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.
USA Wrestling has announced it will support and promote a national youth sports initiative called “Jack Pinto… Getting Kids in the Game” campaign, which benefits the non-profit organization KIDS in the GAME (KITG). The mission of KITG is to inspire youth to thrive in life through sports by providing the resources that get and keep kids in the game. The new national campaign honors the short but inspiring life of 6-year-old Jack Pinto who lost his life on 12/14. USA Wrestling will make announcements supporting the campaign at two major wrestling events in Colorado Springs, Colo., on January 25: The Jack Pinto Cup and The Colorado Springs Orthopedic Group Metro Wrestling Championships.
The Danbury Whalers will hold Newtown Night on Saturday, February 8 when the Whalers host Dayton at Danbury Ice Arena at 7:35 pm. There will be an opportunity to meet the Whalers and obtain autographs and photos with team members after the game. Ask about a special opportunity to visit the broadcast booth and be on the air with Newtown’s own Nick Magoulas.
The match had been circled on Newtown High School’s wrestling team’s schedule from the moment it was announced in preseason: New Milford at Newtown, January 22. “We’ve been thinking about this really all year long,” as a matter of fact, Newtown Coach Chris Bray said after the South-West Conference juggernaut Green Wave — unbeaten in SWC action since 2009 — battled past Newtown 36-29 in that clash. The Nighthawks now have the February 15 SWC championships marked on their slate. That will be the next chance for the Hawks to overcome their rivals.
Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team is proving to be quite a resilient and competitive group. The Nighthawks suffered a tough-to-swallow 63-59 loss to host Notre Dame-Fairfield on January 17, the team’s fifth loss by nine or fewer points, after reeling off four consecutive victories in the wake of a four-game slide to begin the season. “They compete — they play hard,” Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch said after the Notre Dame game. “It’s all you can ask for.” Well, maybe the Hawks could have asked for some better fortunes in the foul department. The Lancers went to the free throw line for 26 attempts, more than doubling Newtown’s 11 trips to the charity stripe (Notre Dame was 17 of 26 and NHS went 7 of 11).
Tension and pressure in sports tends to get magnified when playoff time rolls around. While the stakes aren’t as high in the regular campaign — when there is always another game to bounce back — down-to-the-wire nail-biters at any juncture of the campaign provide a little taste what potentially will come in the postseason. Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team had a pair of close-to-the-finish contests this past week: A 41-39 overtime win over visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield on January 17 and a 43-38 setback to visiting Pomperaug of Southbury in a game played at Western Connecticut State University’s O’Neill Center the next night. Whether or not being involved in such tight games will pay dividends for the players remains to be seen, but it certainly can’t hurt.
(AP) A children’s triathlon program inspired by the life a 7-year-old boy who was killed on 12/14 is expanding in Connecticut. The CMAK Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation has reached an agreement with the Greater Waterbury YMCA, Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut in Danbury, and the Central Connecticut Coastal YMCA in Trumbull to host the Race4Chase Kid's Tri program. The program honors Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski, who competed in his first triathlon the summer before he was killed.
Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball team won two of its last three games to get into a little groove after a tough start to the season. The Nighthawks beat Bethel 50-34 on the road on January 9 in a game that had been postponed twice because of inclement weather. Then, after falling to a tough Lauralton Hall of Milford team 56-42 the next night, the Hawks earned a 45-28 win at Brookfield on January 14. “I think it’s good for the team morale,” Newtown’s Cassie Ekstrom said of the recent winning ways that followed a 1-4 start. “We’re playing really well together. We’re really intense and aggressive.” Ekstrom is one of the players leading that charge. She’s been Newtown’s jack of all trades contributor on the court — scoring from all over, rebounding, and coming up with steals.
Members of the Newtown Torpedoes swim team, on January 11, joined forces and hit the water at the Newtown High School pool for an event that had no first, second, or third place finishes affecting league standings, no opposing team, no heated races — but plenty of serious swimming and lots of heartfelt meaning. They swam lap after lap in the first Annual Newtown Torpedoes Swim-A-Thon, to raise money for the Daniel Barden Newtown Torpedoes Memorial Scholarship, in honor of the team member they lost in the Sandy Hook tragedy a little more than a year ago.