of my team's perseverance and heart," Welsh said. "Plainville is a very good team."

Sloop said, "They are a good team and shot very well."

Junior Ellie Martin led the Lady Trojans with 16 points, 11 rebounds and a steal.

"We all came out very hard and in a state tournament game, it's one and done and there's no room for error," Martin said. "It's very upsetting because we played hard for 32 minutes but Plainfield is a very good team and it got away from us."

Sophomore 6-0 center Anna Mahony continues to improve and contributed 10 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.

"I was just really determined to keep the season going for the seniors and I tried my hardest because it could be their last game," Mahaony said. "Being at practice every day and pushing myself helped me."

Hannah Hutchins was Weston's only healthy senior tri-captain and is a wing player by trade. Hutchins became the point guard after Welsh's injury and contributed five points, six assists and three steals against the Lady Panthers.

"I thought we played hard, they were a great team so unfortunately it didn't go our way," Hutchins said. "But I'm really proud of my team, we battled the whole game. We never gave up."

Junior Lianna Hursh had nine rebounds and a steal for the Lady Trojans. Sophomore Morgan Moubayed, who played her first game since suffering an injury in practice Jan. 30, and freshman Lindsay Koch, each had two points and a steal.

"The season didn't hap"It's very upsetting because we played hard for 32 minutes, but Plainfield is a good team and it got away from us."

Sophomore 6-0 center Anna Mahony continues to improve and contributed 10 points, six rebounds and three blocked shots.

"I was just really determined to keep the season going for the seniors and I tried my hardest because it could be their last game," Mahaony said. "Being at practice every day and pushing myself helped me."

Hannah Hutchins was Weston's only healthy senior tri-captain and is a wing player by trade. Hutchins became the point guard after Welsh's injury and contributed five points, six assists and three steals against the Lady Panthers.

"I thought we played hard, they were a great team so unfortunately it didn't go our way," Hutchins said. "But I'm really proud of my team, we battled the whole game. We never gave up."

Junior Lianna Hursh had nine rebounds and a steal for the Lady Trojans. Sophomore Morgan Moubayed, who played her first game since suffering an injury in practice Jan. 30, and freshman Lindsay Koch, each had two points and a steal

The season didn't happen the way we thought it would," Welsh said. "I'm proud of the JV players for stepping up. and Hannah, who switched positions."

Sloop said, "I'm very happy with the year and it went well."

Hutchins said, "We started out really strong the season and it was great to see al of our efforts pay off. I wish we didn't face as many serious injuries as we did but we played hard and battled the entire season. I couldn't ask my team for anything more."

Welsh was the catalyst when she was healthy and earned First Team All-SWC honors. Weston was 11-1 when she played and defeated eventual-SWC champion Newtown twice. After her injury, the Lady Trojans were 2-6 in the regular season, 3-8 overall.

She averaged 11.1 points, 8.7 rebounds (which is huge for a point guard), 7.7 steals and 6.3 assists per game.

Martin was an All-Patriot Division selection and averaged 14.1 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. Sloop and Hutchins were All-SWC Honorable Mention with the former averaging 7.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game and the latter averaged 8.8 points per game.

"We're thankful that none of our injured players will have long term serious effects," Rosen said.

Nevertheless, Weston mulls what could have been if all of its injured players were healthy -- especially Welsh who made her teammates better.

"I have no doubt in my mind that if every one was healthy the entire season we could of really beat any team in our league and even in the state," Hutchins said. "We had so many different threats and good players on our team. It's a shame that this season was taken away from some of my teammates, but never the less the injured players were always there support and helping us the entire season."

If the Lady Trojans had a healthy Welsh and won three or four more games (they probably would have gone anywhere from 5-3 to 7-1 in the eight regular-season games she missed), they would have had a higher seed and play a different team and probably at home.

"I think we probably would have won," Martin said. "Hannah and I were the only starters remaining and if had all our starters playing, we would have gone farther at SWCs and States."

Sloop said, "It would have been much different. We would have had a chance of winning SWCs and going farther at States."

Welsh said, "We'll never know what would have happened. I'm proud of everyone for stepping up."