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Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team will get back to game action in a visit to Lauralton Hall of Milford on Saturday, December 30, beginning at 1 pm, after a week-plus layoff seeking to pick up where it left off, yet get back into the win column following its first loss of the season.
Newtown lost 47-35 to Pomperaug of Southbury in the December 21 Threes for Charity Tournament championship game.
The Nighthawks fell behind 14-3 early, trailed 22-9 at the half, and by as many as 16 points early in the third quarter before chipping away and making it more of a battle in the second half.
“It was the tale of two halves for us,” Newtown Coach Jeremy O’Connell said.
In the third and fourth quarters, “we played hard, we played physical, and we made it a game. The effort in the second half I was proud of,” the coach added.
On three different occasions in the final stanza, the Hawks cut Pomperaug’s lead to eight.
Cyleigh Wilson canned one of her trio of 3-pointers to get Newtown within 33-25 1:03 into the final quarter. Another Wilson 3-pointer again got the deficit down to eight, at 37-29, with 4:29 left. A Jackie Matthews putback made the score 39-31 with 2:04 to go.
The Hawks got no closer.
Wilson finished with 11 points and Amy Sapenter dropped in seven.
Pomperaug was 17-of-26 from the foul line, and Newtown 3-for-8 from the charity stripe.
This was Newtown’s first defeat in five games, and Pomperaug improved to 5-0. The teams will meet in a matchup that counts in the South-West Conference standings, in Southbury, on Friday, February 9, beginning at 7 pm.
In the first tilt between the foes, Newtown was without guard Rylee Mulligan, who has missed two-plus games with an injury.
“She’s a huge difference-maker,” said O’Connell, adding that the need for other players to step up stands to pay dividends later in the season.
“This certainly is going to help us in the long run,” O’Connell said.
The Nighthawks defeated Hillhouse of New Haven 63-28 in the tourney opener, the night before.
In a virtual reversal of the way the first half went for Newtown against Pomperaug, Newtown held Hillhouse to three points in each of the first two quarters and led 29-6 at halftime.
Cailin Wilson scored a career-high 22 points and Nicki DaPra dropped in 20 to lead the Hawks. Sapenter scored 12.
DaPra sank five 3-pointers, Cailin Wilson made four 3-pointers, and Cyleigh Wilson hit a shot from downtown.
Cyleigh Wilson had six assists. Sapenter pulled down seven rebounds and had four steals.
Lauralton Hall, formerly an SWC rival of Newtown’s, now plays in the Southern Connecticut Conference, but the teams have continued their relationship with annual nonconference battles. The Hawks will be going for their fourth straight win over their former conference foes. Lauralton carried an 0-2 mark into Wednesday’s scheduled game with St Joseph of Trumbull.