‘Hounds, Hawks tip off the season

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The girls ushered in the high school winter sports season last week as the Naugatuck Valley League basketball season got underway.

Woodland split the first two games to start the season.

In the season-opener on Dec. 10, the Hawks earned a 39-22 win over Wolcott on the road. Junior Jill Barbarito and freshman Andra Bojka carried the Hawks’ offense as each had 15 points.

Sophomore Ava DeLucia (2 points) had six blocks to lead the Hawks’ (1-1) defense, which held the Eagles (0-2) to just six points in the second half.

“I was very happy with our defensive effort,” Woodland head coach Jess Moffo said. “It’s a rebuilding year, we only have one senior, but the players are working hard. We have a very talented freshman class and they are starting to feel more comfortable.”

The Hawks fell to St. Paul, 52-25, on Dec. 13.

Woodland trailed the Falcons (2-0) 15-14 after the first quarter, but St. Paul outscored the Hawks 37-11 the rest of the way. Jillian Barbarito scored nine for Woodland.

Woodland is scheduled to play Watertown on Tuesday. The Hawks will close out the week at home against Holy Cross on Friday.

Naugy opens with title game rematch: The Greyhounds opened the season Dec. 11 against Sacred Heart in a rematch of last year’s NVL championship game.

Naugatuck battled against the defending NVL champion Hearts for three quarters and trailed 34-31 with seven minutes remaining before Sacred Heart pulled away for a 51-33 win.

Hailey Deitelbaum (6 points) cut a five-point deficit to three with a basket to open the fourth quarter, but that was the final basket for the Greyhounds as the Hearts, who leaned on their height advantage in the paint, went on a 17-point run to close out the game.

The final score doesn’t always tell the whole story, and for a better part of three quarters the Greyhounds showed they can compete with the best of them.

“I think as a team we showed a lot of potential,” Naugy head coach Gail Cheney said. “We just couldn’t get our shots to fall in that last quarter. We have a decent amount of players who can all contribute.”

The Greyhounds had a balanced attack on offense as five players — Brielle Behuniak, Sarah Wisniewski, Alissa McNeil, Alyssa Roberts and Kaylee Jackson — scored five points.

“I’m not upset at all by the final outcome,” Cheney said after the game. “We showed for a better part of this game that we can compete with a team like Sacred Heart. I think at the end we were trying to do too much and putting a lot of pressure on ourselves.”

Naugatuck bounced back with a 51-36 win over Oxford. Wisniewski led the Greyhounds (1-1) with 10 points. Mia Rotatori had nine points, and Behuniak and Jackson each had seven.

Naugatuck will play Waterbury Career on Tuesday and host Derby on Friday.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from the article published in the Dec. 20, 2018 edition of the Citizen’s News to include information on games played after press time.