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McLaughlin Layup Lifts Newtown Past Staples



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McLaughlin Layup Lifts Newtown Past Staples

By Kim J. Harmon

Sometimes it’s all about going out on a high note and the Newtown High School boys’ basketball team closed out 2005 with an exciting 53-52 win over Staples in the consolation game of the annual Staples Holiday Tournament.

Dave McLaughlin had the key shot in that one.

The girls’ basketball team – which normally participated in the Masuk Holiday Tournament during the holiday break - closed out 2005 with a non-conference 59-48 win over Wilton.

Kacy Foehenbach had several key shots in that one.

The hockey team didn’t go out quite so high, dropping a 3-2 decision to Masuk, but nevertheless seven games into the season the Nighthawks – expected by some to suffer in the wake of key graduation losses – were a respectable 2-3-2.

The stage has been set for 2006.


Newtown 53, Staples 52

Hard work never hurt anyone ... and hard work is what carried the Newtown High School boys’ basketball team to an exciting 53-52 win over Staples in the consolation game of the Staples Holiday Tournament.

Senior co-captain Dave McLaughlin cashed in the game-winner, banking in a lay up with 5.1 seconds left. It was only natural since McLaughlin had a team-high 13 points and seven of those came within the final 2:29 of the game.

His biggest bucket, of course, was the lay up ... which lifted the ‘Hawks to the win and snapped a three-game losing streak.

“I saw the open lane and a wide open lay up,” said McLaughlin, “and I tried to take it hard (to the basket).”

The Nighthawks took the initial lead in the game on a basket by Mike Kennedy and had a one-point lead a few moments later when Kennedy canned a pair of free throws. But after the Wreckers dropped in their second third-pointer of the game the ‘Hawks did not taste the lead until midway through the fourth period ... and that lead lasted only a few seconds.

“We knew we had to just get to the free throw line, chip away, and play aggressive,” said McLaughlin.

Down four at the start of the final stanza, Joe DeVellis got the ‘Hawks started with a free throw. A few moments later, DeVellis made a steal and Mike Mitchell benefited with an eight-foot pull-up jumper that got the ‘Hawks to within one point of the Wreckers.

The Wreckers canned a pair of free throws and Mitchell answered with a nice inside move but with 5:45 left Kevin Troy gave the ‘Hawks their first lead in almost 28 minutes when he dropped in a pair of free throws.

The 43-42 lead was short-lived, though, as the Wreckers popped in a free throw and then converted an old-fashioned three-point play to take a 46-43 lead with four minutes left.

With 2:40 left to play, the Wreckers hit their sixth trey of the game and had a fairly intimidating five-point lead. But McLaughlin drained a three-pointer with 2:29 left and Kennedy (5-of-6 from the line on the night) hit another foul shot to bring the ‘Hawks to within one.

With 1:01 left to play, DeVellis fouled out of the game and put another crimp in the locals’ plans to pull out a dramatic win. The Wreckers converted a free throw on that foul and had a 51-49 lead.

But McLaughlin came back with a pull-up jumper with 49 seconds left to tie the score. Then with 24.3 seconds left, the Wreckers canned a free throw to take a one-point lead.

All of that set the stage for McLaughlin’s dramatic bucket.

The Wreckers pressed the ‘Hawks at the free-throw line and Marc Ingerman, clutching the ball out on the wing, seemed to be bottled up as the clock ticked down. But while the field shifted left, McLaughlin shifted right, took the handoff from Ingerman, and was suddenly facing a vacant lane to the basket.

He made the move.

And the ‘Hawks had their first win since a season-opening rout of Kaynor Tech.

“At the end of the third period,” said McLaughlin, “coach (John Quinn) told us there were eight minutes left and then we’d have three days off. We lost three in a row and we wanted to play as hard as we could and walk out of here with a win.”

Brian Levine of Staples was the game-high scorer with 25 markers. McLaughlin led the ‘Hawks with his 13 points, but Mitchell added 11 and Troy contributed 10 more to the effort.

The ‘Hawks will host Weston on Friday and then travel to Southbury on Tuesday to face Pomperaug before returning home next Friday to host New Milford.

Newtown 53, Staples 52

NEWTOWN (53): Shawn Coakley 0 0-0 0, Joe DeVellis 2 1-3 5, Kevin Troy 3 3-4 10, Marc Ingerman 1 1-2 3, Mike Kennedy 2 5-6 9, Dave McLaughlin 5 2-2 13, Mike Mitchell 5 1-1 11, Jack Quinn 1 0-0 2, Dan Smith 0 0-0 0, Jason Smith 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 13-18 53.

STAPLES (52): Brian Levine 6 11-16 25, Josh Foster 0 0-0 0, Jordan Steiger 1 0-0 3, Matt Theriault 5 0-1 12, Will Ronan 0 0-0 0, Matt Drew 0 0-0 0, Sam Jossen 0 0-0 0, Mark Kirkowiak 1 0-0 2, Yan Sugel 4 1-2 10. TOTALS: 17 12-19 52.

THREE-POINTERS: Levine (S) 2, Theriault (S) 2, McLaughlin (N), Troy (N), Seteiger (S), Sugel (S).


Newtown 59, Wilton 48

When she is on, senior co-captain Kacy Foehrenbach has a deadly outside touch.

Foehrenbach has had a little trouble being on on a consistent basis, but last week she had the range and the touch and tossed in another five three-point buckets to lead the Newtown High School girls’ basketball team to a 59-48 win over Wilton.

