MILFORD – Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team avenged a pair of regular-season losses to Pomperaug of Southbury – and did so in convincing fashion – in the quarterfinal round of the South-West Conference tournament on February 22. The fifth-seeded Nighthawks toppled No. 4 Pomperaug 66-47 on the court of tourney top seed Lauralton Hall to advance to the semifinals.
Cassie Ekstrom led the offensive charge with 27 points, 15 of which came on a handful of 3-pointers. Ekstrom also had a dozen rebounds. Sarah Lynch dropped in nine points and dished out 12 assists. She also had four rebounds and three steals. Kelly Merrick and Mary Joe Rossi both had ten points, and Rossi pulled down five rebounds. Lauren Wilcox added four points and six boards.
“We played 32 minutes for the first time all year,” Newtown Coach Jeremy O’Connell said. “We played with heart, we played with passion, we played with intensity. But, most of all, we played for each other.”
The Nighthawks had a sharp-shooting effort throughout the game and used strong defensive pressure to force the Panthers into a tough shooting night.
Newtown led just 35-31 at halftime. Ekstrom drained one of her 3-pointers with one second left in the second quarter and the Hawks pulled away in the third quarter.
The Hawks are scheduled to play at 8 pm on February 25 in a semifinal contest against the winner of Lauralton and No. 8 Immaculate of Danbury, at Bethel High.