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Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team moved into first place in the South-West Conference’s Colonial Division by toppling visiting Bunnell of Stratford 48-10, on January 26. The best part about the mismatch on the court, for Coach Jeremy O’Connell’s Nighthawks, was that this was the first of two games on consecutive nights, since it was a makeup game postponed because of weather two days earlier.
The Nighthawks went on the road with the starters about as well rested as they could be the day after a game, and defeated Weston 42-37 for their fourth straight win. The Nighthawks carried an 11-4 overall mark, and 6-2 record in conference play, into this week, which includes a visit to a tough New Fairfield squad (12-2, 5-2), postponed a day because of weather and rescheduled for Wednesday, February 1, at 7 pm.
O’Connell has a deep bench and regularly substitutes his players to maximize his team’s uptempo style of play but, in the Bunnell game, 14 team members not only played, but got quality minutes.
“The fact they don’t have to play 32-32 back-to-back is good for us,” said O’Connell, referring to the 32-minute-long games.
Against Bunnell, the Nighthawks led 25-4 at the half, and held Bunnell (winless in SWC play but 6-8 overall) scoreless in the third quarter to build a 42-4 advantage heading into the fourth.
Cailin Wilson, Jackie Matthews, and Nicki DaPra led the Hawks with nine, eight, and seven points, respectively. Erin Burns scored four, and Alison Kelleher, Cyleigh Wilson, Greta Staubly, and Amy Sapenter all dropped in three.
Officials used pink whistles and some of the players wore pink socks in recognition of the Blow the Whistle on Cancer efforts to raise funding and awareness for cancer research.
In the win over Weston, Olyvia Shaw had ten points, 11 rebounds, and five steals, Cyleigh Wilson scored 14 points. The Hawks were 6-for-8 from the foul line in the final two minutes to help seal the triumph.