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Girls Basketball Team Beats Brookfield Following A Pair Of Tough Tests



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Newtown High School's girls' basketball team toppled visiting Brookfield 72-27 on January 28, bouncing back from a pair of losses to challenging foes.

Carlie Smith and Cyleigh Wilson each had 13 points and Amy Sapenter scored 12 in the win. Ten Nighthawks scored. Juliette Cryder dropped in nine, Rebecca Alicea scored seven, and Allie Bradley added six.

"Tonight was good for us," said Newtown Coach Jeremy O'Connell, whose team had not lost consecutive games before a battle to the wire with Notre Dame-Fairfield and setback at Norwich Free Academy.

The Nighthawks battled visiting Notre Dame to the finish before falling 56-53 on January 23.

Newtown trailed 30-19 at halftime and by 14 points seconds into the third quarter before battling back to seize a 37-36 lead heading to the fourth.

Notre Dame took a late lead at the free throw line and held on.

Wilson scored 20 points, draining six 3-pointers along the way. Wilson hit a 3-pointer seconds after the Lancer went up 33-19 to start a 16-0 Nighthawk run. Sapenter scored key points during Newtown's flurry of scoring. Smith and Wilson hit consecutive 3-pointers to get things even, and Wilson finished a fast break for a 35-33 Nighthawk lead with 55 seconds to play in the quarter.

The Lancers reclaimed the lead on a Yamani McCollough basket from beyond the arc with seven seconds to go in the stanza, ending a 7:37 scoring drought thanks to tough Newtown defense. Emma Magazu hit a front end one and one and subsequent foul shot for a one-point NHS lead heading to the fourth.

Sapenter drained a baseline jumper and Wilson hit another 3-pointer to help the Hawks to a five point lead before the Lancers scored seven straight points, capped by a McCollough 3-pointer, to go up two at 44-42 with just over five minutes to play. It was a single-possession game the rest of the way.

Wilson's 3-pointer gave NHS a 47-46 lead. The Lancers went ahead by three points before Cryder scored down low, making it 50-49 Lancers with 2:17 to play. Notre Dame pushed its lead back to three and threatened to add to it before Shea Murphy's steal set up a Wilson 3-pointer to knot the score at 52-52 with 55 seconds left. Taylor Gibbs hit a front end one and one and second foul shot for a 54-52 Lancer lead with 34 seconds left. Murphy was fouled with ten seconds to go and made a clutch first shot and the second one and one attempt rimmed out.

Notre Dame's Nique Mayo hit two free throws with six seconds left and Newtown's had a late chance but couldn't get a clean look at a 3-pointer and a desperation shot missed as the buzzer went off.

O'Connell said the team's struggles early in the game were a product of the Nighthawks not playing their game, together, initially.

"All the little things started to go our way because we became one again," O'Connell said. "When we play as a team we can compete with anybody."

Newtown lost 43-29 at Norwich Free Academy on January 27. NFA improved to 11-2 overall.

"They were super physical and it took us a while to adapt," O'Connell said.

The Nighthawks were limited to just one field goal, a Murphy 3-pointer, and four points in the opening stanza against NFA. Smith finished with eight points to lead the Hawks.

After the bounce back against Brookfield, the Hawks stand at 10-3 overall.

Allie Bradley looks to move the ball despite pressure from the Brookfield defense during Newtown's 72-27 win on January 28. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Rebecca Alicea drives with the ball during Newtown's game against Notre Dame.
Amy Sapenter takes a 3-pointer as NHS Coach Jeremy O'Connell and the Nighthawk bench look on.
Amy Sapenter, left, and Juliette Cryder go for a rebound against the Lancers.
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