Boys’ Cagers Rebound From Loss To Kolbe With Win Over Rebels
Newtown High School’s boys’ basketball team built a big lead and fended off a hard-working New Fairfield team for a 68-60 win at home on February 18. The Nighthawks bounced back from a 59-42 loss at Kolbe Cathedral of Bridgeport on February 14 and are in a handful of teams battling it out for one of the top spots and a first-round home game in the upcoming South-West Conference tournament.
“We didn’t match well with Kolbe in some spots. They played really well against us,” said Newtown Coach Tim Tallcouch, whose team has lost just three times in conference play, including a pair of contests that were down-to-the-wire clashes with top-seeded Immaculate of Danbury and Masuk of Monroe in the past couple of weeks.
The Nighthawks appeared to have the New Fairfield game in the bag by halftime, jumping out to a 24-7 lead after one quarter of play and establishing a 34-20 lead at the break.
Jack Kuligowski’s 3-pointer from the corner made it 42-26 early in the third but the Rebels battled back, slicing the deficit to single digits at 45-36 with 1:05 left in the third quarter behind the long-range shooting of Matt Langdon, who canned eight of his team’s ten 3-pointers, a trio of which came in the third.
Newtown had a little 3-point magic of its own as Tyson Mobley beat the third-quarter buzzer when he banked home a heave from just short of mid court, making it 48-36 Nighthawks.
The Hawks opened up a 14-point advantage early in the fourth. Jack Mulligan cut to the basket and took a pass from Riley Ward to score just seconds into the final stanza. Mulligan, soon thereafter, saved the ball from going out of bounds at the baseline, leading to his field goal despite a foul for a 50-36 lead. Kuligowski finished a fast break for a 56-40 lead.
New Fairfield went on a 12-2 run to get to 58-52 with 3:48 remaining. Newtown broke the full-court press and Isaiah Williams finished on three straight possessions for a 64-52 lead with 1:47 left. The Rebels were within six with possession and more than a half minute to play but couldn’t get any closer. Ward’s clutch free throw shooting, including front end one-and-one makes, and a couple of late shot blocks by Kuligowski helped the Nighthawks seal the win.
“Overall, it’s a great win. I think we played with good energy. When we ran, we played really well,” Tallcouch said of his team’s transition game success.
Ward and Kuligowski both finished with 17 points, Williams had 16, Mulligan 13, and Mobley five. Newtown was nine of 13 from the foul line.
Mulligan had six rebounds, Kuligowski had four rebounds, and Ward, Mobley, and Joe McCray each had a pair of steals.