They’ve found ways to pull out close games – winning a few nail-biters - and have fended off opposing teams’ comeback efforts during the first two-thirds of the season. Now, members of Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team can add overcoming a late double-digit deficit to their list of accomplishments. The Nighthawks erased a 48-38 early fourth-quarter Joel Barlow of Redding lead en route to shocking the visiting Falcons 58-56 on January 31. Newtown, with the win, qualified for state tournament play with victory number eight this campaign. The Nighthawks, who have won eight of their last nine contests, improved to 8-5 overall and a stellar 6-1 in South-West Conference play. The rival Falcons fell to 6-8 (4-4).
Newtown High School’s boys’ swimming and diving team won its fourth meet in a row with a 91-82 victory over visiting New Milford on January 24. The Nighthawks established a commanding 91-32 lead after winning the 500 yard freestyle event, then exhibitioned the final four events on their way to improving to 4-1 overall. Newtown, in a 100-82 win over Masuk in Monroe on January 14, saw a team record set by Richard Huffman. He set the school’s new standard in the 500 freestyle by making his final touch in a time of 4:55.30, nearly three seconds faster than the previous record.
Newtown High School’s gymnastics team scored 129.7 points to defeat host Pomperaug of Southbury (126.7), Nonnewaug (126.3), and Oxford (86.3) on January 28. Elisha Wilson was first in the all around with a cumulative score of 34.5. Wilson had an 8.3 on the vault, an 8.7 on the uneven bars, an 8.5 on the balance beam, and a 9.0 in her floor routine. Kaitlyn Tumney scored an 8.4 on bars and an 8.7 on the floor.
The second annual Sandy Hook Run For Families will be held at Fairfield Hills on Saturday, March 29. The event will feature a 5K run/fitness walk, as well as a half-mile fun run for children ages 2-11. Newtown children ages 2-10 have been invited to draw a logo for the T-shirts that will be given to youth runners in March. Children are asked to draw a logo that is inspired by the race or conveys what their town means to them. Originally scheduled to close this week, the deadline for entries has been extended to Tuesday, February 4. Contest forms are available at the office of The Newtown Bee, at 5 Church Hill Road; and can be downloaded the race website.
On Thursday, January 23, the board of directors of the Greater Waterbury YMCA met the members of The Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski (CMAK) Foundation. The morning began with a small ceremony to unveil a recognition plaque paying tribute to a recent CMAK Foundation gift to the Greater Waterbury YMCA Child Development Center. The gift of financial support celebrates the center as a safe and loving environment for children to thrive. The morning continued with members of three local YMCAs and CMAK Foundation meeting to solidify a partnership by signing the Memorandums of Understanding for the Race4Chase Youth Triathlon Program. YMCA locations in Waterbury, Danbury and Trumbull will host the triathlon
The Newtown and Joel Barlow high school hockey teams will play their first annual Warrior Cup game on Wednesday, February 5. The game will be played at Danbury Ice Arena at 5:30 pm. Both teams are joining forces to raise funds to support the Wounded Warrior Project.
Aspetuck Valley Rugby Club spring registration is underway. The club, based in Redding, is offered for boys ages 8-18. There are five teams — U10 through high school-level. This is a regional club which includes athletes from Newtown as well as Redding, Easton, Weston, Wilton, Bethel, Ridgefield, Monroe, and Fairfield.
Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team has come a long way since the season tipped off in early December. The Nighthawks had their biggest win of the campaign in a 54-34 thumping of visiting New Fairfield, one of the South-West Conference’s best, on January 28. The Hawks improved to 6-7 overall and 6-2 in conference play, and the Rebels dropped to 9-4 overall (also 6-2 in the SWC). There was a lot to like about his team’s play — on both ends of the court — for Newtown Coach Jeremy O’Connell. “I loved the defensive intensity. I loved that we made the extra pass to get wide-open shots,” said O’Connell, whose team withstood a 7-0 third-quarter New Fairfield run that pulled the Rebels to within 32-25. The Nighthawks responded with nine unanswered points to build a commanding 16-point lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team climbed over the .500 mark for the first time this season by winning twice in as many days — beating host Oxford 56-42 on January 24, and visiting Pomperaug of Southbury 48-46 in a rescheduled game the next afternoon. It took the Nighthawks nearly a month to get their record even following a frustrating 0-4 start, then less than 24 hours to push over the hump and improve to 6-5 overall. A team effort has led to Newtown’s winning ways, and the Nighthawks are now enjoying down-to-the wire, pressure-filled contests a little more than they were early on in the campaign. After dropping each of those first four decisions by nine or fewer points (among them two- and four-point outcomes), the Hawks have won twice by just two points, including a redemption win over Pomperaug, which had defeated NHS 37-33 in the second game of the campaign.
Pretty much everything has been clicking in the first half of the season for Newtown High School’s hockey team. The Nighthawks are getting saves in front of their goal, and putting pucks in the net at the other end — and they’re proving to be successful on the breakout with and without the puck in the neutral zone. Newtown topped the Brookfield-Bethel-Danbury (BBD) team 3-1 in their January 25 Senior Day game at Danbury Ice Arena, a few days after nipping Joel Barlow of Redding 3-2. The Nighthawks improved to 8-1-2 heading into a January 27 visit to New Milford.