BY KEN MORSE
The Naugatuck girls took control of the second and third quarters to pull away for a 48-38 win over Woodland on Jan. 6 before a lively crowd at the Edward Mariano Gymnasium.
It was a much-needed win for the Greyhounds, who had lost four of the last six games.
Naugy seemed to have turned the corner, winning three straight, but hit a bump in the road where injuries kept the team from playing at full capacity. That is nothing new for any team during the rigors of a season, but for one game against its rival, Naugy was firing on all cylinders.
The Hawks got out to a 9-6 advantage after one quarter but a 13-5 second quarter handed the Greyhounds a 19-14 lead at the break. Aryn Bombery (25 points, 10 rebounds) and Indya Waller (6 points, 12 rebounds) controlled the boards and that controlled the scoreboard as Naugy opened up the lead with a 14-8 third quarter. The Hawks scored 16 points in the final stanza to try and close the gap, but Naugy kept taking it to the rack, putting up 15 to seal the win. Lauryn Ramalho added 12 points and Sophia DeFilippo contributed five points.
Naugy ran into a problem against St. Paul in a 51-33 loss on Jan. 10. Playing with two starters out of the lineup, the team was not running at full capacity. For the most part in the early going the Greyhounds battled and made a game of it.
“I think for the most part we went out there and hustled after every possession and that’s the way you have to play to be successful,” said Bombery. “I just feel we got tired and having two players out didn’t help. We made some mistakes and the faster the game got, at that point we just need to slow things down.”
Sam Tyler and DeFilippo were helping Bombery on the boards, but there was an issue with turnovers that would eventually come back to create issues later on.
Amanda Jimenez hit a turnaround jumper from the corner to give Naugy a 10-8 lead with a minute to go in the first quarter before St. Paul rippled the net with a pair of threes.
Ramalho converted a pair at the line to close the gap and Phoebe Jagello dropped in a 3-pointer to give Naugy the lead back, 16-15, with 3:30 to go before the halftime break.
St. Paul began a run-and-gun approach and by the time the horn sounded at for halftime, the Falcons were flying high with an insurmountable 30-16 advantage.
“The last half of that second quarter we only got three shots at the basket and you are not going to stay in games doing that,” said Naugy coach Jon Carroll. “How we reacted to their man defense and the self-inflicted stuff like turnovers didn’t help matters.”
Steph Sutherland and Leana Morera knocked down baskets to try to help the Greyhounds find some more offense, and Naugy did come out of the third quarter with an 11-8 edge to close the gap to 40-27. St. Paul continued to run the floor and used an 11-6 fourth quarter to finish off the Greyhounds. Bombery led the way with 13 points and Ramalho added seven points. DeFilippo chipped in four points.
“St. Paul is a well-coached team and they will take advantage of any weakness they see, like all good teams do,” Carroll said. “We were down a ball handler and a rebounder so that hurt us in two ways. Hopefully we can get them back soon. It really made a difference.”
Naugatuck was scheduled to play Wolcott on Tuesday.
BY KEN MORSE