Challenge offers Greyhounds opportunity to improve

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NAUGATUCK — After stretching their win streak to seven, the road got much steeper for the Naugy girls when they traveled to take on defending Naugatuck Valley League champion St. Paul.

The Falcons defeated Naugatuck, 59-37, Jan. 13 to hand the Greyhounds their second loss of the season.

One game doesn’t make a season, though, and Naugy head coach Gail Cheney likes a challenge.

“St. Paul is a very good and experienced team with a lot of seniors,” Cheney said. “I like the challenge of playing against them and it helps us to figure out where we need to improve.”

Sara Macary led the Greyhounds with 12 points, followed by Lauryn Ramalho with nine.

“We have a lot of special players on this team,” Cheney said. “Sara Macary is our leading scorer and Lauryn Ramalho, just a freshman, had nine points tonight (versus St. Paul) and was our second-highest scorer.”

The Greyhounds (8-2) went 4-for-14 from the floor and turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter against St. Paul (8-2). The Falcons churned things up into a frenzy with a 21-7 second quarter to build an insurmountable 38-16 lead at the break.

Naugy owned a 37-29 edge on the boards, which helped the Greyhounds play even with the Falcons in the second half.

The Greyhounds got production from Kaylee Jackson (4 points, 9 rebounds, 6 steals), Hailey Russell (6 points, 5 rebounds), Alissa McNeil (4 points, 6 rebounds) and Felicia Salvati (8 rebounds).

“Felicia didn’t score but she really made a difference and probably out rebounded the St. Paul girls,” Cheney said. “Alissa (McNeil) came out strong on the boards for us and Kaylee (Jackson) can do so many thing out there for us.”

Naugy rebounded with a hard-fought, 37-31 win over Wolcott Jan. 15. The Eagles held a 16-15 lead at the half and took a one-point lead into the final quarter. Naugy outscored Wolcott 17-10 in the fourth quarter to earn the come-from-behind win.

Macary led Naugy with 14 points. Jackson scored 10 points and McNeil added six points.

Before heading to St. Paul, the Naugy girls defeated Watertown, 57-46, Jan 10. Macary, who has led the team in scoring seven times in 10 games, knocked down a game-high 24 points. Russell hustled her way to 12 points, Jackson had 11 points and Brielle Behuniak added 10 points. The game marked the first time this season that Naugy put four scorers in double digits.

The Greyhounds are scheduled to play Shepaug Valley Saturday and Ansonia on Wednesday.