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Newtown High School Week In Review



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Newtown High School Week In Review

By Kim J. Harmon

If too much excitement is hazardous to the health, then there are a lot of sick people lying abed in Newtown.

With the South-West Conference girls’ soccer semi-final game between Immaculate and Newtown High Schools coming down to the final 13 seconds and with the field hockey team playing three consecutive overtime games (two of those in the SWC tournament), plenty of people must be having heart palpitations.

Perhaps the most exciting game of the week – if not the season – was the field hockey team’s 2-1 triple-overtime win over Masuk in the SWC quarterfinals last Saturday. But the 3-2 overtime loss to New Milford in the SWC semi-finals on Tuesday night in Danbury surely ranked a close second.

But while the two most exciting moments of the week both ended with Newtown losing out on a bid for a conference championship, the boys’ soccer team set itself up for a run at an SWC title with a convincing 3-1 win over Masuk on Monday at Blue & Gold Stadium.

There was a lot of excitement last week and there’s a lot more to come.


Newtown 1, Brookfield 0; Newtown 2, Masuk 1

The most wins in school history, the most goals in school history, and a player with the most goals in a single season – the Newtown High School field hockey team had an awful lot to hang its collective hat on in this amazing season but on Tuesday night wanted to take it another step with the biggest win in school history.

Alas, in their first-ever trip into the South-West Conference tournament the Lady Nighthawks were stopped by New Milford, 3-2, in an incredible overtime thriller that was decided in the final second of the extra session.

Christina Gioia fired a ball past Newtown goaltender Alissa Gross with mere tenths-of-a-second left on the clock to lift the Green Wave to a come-from-behind win and set up a date with Pomperaug in the SWC championship game.

“I see some of them crying,” said head coach Kathy Davey, “but I don’t know why – they played an amazing game.”

The ‘Hawks – who had been beaten by the Wave by scores of 5-1 and 4-0 during the regular season – took a 1-0 lead with 21:29 left in the first half when Meg Regnery ripped a nice scoop shot into the net past New Milford goaltender Ashley Hinz.

That fired up the ‘Hawks and about six minutes later Rita Magliocco took the opportunity to notch her first goal of the season – first corralling a hard cross by Regnery and then going low to sideswipe a ball into the cage.

No one could have expected it, but there it was – Newtown 2, New Milford 0.

“We gave them a fight,” said co-captain Amanda Shevlin. “We came out strong and they were caught a little flat-footed. Our keeper had an amazing game; she was the anchor of the team tonight.”

Gross was credited with 15 saves, but it was a play she made in overtime which had the potential to be the biggest play of the season. On a hard through ball up the middle, it appeared as if New Milford would have a breakaway but Gross ranged far out of the circle to kick the ball up and nearly started a fast break going the other way.

The ‘Hawks held on to the 2-0 lead at halftime and – quite unlike a team that has never been in that situation before – calmly discussed the game plan for the second half.

“We wanted to keep things settled down and keep playing our passing game,” said Shevlin.

But the ‘Hawks couldn’t keep the Wave at bay. With 21:36 left in the second half, Megan Montiero took a feed from Lynda Pearl off a penalty corner and put New Milford on the board. Nine minutes later Caitlyn Duggan notched the equalizer off another penalty corner.

The game could have been decided in regulation, but a hard smash by New Milford clanged hard off the left post of the cage.

That set the stage for the 10-minute, seven-on-seven overtime session. The two teams battled and both came close to putting a ball in the cage, but the game remained undecided until the Green Wave intercepted an attempted clear at midfield with just 12 seconds left and brought the ball all the way down the field so Gioia could win it with her blistering shot.

It was an epic game – the third epic game in a row for the ‘Hawks.

In the regular season finale last week, the ‘Hawks defeated Brookfield, 1-0, in overtime to secure the No. 3 seed and a couple days later defeated Masuk, 2-1, in three overtimes to advance to the semi-finals.

In the win over Brookfield, it was a Cat Williams goal (she has a team-record 12) off a Lisa Alberico assist that decided it in the extra session.

“When I saw Lisa flying down the field I thought she was going to take it all the way,” said Williams, “but then the pass came to me (for the shot). I think we had an idea we could be this good and everyone wanted to get into the SWCs. That was our goal.”

