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Nighthawk Comeback Bid Falls Short In State Quarterfinals

Published: March 5, 2018

Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team nearly dug itself out of a 16-point deficit after three quarters of play, ultimately falling 40-33 at Trumbull High in the quarterfinals of the Class LL state tournament, on March 5.

The sixth-seeded Nighthawks trailed 23-17 at the half and 36-20 after three quarters of play They went on an 11-0 run to begin the final period to make it a five-point game, and had possession with a chance to get closer. No. 3 Trumbull, this year’s FCIAC champion and defending state runner-up, fought off a tenacious Nighthawk squad to advance to the semis.

Amy Sapenter scored 11 points for Newtown. Rylee Mulligan and Carlie Smith added six and five, respectively.

Sapenter opened the fourth-quarter scoring, and Smith followed with a 3-pointer to make it 36-25. Newtown had four possessions to try to get closer before Mulligan’s baseline drive for two finally got the lead back to single digits at 36-27 with 3:50 to play.

Mulligan’s drive to the rim made it a seven-point game less than a minute later, and Sapenter’s outside jumper capped the run.

Trumbull got its first points of the final period with 1:30 left. Newtown’s Ali Kelleher answered the Trumbull hoop just ten seconds later, making it 38-33.

Newtown’s strong defense and tight marking forced the Eagles to burn timeouts and eventually turn the ball over on a five-second inbound violation, but the Hawks couldn’t capitalize.

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