Poor execution and shooting proved to be the Weston girls basketball team's undoing Saturday.

Weston shot 11-49 from the field (22 percent) and was even colder in the second half when it was a paltry 4-25 (16 percent) in a 45-35 home loss to Haddam-Killingworth. HK raised its record to 9-7. The Lady Trojans dropped to 6-11 and need to win two out of their last three games in order to make the Class M tournament.

"We clearly didn't play good in the second half," Weston coach Dan Rosen said. "We're still struggling and looking for some answers. We played hard and I'm proud of them for it, but we need to execute."

The Lady Trojans led 4-1 with 2:50 remaining in the first quarter on freshman Kristin Caolo's putback off the offensive glass. However, they missed too many easy shots and the Lady Cougars led 5-4 after one quarter.

What Weston lacked on offense, it more than compensated for it on defense. HK had trouble driving into the paint because of 6-1 Lady Trojan junior center Anna Mahony, who blocked four shots. Mahony's (three points, four rebounds, two steals, three forced turnovers) layup gave Weston an 8-7 lead and her block led to classmate Taylor Swanson's steal.

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Following Swanson's theft, senior captain Lianna Hursh (10 points, four rebounds, one assist, one tieup, two forced turnovers) gave the Lady Trojans a 13-11 lead with a putback off the offensive glass. Another Mahony block gave Weston possession and Caolo (four points, two rebounds, two assists, two steals) laid it in to make it 15-11 with 52.4 seconds left in the half.

However, the Lady Cougars hit two 3-pointers to tie it 17-17 at the break. Their second trey was improbable and avoidable because they missed the initial shot and all the Lady Trojans needed to do was grab the rebound and the half ended. Weston let the ball slip by which enabled HK sophomore guard Maya Savino to pick up the loose ball and hoist a trifecta that banked in at the buzzer.

"I think it was deflating," Rosen said. "In a game in the 30s-40s, six points like that is a lot."

Swanson (nine points, three rebounds, two assists, one charge drawn) was tough on defense in forcing five turnovers. She gave the Lady Trojans their final lead with a jumper.

"Taylor has been playing better offensively, which is encouraging," Rosen said. "I think she'll be a great player next year."

Weston had a chance to extend its lead after Mahony's interception, but Lady Cougar junior Tori Peterson (nine points, 11 rebounds) blocked a Lady Trojan shot. This led to HK's 19-4 run to take a 36-23 lead after three quarters. Junior Marisa Moncata (15 points) helped HK pull away by swishing two 3-pointers to go with a coast-to-coast layup off a steal.

Turnovers hurt Weston in this surge. The Lady Trojans had eight turnovers in the third quarter, including three straight which fueled the Lady Cougars' surge. Overall, Weston had 12 turnovers and forced 16 HK turnovers.

Not even Lady Trojan senior captain power forward Ellie Martin could rally her team. Martin (13 rebounds, one assist, three steals, one forced turnover, three tieups) usually scores at least 20 points a game, but the Lady Cougars constantly double-teamed her, which limited her to nine points.

"They played good defense on her, and we didn't pass well," Rosen said. "They didn't press and we should have been able to pass on them. We had some scoring droughts, which has been a problem for us all year."

The shooting malaise affected Martin as well as her teammates.

"It clearly wasn't the best game she had, but we can't always rely on her to score 20 points a game for us to win. We need to be able to pick up the slack."

Sophomore Lindsay Koch (one rebound, one assist, one steal, one forced turnover) and junior Zoe Zegars (one tieup) also contributed for Weston.