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Girls’ Basketball Team Hopeful Tough Games Prove Helpful Come Playoff Time



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A challenging stretch of contests to close out the regular season may put a couple bumps in the team’s winning momentum, but Newtown High School’s girls’ basketball squad is hopeful these tough tilts will pay dividends in the postseason.

Rolling through late-season competition has hurt the Nighthawks with early-round South-West Conference Tournament exits in recent seasons, Coach Jeremy O’Connell noted. “I’m hoping this has the reverse effect and gets us ready for playoff basketball.”

O’Connell’s Nighthawks, beginning with a setback to defending conference champ New Milford, closes out the regular slate with seven straight games, all of which stand to at least be competitive given the records of and Newtown’s history with the competition.

The Nighthawks bounced back from the New Milford game with victories over competitive Stratford and Joel Barlow of Redding lineups then lost only their third game of the year in a 54-32 setback to visiting Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport on February 1. The Nighthawks shot the ball poorly and let a tight game early turn lopsided by halftime.

They rebounded with a hard-fought 31-27 win at New Fairfield on February 5. Newtown limited the opposition to a point total reminiscent to one that could commonly be found in the pre-shot-clock era.

“Our team defense was phenomenal,” said O’Connell, adding that Ava Rochester played unreal defense on New Fairfield’s All State standout player. The Hawks held the Rebels 11 points below their previous low game total this winter.

Izzy Caron led the Hawks with 21 points, scoring 18 of those on six 3-pointers, and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Newtown, after hosting a strong Masuk of Monroe team on Thursday at 6 pm, will conclude the regular season with a visit to always-tough Pomperaug of Southbury on Tuesday, February 13 at 7 pm.

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

Addy Cordova goes up for a contested shot during Newtown’s game against Kolbe Cathedral on February 1. —Bee Photos, Hutchison
Ava Rochester looks to make a move on a defender.
Sam Diaspro dribbles up court as Jenna Lagan gets into position.
Mo Murphy moves with the ball to break a full-court press.
Izzy Caron sets up the offense.
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