Every time visiting Joel Barlow of Redding made a run in the second half, Newtown High School answered in a boys’ basketball clash, at NHS, on January 15.
The end result was another one in the win column for the Nighthawks, who improved to 9-0 (3-0 in the South-West Conference) with a 64-51 triumph over the Falcons.
Newtown led 16-14 after one quarter of play and 30-28 at the half.
It looked, early on in the third, as if the Hawks would seize control as they jumped out to a 42-30 lead with a 12-2 run to start the half.
But the Falcons answered with a 9-0 run to get to within 42-39 with two-plus minutes remaining in the quarter.
A Robert DiSibio free throw with 1:19 left in the stanza, followed by Tucker Garrity’s steal and end-to-end run to the hoop for two points with 1:01 to go, cooled off the Falcons.
DiSibio countered a Barlow 3-pointer with a 3-point play by making his shot and free throw with 36 seconds to go. That made it 48-42 Nighthawks at the end of three.
A quick Falcon 3-pointer in the fourth cut the lead in half, but Newtown put the game away with a 12-0 run fueled by strong defensive stands, including a Todd Petersen shot block and three consecutive defensive stands that ended with steals. NHS capitalized, in transition, following all of these stops.
Petersen blocked a shot and the ball ended up in the hands of Garrity who tossed a long pass to Jack Petersen for a layup and a 54-45 lead with 5:28 to go.
Garrity sandwiched a Todd Petersen takeaway with two of his own as the Hawks scored three more times, on hoops by Todd Petersen, DiSibio, and Riley Ward, in a span of just 36 seconds midway through the fourth.
“We could not really put them away for those three quarters,” said Newtown Coach, adding that he told his players to expect a battle from Barlow, led by coach Pat Yerina.
Barlow won the 50-50 ball battle, Tallcoach noted, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Falcons from slipping to 3-6 (1-2 in the SWC).
“Overall, what I’m most proud of is we never let them take a lead. We responded to every run they had with a run of our own,” Newtown’s coach said.
Tallcouch added that his team’s defense, which came up with a baker’s dozen steals and a handful of shot blocks, enabled the Hawks to extend their lead to overcome a tough foe.
“A very good win against a very well-coached team,” Tallcouch said.
DiSibio had 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists, a steal and a block; Garrity logged 16 points, five assists, three rebounds, and seven steals; Todd Petersen scored 13 to go along with 15 rebounds, two blocks, and a steal; Ward had ten points; and Jack Petersen dropped in five points and had two assists, four steals, and a pair of blocks.
The Hawks were coming off an 81-64 triumph at Pomperaug of Southbury on January 9 and a 66-37 win at Bethel two nights later.
Newtown puts its unbeaten ways on the line against visiting Notre Dame-Fairfield (6-4, 2-1) on Friday, January 18, beginning at 7 pm.
The Notre Dame Lancers, historically, are one of the better teams in the conference and have had success at the state level, including a run to last year’s Division I championship. NHS hasn’t beaten Notre Dame in four years, Tallcouch added.
“For a regular-season game, it’s a big game. I’d like to say it’s a measuring stick for us, for our program,” Tallcouch said. “Hopefully the place is jumping, it’s electric, and we feed off of that. It’s going to be a very, very, very good game in my opinion.”
Read more about Newtown's continued winning ways, including highlights of the victories over Pomperaug and Bethel, in the January 18 print edition of The Bee.