Naugy fights to the end

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Rebuilding process on the court continues for Greyhounds

Naugatuck’s Molly Kennedy (25) pushes the ball up court Dec. 22 versus Wolcott at Naugatuck High School. Wolcott won the game, 26-25. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Naugatuck’s Molly Kennedy (25) pushes the ball up court Dec. 22 versus Wolcott at Naugatuck High School. Wolcott won the game, 26-25. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls basketball squad is almost a quarter a way through the season, and there is a lot that can be taken away from their first four games.

The Greyhounds have compiled a 1-4 record through the first five games this season, with two of those losses coming by a combined five points.

Some people may look at this team and assume that it has not been able to finish in close games.

Those people would be wrong.

Coach Jodie Burns’ young team has outscored their opponents in every fourth quarter this season — a sign that her team is working hard late in the game.

“We haven’t given up in any games,” Burns said. “All the girls work hard and want to contribute.”

While the ‘Hounds have proven to work hard in the fourth quarter, their struggles start right after tip-off.

Naugy has been outscored by 18 in the first quarter of their three losses, including being shut out 7-0 in the first quarter against Woodland, a game they ended up losing by four.

Junior Nicole Boucher has led the way for Naugy with 50 points through four games. Boucher has been the Greyhounds’ leading scorer in three of the four games and tied for the team-high in points in the other.

While Boucher provides a veteran presence and consistent scoring for Naugy, Burns said her team is still in the midst a rebuilding process because of how young her team is overall.

“We are making adjustments in the lineup as some of our younger players are starting to develop into scorers,” Burns said. “We have to get them in earlier before we dig holes that we can’t get out of.”

One of those younger players that Burns wants to get more minutes for is freshman Molly Kennedy.

Kennedy broke out in the Greyhounds’ game against Ansonia, in which she was the second leading scorer with 11 points. She was also among the top three scorers for Naugy with four points in the following game versus Wolcott.

“She will definitely make an impact both defensively and offensively as the season moves forward,” said Burns about Kennedy. “She cuts well, finishes around the hoop, and knows the game.”

Naugatuck’s Alyssa Peterson (1) is fouled by Wolcott’s Cassidy Cody (23). Wolcott won the game, 26-25. Wolcott won the game, 26-25. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI
Naugatuck’s Alyssa Peterson (1) is fouled by Wolcott’s Cassidy Cody (23). Wolcott won the game, 26-25. Wolcott won the game, 26-25. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

But the Naugy head coach didn’t stop there when talking about freshman that will make a significant impact this season.

“Alyssa Peterson too. She has already broken in to the starting lineup as a powerful presence in the post,” Burns continued. “We also have Alexis Woods who is a strong rebounder and Allyana Sosa who plays great defense and can run the court.”

Burns says that they will all be a major part of the team moving forward this season.
The Naugy girls will look to get back at .500 on the season as the starting lineup is official. The combination of veteran scorers like Boucher and Jackie Aronin with the senior leadership of Taylor Campos, Stephanie Flores and Jami Dwy along with the young talent can make the ‘Hounds a pleasant surprise by season’s end.

Burns said her team just needs to cut down on a few mistakes and the Greyhounds can make a run.

“Our weakest areas have been our shooting, passing and decision making,” Burns admitted. “Making quicker decisions. Not being told when to shoot or where to pass — the girls just need to do it instinctively.”

Naugatuck fell to Crosby 53-23 on Dec. 30. The Greyhounds will hit the road Friday to face Joel Barlow and Tuesday to take on Oxford.