For three seasons Natalie Reeves, above, has been leading the Lady Knights, but on Feb. 4 her teammates were able to pay her back. With Reeves missing from the lineup due to injury, Southington never lost a step, beating Conard easily, 139.6-124.6.

They were without one of their top scorers, but it did not matter. On Tuesday, Feb. 4, the Southington gymnastics team remained unbeaten as they cruised to a 139.6-124.6 win over Conard.

Natalie Reeves—the 10th-highest total scorer in the state—had to sit out, but it did not stop the other Lady Knights from stepping up.

“Natalie has been a top scorer for us since day one, so going into our meet the girls knew they had to step it up,” head coach Cassidy Chamberland said.  “We talked about doing their best in order to back her up, and they went out and did that. I was really proud of everyone who competed.”

For Southington’s regular contributors it was business as usual. Kat Drechsler averaged over 9.0 in her four events as she led the team with a total score of 36.25.  Drechsler is the fourth-highest total scorer in the state, and is in the top-five in three out of four events.

Kelly Perrotti has continued to improve her scores as she finished with a total of 35.85, including a 9.35 on the bars, a nine on the beam, and an 8.8 on the vault.  Lizy Beaulieu was second on the team with an 8.75 on the floor and also scored an 8.5 on the vault.

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While Southington’s top scorers never lost a beat, they also received key contributions from their rooky teammates. Freshman Taylor Kelly also contributed to the Knights’ score on the bars and the beam, as she put up a 7.8 and 8.6 in the respective events.  Kaylin Leifert scored an 8.8 on the beam and an 8.6 on the vault.

Chamberland said she has been impressed with the team’s freshmen class, and she said that it should not take long for their scorers to go up even higher.

“The younger crew has amazing form,” Chamberland said.  “They get minimal deductions on their routines because of that. With them, we are working on adding in difficulty to their skill level to raise their start values. They have done an awesome job as younger members of the team and I look forward to seeing what they bring in future seasons.”

Southington will hope to have their team at full strength as they prepare for the postseason.  Right now, the Lady Knights have the highest average score in Class L.  As many as five are in the running to qualify for at least one event in the state open.

“The team right now is focusing on just hitting clean routines,” Chamberland said.  “We need to minimize silly mistakes and falls on events if they want to stay in competition with other talented teams. They have the skill level, they have their routines set, now we just need to focus on having the confidence to be the best we can be.”

Southington ended their regular season on Thursday (Feb. 13) when they competed against Wethersfield and Farmington.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Spencer Dreher, email him at Sports@SouthingtonObserver.com.