With the win, the Lady Nighthawks snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 4-3.

After being blown out by a powerhouse Waterford team a few days before (and with a loss to Notre Dame still fresh in their minds), the ‘Hawks made the long trek to Wilton to face a non-conference opponent they felt might be an easier mark.

But with eight minutes in the book the locals were down four points ... and with a full half in the book the locals were still down by one.

Then came the decisive third period.

The ‘Hawks came out of the locker room hot and exploded for 18 points, holding the Lady Warriors to just six and taking control of the game. Foehrenbach had a team-high 17 points with Christie Iwanicki (the team’s leading scorer at 14.1 points per game) adding 13 and Kristi Nowak chipping in 11 more.

Kristin Rider of Wilton led all scorers with 19 points.

The locals hosted Immaculate on Wednesday night and will be in Weston on Friday for a 7 pm tip. The girls will return home next Tuesday to host Pomperaug.

Newtown 59, Wilton 48

NEWTOWN (59): Ciara Simek 1 0-1 2, Carly Curran 4 1-2 9, Kacy Foehrenbach 6 0-2 17, Christie Iwanicki 5 2-5 13, Kristi Nowak 4 3-4 11, Darcey Fiscella 1 3-6 5, Casey Frobey 1 0-0 2, Morgan Knees 0 0-0 0, Lauren Ciccomascolo 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22 9-20 59.

WILTON (48): Kristen Rider 9 1-3 19, Jordan Horner 2 0-2 4, Katie Fowler 2 2-2 6, Tori Geronimo 0 0-0 0, Brittany English 1 2-2 4, Kacie Johnson 6 2-2 15, Leslie Stebbins 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20 7-11 48.

THREE-POINTERS: Foehrenbach (N) 5, Iwanicki (N), Johnson (W).


Masuk 3, Newtown 2; Newtown 3, Amity 3

A rally can work two ways.

Last Wednesday at the Bennett Ice Rink in West Haven, the Newtown High School hockey team rallied back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-3 draw with Amity Regional. But last Friday at the Danbury Ice Arena, the locals watched as Masuk rallied back from a two-goal deficit to earn a 3-2 win.

And the result of all that? With the draw and the loss, the ‘Hawks pushed their record to 2-3-2.

Amity broke a scoreless tie with a goal 3:57 into the first period, but the locals answered backed less than three minutes later with Francis Oggeri scored off assists from PJ Horoszko and Chris Kraft.

But less than two minutes later, Amity lit the lamp to take a 2-1 lead.

For the next 16 minutes, the ‘Hawks struggled to draw even with Amity but as the Spartans peppered Mike Jurasek with one shot after another (50 all told for the game) they extended the lead to 3-1 with a goal at the 8:33 mark of the third period.

All it did, though, was light a fire under the skates of the ‘Hawks.

Just 34 seconds later, Justin Pacheco scored off an assist from Pat Daly to bring the ‘Hawks to within one and less than two minutes later Blake Bell scored the equalizer with the assistance of Kraft and Oggeri.

Amity out-shot Newtown, 50-21, but Jurasek made 47 saves to earn the draw.

Things did not go quite so well two days later in a noon-time tilt in Danbury. Joe Brewer and Taylor Casey scored first-period goals to stake the locals to a 2-0 lead and give them the real hope of pinning another defeat on the jersey of the rival Panthers.

But Masuk scored once in the second period and then twice more in the third – at the 4:57 and 5:39 marks – to grab the win.

Brewer’s goal came at 4:35 of the first period when he backhanded in a rebound off a shot by Kraft. Less than six minutes later, Casey whistled a shot from the right boards, out past the circle, that snuck through the goaltender’s pads to stake the ‘Hawks to a 2-0 lead.

A power play goal with 8:37 left in the second period started the Masuk rally.

The Panthers out-shot the ‘Hawks, 27-23. It was the first time in three games the ‘Hawks had allowed fewer than 50 shots (60 against Notre Dame, 50 against Amity).

The ‘Hawks opened the season with a 2-0 win over Joel Barlow as Bell and Matt Wright notched the goals off assists by Braeden Conlon, Horoszko and Oggeri. The locals then lost a 6-3 decision to New Fairfield as Bell and Pacheco scored third-period goals off assists from Oggeri and Brewer.

In a 5-3 win over Masuk, Bell scored a pair of goals while Beitel, Brewer and Oggeri notched solo goals. Kraft, Mike Conroy, Pacheco and Daly all had assists and Pete Oggeri made 46 saves in net.

Then came a 2-2 draw with Joel Barlow and a 6-0 loss to Notre Dame before last week’s action put the locals at 2-3-2.

The locals will battle the Bethel-Brookfield co-op on Friday (the puck drops at 6:35 pm) before heading out to the East Haven Rink on Saturday to take on Guilford (puck drops at 6 pm). The ‘Hawks will return home next Wednesday to face New Fairfield (puck drops at 5:40 pm).

Masuk 3, Newtown 2

GOALS: Newtown – Joe Brewer, Taylor Casey. ASSISTS: Newtown – Chris Kraft, Max Beitel. SHOTS: Newtown – 23, Masuk – 27. SAVES: Newtown – Mike Jurasek 24.

Newtown 3, Amity 3

GOALS: Newtown – Francis Oggeri, Justin Pacheco, Blake Bell. ASSISTS: Newtown – Chris Kraft 2, PJ Horoszko, Pat Daly, Francis Oggeri. SHOTS: Newtown – 21, Amity – 50. SAVES: Newtown – Mike Jurasek 47.

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