By Ken Morse, Citizen’s News
The Naugatuck girls split a pair of games to open the basketball season. In true coach’s fashion, first-year head coach Adam Purcaro took the blame for the loss and praised his assistant coaches and players for the win.
The Greyhounds lost, 49-34, on Feb. 12 at Torrington. The Greyhounds trailed 16-4 after the first quarter and could not climb out of the hole. Kaylee Jackson led Naugatuck with 11 points. Kendall Allen and Aryn Bombery each scored seven, and Julianna Magalhaes added six points.
“I think we just let them off the hook in that first quarter,” Purcaro said. “I love the way our team responded but I have to be better for us. It kind of got away from us in the opening quarter and that’s on me.”
It was a much more celebratory mood Feb. 17 when the Greyhounds gave Purcaro his first career win as head coach — a 59-34 victory at Watertown.
Naugy put nine players into the scorer’s book. Jackson scored a career-high 21 points. Saige Winslow knocked down 14 points in her first varsity start. Allen added eight points and Jayda Costa chipped in with five points.
“I feel a lot better than I did the other night,” Purcaro said about the win. “I think all the credit goes to our coaching staff, Karl Evangelista and Sean Dunn, along with the girls, they really responded and have a great attitude.”
The Greyhounds are scheduled to play Wolcott on Feb. 22 and Watertown on March 1.
Woodland falls in OT: The Hawks had 10 days off after opening the season Feb. 10 with a 55-51 loss at Ansonia in overtime.
“We had that game until the fourth quarter,” Woodland head coach Jess Moffo said. “Sammy (Sosnovich) saved us with a 3-point buzzer-beater to send it to overtime, but as a team we missed too many foul shots.
Ava DeLucia led the way for Woodland with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Casey Mulligan added 12 points, and Gabby Mastropietro and Sosnovich chipped in with nine points each.
“We lost junior Andra Bojka to an injury in the first few minutes and that didn’t help. Then Casey (Mulligan) fouled out late and that didn’t help either. But I liked the intensity we played with.”
Woodland is scheduled to play Oxford on Feb. 20, Torrington on Feb. 22 and Seymour on Feb. 24.