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On A Roll: Boys’ Cagers Push The Pace And Their Winning Streak To Five Games



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Wins have been piling up for the Newtown High School boys’ basketball team. The Nighthawks won two games in as many nights, defeating host Bassick of Bridgeport 69-64 on January 12 in a game rescheduled because of weather, then went to Brookfield and won 66-50 the next night. The Hawks outdid themselves with a 72-31 domination of visiting Bethel on January 18 to improve to 6-2 overall.

In the win over Bassick, Joe McCray hit five 3-pointers and scored 19, and Makai Coleman dropped in 15 to lead the offense. Liam O’Connell and Tyson Mobley each had nine points. NHS was 19-for-29 from the foul line, including a 6-for-7 effort from Coleman and a 7-for-8 performance by O’Connell. NHS trailed late before finishing strong against a difficult nonconference opponent.

“That’s a huge win,” said Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch, whose opponent won seven of its first ten games. “I’m so proud of my guys. It was a game of runs again and we made our last run for a the five-point win.”

Against Brookfield, the Nighthawks had 32 points at the half and put the game away with a 26-point third quarter. McCray had 17, Coleman scored 16, O’Connell had 13, and Mobley 11 in a well-balanced offensive effort. O’Connell drained a trio of 3-pointers.

The Bethel game marked Newtown’s best yet.

“I think tonight, from the get-go, we played our most complete game — against a good team,” Tallcouch said.

The coach was pleased with a defensive performance that limited Lorenzo Almonte, who averages about 25, to just eight points.

“Everybody contributed,” said Tallcouch, who got all 12 players court time.

Newtown made seemingly every possession difficult for the Wildcats with stifling defense, and moved the ball quickly in transition to set up easy looks to score in close.

“We issued a challenge to them. If we want to chase greatness, which is on the back of our (warmup) shirts, we’ve got to play like we mean it,” Tallcouch said.

Newtown led 37-14 at the half en route to holding the Wildcats 15 points below their previous season low and dropping Bethel to 5-3 overall. NHS had its second-highest point total and most lopsided victory to this point.

“I like the way we’re gelling together right now,” Tallcouch said.

Mobley had 15 points, all in the first half, McCray and Isaiah Williams both scored 14, and Coleman had 11. Connor Hintze contributed six, Eli Williams had four, Connor Dullinger added three — converting a basket despite being fouled, and adding the free throw — Declan Regan and Saahil Ray each had two, and O’Connell tacked on a point. Ben Barber and Aidan Licatta also contributed off the bench.

Ray and Mobley each handed out five assists; Mobley had a trio of steals; McCray and Isaiah Williams each had a pair of steals; and Ray, Mobley, and Isaiah Williams all had four rebounds.

The Hawks host Immaculate of Danbury on Friday, January 21, at 7 pm.

Sports Editor Andy Hutchison can be reached at andyh@thebee.com.

Isaiah Williams makes a move up the court during Newtown’s 72-31 home win over Bethel on January 18 as teammate Liam O’Connell joins the play and the Wildcats defend. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Saahil Ray takes flight on his way in for two points.
Connor Dullinger dribbles toward the basket.
Ben Barber makes a pass as Bethel players defend and Connor Hintze gets open.
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