Hounds girls clinch state tourney berth

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls’ basketball team made senior night extra special Friday by qualifying for the Class L state tournament with a 54-33 win over Wolcott in the last game of the regular season. It was a special night for the Greyhounds’ six seniors, who played the final home game of their careers and turned it into a momentous occasion. Naugatuck, 7-12 entering the contest, needed one more victory to extend its season and fought off an early deficit to come away with the W.

24-0 run powers Ansonia past WRHS

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BEACON FALLS — The Woodland Hawks came into Tuesday’s battle with Ansonia with all the incentive they needed. Only two wins separate the Black and Gold from their goal of extending the season into the state tournament. Woodland lost an earlier Brass Division contest to the Chargers by a slim, 64-57 margin so there was no reason to believe this one wouldn’t go down to the wire. Apparently, Ansonia didn’t get the memo; it led by as many as 20 and went on to win, 81-73. The Chargers (10-6) have been red hot, winning 9 of their last 11 games and are poised to battle Seymour next Tuesday with the Brass Division hanging in the balance.

Alfiere, Framski not enough in Hawks loss

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BEACON FALLS — This season has been all about trying to get over the hump for the Woodland girls’ basketball squad. The Hawks have been near the top of the Naugatuck Valley League, but haven’t been able to overcome the league’s best and have suffered a few letdowns along the way. The Black and Gold had another chance to get over that hump last Friday against Holy Cross. But Woodland squandered a halftime lead and double-doubles by both Katie Alfiere and Heather Framski en route to a 58-50 loss to the Crusaders in Beacon Falls. Hanging onto a 30-29 lead at halftime, the Hawks went back and forth with Holy Cross throughout the first 2 ½ minutes of the third quarter before the Green and Gold went on a 7-2 run to open up a 42-36 lead—their largest edge to that point—with 2:55 remaining in the third. Woodland closed the gap to 42-40 with 1:26 left in the period, but Cross responded by outscoring the Hawks, 13-6, from that point until the 3:25 mark of the fourth to seal the win.

NVL tourney hoops schedules unveiled

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Skeleton Naugatuck Valley League basketball tournament schedules were unveiled Monday. Holy Cross High School will host first-round girls’ games Feb. 20; Kennedy High will...

Greyhounds can’t quite catch Cats

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NAUGATUCK — The Greyhounds have struggled this season trying to run and gun with the best of the Naugatuck Valley League. They changed their tactic Friday and came out against Seymour with a defensive presence that knocked the Cats off their game. But while working to keep Seymour in check, the Hounds lost a little bit of their own offensive oomph and came up on the short end of a 54-42 final. “Our goal wasn’t to go out there and slow down the pace of the game,” Naugatuck head coach Kevin Wesche said. “We did want to limit them to one look at the basket and pick it up on the other end. For whatever reason, that didn’t happen the way we had planned it. Seymour did a good job of working the ball around, and they were very patient. We really had no answer for Kyle Moran, especially in the final period.”

Rountree leads Woodland romp in Derby

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DERBY — Woodland boys’ basketball head coach Tom Hunt said before the season that junior Yahmad Rountree would make a huge difference when he returned to the lineup. Hunt wasn’t kidding. Rountree, in just his second game of the season, poured in a game- and career-high 28 points in a 72-56 rout of Derby Tuesday night. Twenty-two of Rountree’s 28 points came in the second half, helping the Hawks pull away from the Red Raiders, who stuck around until midway through the third quarter. Derby crept to within three at 30-27 with 5 ½ minutes left in the third, but Woodland put together an 8-0 run, started by an impressive fast-break dunk by Rountree, to gain a 38-27 lead that would never shrink to less than eight the rest of the way.

Naugy boys oh so close against Wilby

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NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck boys’ basketball team held the lead against Wilby until the 3:06 mark of the third period before the Wildcats went on to close out a 75-64 win over the Greyhounds Tuesday. Matt Zahornasky and Kyle Krupa were saddled with four fouls each, and Wilby began to exploit the lane, a move that led to the turnaround. Lemar Larson led the Wildcats with 20 points, and he had a lot of help from Terron Robinson and Landen Manning, who scored 15 points apiece, as Wilby racked up 22 points in the third period and 23 points in the final stanza to pull away the win.

Early spurt paces Cross over Naugy

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NAUGATUCK — After staking a modest, 8-3 lead midway through the first quarter, Holy Cross exploded on a 20-2 run to provide itself all the cushion it would need in a 57-35 win over Naugatuck Friday. Devon Diliberto led all scorers with 15 points, nine of which came from behind the arc. The Crusaders (14-2) hit eight three-pointers as a team while holding the Greyhounds (7-9) to only two. Naugy’s Jessica Webber, the Naugatuck Valley League’s third-leading scorer, managed just 13 points and rarely found room to operate, especially near the basket. She was limited to three field goals for the evening, collecting seven of her baker’s dozen at the free throw line.

Woodland All-Decade Boys’ Basketball

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Team of the decade: 2005 Best record in school history (14-9); reached Division III quarterfinal (WRHS best) Player of the decade: Tom Little All-Suburban Second Team (2005);...

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