And in the win over Masuk, it was a Regnery goal off a penalty corner that decided it in the third overtime. Shevlin had scored a first-half goal off an assist from Christie Caruso to put the ‘Hawks on top, 1-0, but the Pantherettes tied the game in the second on a goal by Kelly Caulfield.

With the loss to New Milford, the ‘Hawks dropped to 10-6-0-2 and await the first round of the CIAC Class LL state tournament, which opens next week.

Regular season –

Newtown 1, Brookfield 0

GOALS: Newtown – Cat Williams. ASSISTS: Newtown – Lisa Alberico. SHOTS: Newtown – 11; Brookfield – 15. SAVES: Newtown – Alissa Gross 9; Brookfield – Ashley Castellano 9. PENALTY CORNERS: Newtown – 5; Brookfield – 5.

Playoffs –

Newtown 2, Masuk 1 (3 OT)

GOALS: Newtown – Amanda Shevlin, Meg Regnery; Masuk – Kelly Caulfield. ASSISTS: Newtown – Christie Caruso.

New Milford 3, Newtown 2 (OT)

GOALS: Newtown – Meg Regnery, Rita Magliocco; New Milford – Megan Montiero, Caitlin Duggan, Christina Gioia. ASSISTS: New Milford – Lynda Pearl. SHOTS: Newtown – 3; New Milford – 18. SAVES: Newtown – Alissa Gross 15; New Milford – Ashley Hinz 4. PENALTY CORNERS: Newtown – 3; New Milford – 16.


Newtown 2, Joel Barlow 0; Newtown 4, Weston 0; Newtown 3, Masuk 1

The last time the Newtown High School boys soccer team battled Masuk for the South-West Conference championship – just last year, by the way – striker Marcus Tracy, hobbling on one good leg, could only make a token appearance as the Nighthawks went on to suffer a disappointing, 1-0, loss.

But on Monday night in the 2004 SWC semi-finals, Tracy was at full strength and he made up for last year with an amazing, three-goal effort that lifted the ‘Hawks to a convincing, 3-1, win and earned them a return engagement against Joel Barlow in the conference championship on Thursday night.

A little over two weeks ago, the 16-1 ‘Hawks suffered their only loss of the season against Masuk but if there was any trepidation over that fact, it did not show.

“Masuk had to be motivated to face us again,” said head coach Brian Neumeyer, “and we had to be ready for that. Conditions are more suitable for us on this pitch and we had already beaten them once, so there shouldn’t have been any lack of confidence.”

Tracy notched his first goal at the 33:02 mark of the first half, taking a ball down to the end line before sliding a couple of steps off the line and drilling a left-footed shot to the far post. He scored again just 10 minutes later, grabbing a through ball from Tony Magliocco and battling two defenders for 20 yards before rolling a shot into the net to give Newtown a 2-0 lead.

With 10 minutes left in the first half, Terry Stroz put Masuk on the board with a shot coming off a rebound on a nice save by goaltender Adam Drummond. But the Panthers could do little to mount an offensive threat against the ‘Hawks, who were got some strong defensive games from Marc Doherty and Alex Meisel.

Then with 25:38 left in the game, Tracy put the final emphasis on the win with a beautiful header goal.

Like he has done so many times in the past, Brian Miles – on an indirect kick – punched a long ball from 25 yards out right to the center of the box and on to the head of Tracy, who drilled the shot high off the hands of Masuk goaltender Thomas Thibodeau.

“It’s been six years serving the ball to him,” said Miles, “and I guess I’m just seeing the gaps where he’s going to be.”

The ‘Hawks reached the semi-finals with a convincing 4-0 win over Weston last week at Blue & Gold Stadium. Doherty, Tracy, Ben Tirigall and Chris Hoagland all scored by Tracy, Tirigall, Doherty and Ryan Davies provided assists.

The ‘Hawks earned the No. 1 seed with a 2-0 win over Joel Barlow on the final regular season game last Wednesday. Rodrigo DeSouza and Tracy both scored while Tirigall and DeSouza notched assists.

The CIAC Class LL state tournament opens next week and the ‘Hawks – with an eye on winning a state championship – will host a second-round game on Wednesday, November 10, at Blue & Gold Stadium.

