By Carl Adamec
STORRS, Conn. — Most people have to wait five years between high school reunions.
For UConn’s Caroline Doty, the second-ranked Huskies’ game with No. 10 Penn State Thursday at Gampel Pavilion (7 p.m., SNY) will be a second reunion in 10 months. UConn’s fifth-year senior guard was a teammate of Penn State junior Maggie Lucas at Germantown Academy in Pennsylvania.
Last March 25, the Huskies and Lady Lions faced off in a NCAA Tournament Kingston (R.I.) Regional semifinal at the Ryan Center. Doty scored UConn’s first two baskets on backdoor layups past Lucas and finished with six points in a 77-59 win. Lucas played the whole 40 minutes and had 15 points but was just 4-for-16 from the floor.
Whether Doty starts Thursday may depend on the condition of Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who is a game time decision with a left quad injury. Lucas figures to go 40 minutes again, or at least until the game is decided, as she is Penn State’s leading scorer.
Prior to the meeting in March, Doty recalled the first contact she had with Lucas as she tried to recruit the native of Narabeth, Pa., to Germantown Academy.
“I called Maggie and we exchanged text messages, just trying to get to know her,” Doty said. “I was lucky that she was a great kid and a lot of fun to be around. She’s hilarious and we had so much fun on the court. She’s the type of player that you’re really happy that she’s on your team and you don’t have to play against her.”
Doty and Lucas guided GA to a 26-3 record and the Inter-Academic League title their one year together in 2006-07. Doty would miss her senior year at the school after suffering the first of three ACL tears in her left knee.
“When Maggie’s on, she’s on. She will just not miss,” Doty said. “It was that way in high school. The other players could just feed off of her and we’d feed off each other. It was so much fun. She was a couple years younger than me but it didn’t matter because it was great to be around her on and off the court. She was so competitive and she’s grown so much.”
While basketball was serious business, they still had plenty of fun.
“We were just being kids,” Doty said with a smile. “One time, I saran wrapped Maggie’s backpack to the bench so she couldn’t lift it. Then she broke into my locker and threw all of my gym clothes into the creek. Another time I took all the books out of her locker and put a different lock on it. So she had to figure out the lock and then her books weren’t there anyway. Just little things. She’s so much fun to be around and her family is amazing.”
Thursday’s game will also bring together four members of the 2012 United States U-18 national team that won a gold medal at the FIBA Americas tournament. Penn State freshman Candice Agee was a teammate of UConn rookies Breanna Stewart, Morgan Tuck, and Moriah Jefferson last summer.
“She’s a really big, physical post and she can step out and hit the foul-line jump shot,” Stewart said Wednesday. “It will be nice to see her and play against her.”
Stewart also played AAU ball with Lucas and Lady Lions’ teammate Ariel Edwards.