Double Overtime Victory Highlights Winning Ways For Boys’ Cagers
Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team fought off a hard-working Bethel squad to earn a 64-53 victory at home on January 16 then worked double overtime to defeat host Torrington 78-73 on January 20, two days after the game was postponed due to snow.
The Bethel Wildcats trailed 46-37 heading to the fourth quarter but pulled to within 51-47 midway through the final period before Newtown’s outside shooting put the game away. Jack Kuligowski made a trio of Newtown’s nine 3-pointers and Riley Ward and Tyson Mobley each hit a pair from beyond the arc.
Mobley’s 3-pointer made it 54-47 Nighthawks with 3:38 to go, and Mobley’s steal and long pass to Ward for a basket got the lead back to nine just 23 seconds later. The Wildcats got to within five points at 56-51 with 2:33 left, but Kuligowski’s corner 3-pointer extended the lead to eight less than a half-minute later. Jack Kuligowski finished a fast break to make it 61-51 with 1:30 left.
Ward led the way with 26 points and five assists, Mulligan had ten, Kuligowski nine, Jack Petersen eight, Mobley six, and Joe McCray five.
“I thought we had a shot at breaking this game really open. Credit to Bethel, they stayed the course; they played the entire 32 minutes,” said Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch, whose team led 19-10 after one quarter of play and 30-24 at the half.
Tallcouch was pleased with the focus his team had from the start and liked the leadership from his players and overall strong defense, led by Petersen, whom Tallcouch said had his best defensive game of the campaign.
Petersen and Mulligan both had seven rebounds. Kuligowski and Mulligan each had four steals, and Mobley had a trio of takeaways.
The Torrington contest featured a fourth-quarter comeback by Newtown as the Nighthawks outscored the hosts 17-9 in the final stanza to force OT. Both teams scored seven in the first four-minute extra period, and Newtown won the second overtime in a high-scoring battle, 18-13.
Ward finished with 19 points, Petersen had 14, and Isaiah Williams dropped in 14. McCray scored nine, Mobley added seven, and Kuligowski and Liam O’Connell each added six. The Nighthawks hit ten 3-pointers. Petersen and Williams both had eight rebounds and three steals.
“Defensive energy turned up in the fourth quarter and both OTs,” said Tallcouch, adding that seven players scored and the bench — sophomores Williams, McCray, and O’Connell — contributed a much-needed 29.
“Good to get out of Torrington with the win, and back at it tonight against a very solid Barlow squad,” said Tallcouch, whose team has as very fast turnaround with a visit to Joel Barlow of Redding on Tuesday, January 21, at 7 pm.