Regular season –

Newtown 2, Joel Barlow 0

GOALS: Newtown – Rodrigo DeSouza, Marcus Tracy. ASSISTS: Newtown – Ben Tirigall, Rodrigo DeSouza. SHOTS: Newtown – 13; Joel Barlow – 7. SAVES: Newtown – Adam Drummond 3; Joel Barlow – Eric Cushman 2.

Playoffs –

Newtown 4, Weston 0

GOALS: Newtown – Marc Doherty, Marcus Tracy, Ben Tirigall, Chris Hoagland. ASSISTS: Newtown – Marcus Tracy, Ben Tirigall, Marc Doherty, Ryan Davies. SHOTS: Newtown – 24; Weston – 6. SAVES: Newtown – Adam Drummond 1 and Louis Ritzinger 1; Weston – Mark Shaw 2 and Jared Shaner 4.

Newtown 3, Masuk 1

GOALS: Newtown – Marcus Tracy 3; Masuk – Terry Stroz. ASSISTS: Newtown – Tony Magliocco, Brian Miles. SHOTS: Newtown – 15; Masuk – 10. SAVES: Newtown – Adam Drummond 4; Masuk – Thomas Thibodeau 4.


Joel Barlow 2, Newtown 1; Newtown 4, Pomperaug 0; Immaculate 2, Newtown 1

A miracle goal or a handball?

That question was hotly debated just moments after the Newtown High School girls’ soccer team was stunned by Immaculate, 2-1, in the semi-finals of the South-West Conference tournament on Monday night in Monroe.

With 13 seconds left in the second half and the Lady Nighthawks down by one, junior co-captain Casey Frobey appeared to have knocked a ball past Immaculate goaltender Nikki Weiss for the equalizer and an almost certain trip to overtime.

But the officials waved off the goal, citing a handball infraction on Frobey.

It was the last gasp and the last shot the ‘Hawks had in a game that saw them – after dominating Immaculate twice during the regular season – exhibiting almost none of the offensive ferocity or tenacity that allowed them to outscore their opponents 64-10 while amassing 14 wins (nine in a row to start the season).

“We weren’t doing anything and it was so aggravating,” said Frobey. “We had beaten them twice and knew we could beat them, but we were so flat. We just didn’t show up.”

Head coach Rupert de los Reyes, who leads a team with 14 freshmen and sophomores (several of which started), added, “There is a lot to be said for playoff experience.”

The ‘Hawks opened the 2004 season with a very convincing 5-1 win over the Mustangs back on September 20 at Blue & Gold Stadium and added a 2-1 win over the Mustangs in Danbury on October 26. But if that made the Mustangs tentative, they sure didn’t show it as Lindsay Brown and Nicki Baker put their team ahead, 2-0, with first-half goals at 20:36 and :54.

The ‘Hawks had a lot of trouble trying to maintain their ball control offense on a hardscrabble Masuk High School field and appeared destined to be shut out before Mary Anders drilled a free kick into the net with 5:51 left to play.

That goal got the Newtown crowd into the game and seemed to jack up the emotion of the ‘Hawks …

“Things were moving in slow motion and I don’t think we knew what we were doing all game,” said Frobey, “but that goal woke us up.”

… but there wasn’t enough time.

The ‘Hawks reached the semi-finals with a solid, 4-0, win over Pomperaug in the quarterfinals at Blue & Gold Stadium last week. Tara Gaston notched two goals while Frobey had a goal and three assists. Alex Konneker added a goal and Gabby Nastri contributed an assist.

The CIAC Class LL state tournament opens next week, but with the ‘Hawks earning a first-round bye they will host a second-round game (opponent and time to be determined) on Thursday, November 10, at Blue & Gold Stadium.

“I definitely think we’re going to rally off this,” said Frobey. “We have to realize we have to come out strong right away and not be a 10-minute team. We have to do something to pump ourselves up right away.”

Regular season –

Joel Barlow 2, Newtown 1

GOALS: Newtown – Casey Frobey; Joel Barlow – Charlotte Silverman, Becca Dellenbaugh. ASSISTS: Joel Barlow – Charlotte Silverman, Sara Cram. SAVES: Newtown – Ashley LaRocque 7; Joel Barlow – Laurel Peak 6.

