HAMDEN — Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team fought back from an 11-point deficit to take a short-lived lead, but the Nighthawks ultimately fell to host Sacred Heart Academy, 57-52, in a clash between 13-7 teams in the opening round of the Class LL state tournament on February 26.
MONROE — In a battle between the underdogs and the undefeated Bulldogs, the upstart Newtown High School boys’ basketball team nearly pulled off an upset of Bunnell of Stratford in their South-West Conference Tournament quarterfinal round battle at Masuk High on February 23.
The tournament’s top-seeded Bulldogs (18-2 overall, and 14-0 in conference play), after trailing for much of the tightly contested game, overcame the Nighthawks (8-12 overall, 7-7), with a 54-47 win to move on in the tourney.
Newtown High School’s hockey team, by virtue of back-to-back wins in mid-February, ensured that it will play on once the regular season comes to an end. The Nighthawks earned their seventh and eighth victories of the season to earn a spot in the upcoming Division II state tournament, and also kept their outside shot at getting into the South-West Conference playoffs alive in the process. NHS is relying on some outside help to squeak into the four-team conference tourney, which will get under way on February 28.
Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ indoor track teams competed in the Class LL and State Open championships at the Floyd Little Athletic Center, February 16 and 19, respectively.
Jake Feinstein had runner-up finishes in the 3200 meter run in both the LL and Open meets. The Newtown girls were 13th in the LL competition with 10 points. Norwich Free Academy won first place with 83.50. On the boys’ side, Newtown was 14th with nine points. Staples of Westport took first with 78.
TRUMBULL — Newtown High School’s wrestling team placed 11 in the Class LL state championships, at Trumbull High School, February 15 and 16. The Nighthawks were led by 106-pound weight division grappler Luca Crudo who earned a second-place finish.
Danbury, with 215.5 points, was first among 27 LL schools to score points in the two-day competition. Newtown scored 83.
Sandy Hook Fire Chief and Newtown Fire Marshal Bill Halstead has been a fan of auto racing since his youth. So it may have been an understatement when he describes the experience of unveiling a brand new NASCAR vehicle at the site of the Daytona 500 as thrilling.
Chief Halstead, along with his fiancé, Newtown Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia, were on hand February 14 as NASCAR, Swan Racing and two-time Daytona 500 champion Michael Waltrip announced a special tribute to raise awareness and contributions for the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.
The youth of Newtown got to see the softer side of the bruising, hard-hitting members of the Boston Bruins during the National Hockey League team’s visit to Newtown Youth Academy on February 18. The very next day, members of the University of Connecticut women’s basketball family came out for a fun-filled clinic at NYA. United Way served as the liaison between the Bruins and Huskies and community for these events.
MILFORD — A late-game comeback effort by Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team to earn a win in the South-West Conference Tournament opener was stolen away by Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport on February 18.
The fourth-seeded Cougars came up with two late-game steals, among their 16 in the contest, to fend off the No. 5 Nighthawks, 49-46, in a hard-fought SWC quarterfinal round clash at top seed Lauralton Hall’s gymnasium.
Wrestling may soon lose some validity at a high level, and those involved in the sport locally recognize that there may be a trickledown effect. The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), on February 12, agreed on the 25 sports it will propose to the 125th IOC session for approval as the core sports for the 2020 Summer Olympic Games — and recommended that wrestling not be included, joining seven shortlisted sports.