(Newtown CT) Jana Migliaro (24 points) and Mali Klorczyk (26 points) put on quite a show.
In the end it was Mali’s Newtown Nighthawks defeating Jana’s Masuk Panthers, 59-52, in a non-league girls’ game on Tuesday night.
Newtown (4-1) took the lead for good in the second quarter on a three by junior Haley Ryan.
Mali Klorczyk drained three 3’s in the third period to raise the N’Town advantage to thirteen but Masuk (1-3) rallied back. Seven unanswered points to start the final quarter had the Panthers one shot away at 39-36 with six minutes to play.
Newtown, however, answered immediately with seven straight points featuring Mali Klorczyk’s fifth 3-pointer and pushed the Hawks’ lead back into the ten-point comfort zone.
The pace was hectic throughout. In the first half the pace troubled both teams as there were missed shots and turnovers galore. The teams combined for fifteen turnovers in the first quarter alone.
Newtown led, 19-16, at the half.
The Hawks put Masuk in some serious trouble in the third quarter with eleven straight points in a two-minute segment. Mali Klorczyk converted a rebound and nailed two straight three’s during the breakaway run. Mali ended up with thirteen points in the quarter.
Senior Jana Migliaro did her best for Masuk to keep the Panthers in the game. She made three’s, drives, and free throws while every Hawk seemed to take a try at containing her. She drove fearlessly and ended up making twelve free throws.
I was impressed with the Newtown passing in the second half. With Masuk trapping the ball, there were openings to be found in close with consecutive passes. Lauren Wilcox (16 points) cashed in from in close seven different times.
The basketball games I see (in Massachusetts) are played with a shot clock. Without that clock, teams have to be able to pressure an opponent and be able to handle pressure. A coach where a shot clock is used (Massachusetts) can hide players on offense or defense but not in Connecticut.
I liked the idea of having team captains (Sarah Lynch and Jenny Skoog) recite the crowd conduct requirements before the game.
Kelly Merrick went out in the third quarter with a leg injury.
Newtown was 10-11 last year after winning the state championship in 2012. This year’s team has one senior (Sarah Lynch). The 2014-15 Hawks could be headed for some good things in the post-season if tonight’s combo of speed, passing, defense, and 3-point shooting gets perfected.
Underwhelming foul shooting by both teams. Newtown was 9-for-21 while Masuk was 15-for-26. My theory on poor foul shooting is that players practice 3-point shooting a lot more than free throw shooting.
I continue to be surprised by the number of baskets scored on inbounds plays.
Next game for Masuk is hosting Bethel on Saturday at 7PM.
Newtown returns to action on January 3rd on the road at Saddle River School in New Jersey.
Newtown 6 13 20 20 59
Masuk 11 5 13 23 52
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably.)