Playoffs –

Newtown 4, Pomperaug 0

GOALS: Newtown – Tara Gaston 2, Casey Frobey, Alex Konneker. ASSISTS: Newtown – Casey Frobey 3, Gabby Nastri. SHOTS: Newtown – 13; Pomperaug – 4. SAVES: Newtown – Ashley LaRocque 2; Pomperaug – Carli Phillips 6.

Immaculate 2, Newtown 1

GOALS: Newtown – Mary Anders; Immaculate – Lindsay Brown, Nicki Baker. ASSISTS: Immaculate – Nicki Baker. SHOTS: Newtown – 17; Immaculate – 11. SAVES: Newtown – Ashley LaRocque 10; Immaculate – Nikki Weiss 13.


Newtown 3, New Milford 0; Masuk 3, Newtown 1

Even though some expectations had been kind of low at the beginning of the season, the Newtown High School volleyball team set out to prove a lot of people wrong and won nine of its first 11 matches – including a 3-1 decision over Masuk back in September.

But the Lady Nighthawks stumbled over the latter half of the season, losing four of their next six matches and seeing their South-West Conference season come to an end last Saturday with a 3-1 loss to Masuk in the quarterfinals.

The ‘Hawks fell to 11-6 and await the start of the CIAC Class LL state tournament, which opens next week.

The loss to Masuk was the second in two weeks for the ‘Hawks, with the first – a 3-2 decision on October 18 – starting the slide. The ‘Hawks then lost to Bethel (3-2) before sweeping Kolbe Cathedral (3-0). A loss to Weston (3-0) and a win over New Milford (3-0) concluded the regular season.

The ‘Hawks are currently ranked 11th in Class LL with Bunnell (18-0) and Southington (18-0) taking up the top two spots. Amity (17-1), South Windsor (17-1), Westhill (17-1), Trumbull (16-2), Bristol Eastern (15-3) and Hall of West Hartford (15-3) take up the next six spots in a very tough division.


Preparing for SWCs

With a second consecutive undefeated dual meet season to its credit, the Newtown High School swim team has been preparing for the South-West Conference championships at Masuk High School in Monroe.

Diving was held Wednesday with swimming slated for Saturday.

A year ago, the Lady Nighthawks finished undefeated at 12-0 with a thrilling regular-season win over Lauralton Hall, but the Lady Crusaders turned the tables at the SWC meet. But the ‘Hawks have one of their deepest teams ever and are looking to capture that banner for their wall.

Head coach Mary Atkinson has no shortage of options in any of the nine individual events as several girls (sometimes as many as 19) have qualified in each event. While swimmers like defending SWC 200 individual medley champ Abby Atkinson, Amy Robinson, Maggie Hemingway, Maricate Conlon, Sally Tabler and divers Melissa Metzger, Kim Mayers, Shannon Kennedy and Tierney Carey will lead the way, there are many more who will score points for the ‘Hawks on Saturday.

Top SWC qualifers (* indicates also a state qualifier) –

50 freestyle (27.60 to qualify for states, 31.00 to qualify for SWCs) – A. Atkinson*, Robinson*, Van Waalwijk*, M. Hemingway*, Conlon*, Gugino*, Tabler, Kotwicki, E. Atkinson, Hull, Taylor, Smith, Iassogna, Yakush, Hoolehan, L. Remitz, Gutbrod, Ball Moffat; 100 freestyle (1:00.60, 1:05.50) – Robinson*, M. Hemingway*, Conlon*, Van Waalwijk*, Gugino*, Tabler*, A. Atkinson, Iassogna, E. Atkinson, Smith, L. Remitz, Hull, Kotwicki, Taylor; 200 freestyle (2:12.00, 2:24.00) – H. Hemingway*, A. Atkinson*, Tabler*, Conlon*, Iassogna*, Van Waalwijk, Gugino, Taylor, Harmonay, Robinson, J. Remitz; 500 freestyle (6:00.00, 6:30.00) – A. Atkinson*, Conlon*, Tabler*, Iassogna*, Harmonay, Robinson, Gugino, L. Remitz, Kotwicki; 100 backstroke (1:10.40, 1:17.00) – Conlon*, Smith*, Gugino, Iassogna, Gutbrod, S. Hemingway, Harmonay; 100 breaststroke (1:18.10, 1:24.00) – A. Atkinson*, H. Hemingway*, E. Atkinson*, J. Remitz*; 100 butterfly (1:08.30, 1:18.00) – Conlon*, Tabler*, Smith*, Taylor*, Robinson, Van waalwijk, Harmonay; 200 individual medley (2:32.20, 2:45.00) – A. Atkinson*, Gugino*, Tabler*, Conlon*, E. Atkinson*, Robinson, L. Remitz, Taylor, Gutbrod, Harmonay; Diving (150 points, 125 points) – Metzger*, Mayers*, Kennedy*, Carey*, Borruso*.


