Newtown High School’s gymnastics team had three competitions this past week, and came out on top in two of them. Newtown capped off the busy stretch of meets with a visit to Daniel Hand of Madison on February 11.
Throughout the years, Chris Bray coached up-and-coming wrestlers in the Newtown Youth Wrestling Association’s (NYWA) middle school and elementary programs. He taught young grapplers and prepared them to become strong high school competitors for nearly a decade. As it turned out, he was shaping many of them to become his team members once again, down the road.
The Nighthawks seem to have opponents right where they want them when trailing. Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team has made a habit of erasing large deficits to scratch out close victories this season, the latest a 49-45 win over visiting Stratford on February 11. Newtown trailed by six points at halftime and but eked out the win to improve to 10-6 overall and 8-2 in South-West Conference play. Only a few days earlier, in a February 7 contest between two of the top teams in the SWC, the Nighthawks had host Weston right where they wanted the Trojans. In a game of runs and huge momentum swings, Newtown trailed by seven points late in the fourth quarter. The Nighthawks chipped away, but ultimately came up short in a 52-50 Weston win. Both teams came into the contest with identical conference records, and Weston walked away with an 8-1 mark (11-3 overall).
The Newtown Soccer Club is hosting tryouts for a boys U9/U10 travel team to compete this spring season. The tryouts will be held during the week of March 10. The newly-formed team will compete in the Southwest District and be eligible for the Newtown Memorial Day Tournament.
The Newtown High School girls’ basketball team ensured that it will continue its season once the regular campaign is complete by clinching a Class LL state playoff berth. The Nighthawks did so by earning their eighth win of the season in a 41-20 triumph over visiting Weston on February 6. Newtown held a 16-2 lead after one quarter of play, and went ahead 28-6 at halftime before cruising past its winless foes. Cassie Ekstrom had a dozen points as nine Nighthawks registered at least one point. Haley Ryan who, along with Ekstrom, sank a pair of 3-pointers, added six points. Eliza Eggleston had five, and Mali Klorczyk, Caroline Chocholak, and Mary Joe Rossi all scored four. Micaela Nowacki had three points, Kelly Merrick scored two, and Lauren Wilcox added one.
Newtown High School senior Jenna Calandro earned the Class LL state title in the pole vault event by clearing the bar with a height of 11 feet, seven inches in the championship meet at the Floyd Little Athletic Center in New Haven on February 8. It may have been a little short of Calandro’s school indoor track record-setting 12-foot-3 effort but it was enough to beat out her closest competitor by more than a foot. And, what’s more, it set a Class LL championship record.
Newtown High School’s hockey team members hope to get some extra ice time in March with runs deep in the conference and state playoffs. For now, they’re getting more shots, saves, and hits thanks to overtime games in the regular season. The Nighthawks played in their fifth overtime battle of the campaign — a tilt that ended in a scoreless deadlock with host New Fairfield-Immaculate of Danbury — at Danbury Ice Arena on February 8. Newtown is 2-0-3 in OT battles.
The Newtown and Joel Barlow high school hockey teams will play their first annual Warrior Cup game on Thursday, February 13. The game will be played at Danbury Ice Arena at 5:30 pm. It was originally to have been played on February 5 but snow postponed it. Both teams are joining forces to raise funds to support the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Sandy Ground Project was established by the New Jersey Fireman’s Benevolent Association last year. Its mission is to build 26 playgrounds along the coast of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut in towns hit by Hurricane Sandy. Each playground honors and and provides a lasting memory of the 26 children and teachers who lost their lives on December 14, 2012. Milford will be the location of one of those playgrounds, to be built in memory of James Mattioli. James was a 6-year old who was among the children killed on 12/14. His playground is scheduled to be built on March 15, with a ribbon cutting planned for March 22. That same morning, a 5K run/walk and kids fun run/obstacle course will be help to help cover the costs of the Milford playground.
After losing a 52-49 double-overtime thriller at Joel Barlow of Redding on January 31, the Newtown High School girls’ basketball team got back on track, beating the visiting New Milford Green Wave, 43-36, in a very important late-season game, on February 4. Newtown was led by Sarah Lynch who had 19 points and also led the team with three steals. Cassie Ekstrom contributed to the win by bringing down 11 rebounds. Mali Klorczyk gave the team a spark after hitting back to back 3-pointers and tacking on a couple more clutch buckets.