CIAC Class LL championships

While the Newtown High School boys’ cross country team proved it had gained at least a step or two on New Milford with a strong performance at the South-West Conference championships last month, it proved it had gained quite a few steps on the rest of the state with its performance at the CIAC Class LL championships last weekend at Wickham Park in Manchester.

New Milford claimed the state championship with a narrow win over Norwich Free Academy, but the Nighthawks were right there to claim third place … just three points ahead of Xavier of Middletown and well ahead of Manchester.

“We had a great day on Saturday,” said head coach Dave Foss. “Class LL is the most difficult class with two of the top three teams in the state going in and two or three other ranked teams. The guys ran really well, particularly Eric MacKnight who came in second for the team just behind Alister (Ratcliff) and Pete Dittmar, who continues to get back from the quad injury, ran well too.”

Ratcliff was the top Newtown finisher, coming in 16th overall at 17:03 – less than a minute behind Philip Mitchell of Glastonbury. MacKnight was 18th overall at 17:05 and Dittmar was 25th overall at 17:20 while Charlie Baldour was 37th overall at 17:30.

Scott Nichols (39th, 17:33), Jay Schunter (43rd, 17:36) and Chris DeRoo (85th, 18:35) all finished in the top 100.

The ‘Hawks qualified for the CIAC State Open, slated for Friday at 2:15 pm.

“We have the eighth- or ninth-best team time going in,” said coach Foss, “which should get us back into the top ten in the coaches’ poll. As of Friday, the top six teams make New Englands – which has been our goal the whole season. We will have to run well and even then it will be a dog fight. I think the guys are primed and ready.”

TEAM SCORES: 1. New Milford 49; 2. Norwich Free Academy 59; 3. Newtown 135; 4. Xavier 138; 5. Manchester 164; 6. Shelton 168; 7. Glastonbury 184; 8. Amity 189; 9. Southington 241; 10. Danbury 243; 11. Simsbury 275; 12. Trumbull 364; 13. Fairfield Prep 367; 14. Hamden 429; 15. Naugatuck 434; 16t. Norwalk 505; 16t. West Haven 505; 18. Greenwich 512; 19. East Hartford 535; 20. Wilbur Cross 604; 21. Westhill 638; 22. New Britain 681; 23. Stamford 682; 24. Bulkeley 708. 

INDIVIDUALS: 1. Philip Mitchell, Glastonbury, 16:10; 2. William Edgington, Manchester, 16:30; 3. Nicholas DeCrescenzo, New Milford, 16:33; 4. David Hunt, New Milford, 16:38; 5. Phillip Padilla, Shelton, 16:40; 6. Joshua Robertson, Norwich Free Academy, 16:41; 7. Dan Hodson, Fairfield Prep, 16:47; 8. Matthew Cardin, Norwich Free Academy, 16:50; 9. Christopher Zablock, Xavier, 16:50; 10. Adam Vess, Xavier, 16:53; 12. Anthony Vento, New Milford, 16:55; 13. Patrick Viklund, New Milford, 16:58; 16. Alister Ratcliff, Newtown, 17:03; 17. Michael DeCrescenzo, New Milford, 17:03; 18. Eric Macknight, Newtown, 17:05; 22. Anthony Socotch, New Milford, 17:16; 25. Peter Dittmar, Newtown, 17:20; 30. Matt Terry, Danbury, 17:24; 35. Andrew Schlemmer, Danbury, 17:28; 37. Charlie Baldour, Newtown, 17:30; 39. Scott Nichols, Newtown, 17:33; 43. Jay Schunter, Newtown, 17:36; 44. John Reilly, New Milford, 17:38; 56. Gregg Ruopp, Danbury, 17:56; 59. Brendan Rickert, Danbury, 17:57; 63. Brady Becker, Danbury, 18:03; 70. Tyler Howe, Danbury, 18:18; 85. Chris Deroo, Newtown, 18:35; 92. Andrew Freitas, Danbury, 18:47.


CIAC Class LL championships

Fresh off its third consecutive South-West Conference championship, the Newtown High School girls’ cross country team finished seventh overall at the CIAC Class LL state championships at Wickham Park in Manchester.

Glastonbury captured the title with a mere 40 points. East Hartford came in second at 93 while Amity Regional came in third at 116. The Lady Nighthawks tallied 195 points, just one points out of sixth place (occupied by William Hall of West Hartford).

“It wasn’t the day we all wanted, but you’ve gotta go with what you get,” said head coach Doug Russell. “Coming in seventh in LL – only one point away from sixth – is a pretty good showing considering we were going up against 21 other teams and I do believe the competition is pretty tough at that level. I thought we may be able to qualify as a team based on time, but we were one minute and three seconds over the 88 minutes required.”

Sadie Ball was the top Newtown finisher, coming in 18th overall at 17:14.27 – almost two minutes behind Kristin Mitchell of Glastonbury, who set the pace at 15:32.

Moira Collier was 32nd overall at 17:35 while Elise DeRoo was 34th at 17:38 and Michelle Brennan was 38th at 17:44. Kate Stickles (73rd, 18:52), Lindsay Weber (92nd, 19:31) and Carolyn Gingras (93rd, 19:32) all finished in the top 100.

“The girls ran a good race but just came up a bit short,” said coach Russell. “Wickham is a tough course and with the weather not being the best, that may have had an impact on our performance. I am very proud of the girls and they had an incredible year.”

But it’s not quite over. With her 17:14.27 finish, Ball qualified for the CIAC State Opens.

“Sadie has had a very good year and she is a very hard worker,” said coach Russell. “She always wants to do more. Her knowledge of the sport and her abilities are incredible. She and Kara Fisher (of New Milford) will be sharing a box on Friday and hopefully they can both run a great race and qualify for New Englands.”

TEAMS: 1. Glastonbury 40; 2. East Hartford 93; 3. Amity 116; 4. Norwich Free Academy 144; 5. Manchester 173; 6. Hall 194; 7. Newtown 195; 8. Danbury 216; 9. Cheshire 256; 10. Trumbull 269; 11. Fairfield Warde 308; 12. Naugatuck 320; 13. Greenwich 321; 14. Hamden 330; 15. Southington 369; 16. Shelton 421; 17. New Britain 451; 18. Wilbur Cross 521; 19. Westhill 554; 20. Stamford 614; 21. West Haven 618; 22. Norwalk 619.

INDIVIDUALS: 1. Kristin Mitchell, Glastonbury, 15:32; 2. Sonia Haerizadeh, Amity, 15:49; 3. Kelsey LeBuffe, Hall, 15:56; 4. Jamie Olson, Glastonbury, 16:21; 5. Ellen Dobbin, East Hartford, 16:28; 6. Justice Bowser, New Britain, 16:46; 7. Joy Osahon, East Hartford, 16:48; 8. Stephany Sabio, Danbury, 16:50; 9. Pamela Karkut, Shelton, 16:50; 10. Emily Harris, Glastonbury, 16:55; 18. Sadie Ball, Newtown, 17:14; 27. Molly Kluge, Danbury, 17:29; 32. Moira Collier, Newtown, 17:35; 34. Elise Deroo, Newtown, 17:38; 38. Michelle Brennan, Newtown, 17:44; 41. Brianna English, Danbury, 17:49; 51. Jasmine VanWattum, Danbury, 18:14; 73. Kate Stickles, Newtown, 18:52; 89. Grace Shih, Danbury, 19:24; 92. Lindsay Weber, Newtown, 19:31; 93. Carolyn Gingras, Newtown, 19:32; 112. Katherine Jugular, Danbury, 20:30; 140. Emily DeMasi, Danbury, 23:35.


Bullard Havens was supposed to be hosting Newtown for its traditional Homecoming Game last Saturday, but someone forgot to remind the referees to attend.

After the Newtown High School football team traveled all the way to Bridgeport, the absence of officials forced the postponement of the game. It has been rescheduled for Friday, November 19, in Newtown.

That’s usually an off week for all South-West Conference teams, except those playing in the championship game.

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