Showing up at crunch time
Woodland sophomore Casey Mulligan used the atmosphere of the NVL tournament to put a spark in her step as she tied her career-high, scoring 25 points to lead the Hawks in a 57-53 quarterfinal win over Torrington on Feb. 19.
Naugatuck senior swimmer Steven Herb has been leading the Greyhounds down the stretch as the team picked up four straight wins. Herb has been a double winner in three of the four meets, winning two individual events and then helping the 200 freestyle relay swim to victory.
Woodland sophomore Ireland Starziski had it going on during the NVL semifinal showdown with Holy Cross on Feb. 22. The sophomore shooter hit on five 3-pointers, scoring a team-high 19 points in the loss to the Crusaders.
Woodland senior Robert Moriarty has led the Hawks in scoring 11 times this season but really showed his consistency during a late season stretch. Moriarty scored a team-high 20 points in consecutive games against Oxford, Derby and Ansonia.
Word from the Woods:
Boys basketball – Woodland headed down the stretch looking to get past the residuals of a five-game skid. The Hawks snapped that losing streak with a win over Derby on Feb. 15. That left the Hawks needing one more win in order to qualify for the state tournament with two games remaining. Woodland dropped a heartbreaking 68-67 decision to Ansonia on Feb. 18. Even after battling back from a halftime deficit with a 25-15 third quarter, the Hawks couldn’t protect the 50-48 lead going into the final quarter. Robert Moriarty led the way with 20 points, Nate Bodnar added 17 and Brady Anderson chipped in 12. It was gutcheck time for the Hawks with a win or go home scenario facing Watertown in the regular season finale on Feb. 23. Woodland won, 59-45, finished the regular season 8-12 and qualified for the state tournament. The Hawks led, 27-22, at halftime before shutting the door with a 23-12 fourth quarter. Bodnar led the way with 14 points while Croy Mastropietro added 10. Moriarty and Dan Hartnett tallied nine points each while Anderson chipped in eight and Ethan Stepputtis contributed five.
Boys basketball – Naugatuck finished the regular season undefeated at 20-0 by defeating Wilby, 69-41, on Feb. 18 and Torrington, 58-45, on Feb. 23. Naugy busted out to a 26-14 halftime lead over Wilby and then kicked the door closed with a 24-10 third quarter. Avery Hinnant controlled the boards and scored a team-high 20 points. Jayshawn Lindsay had it going on from the perimeter with 16 points while Ese Onakpoma added 12 and Evan Swanson chipped in nine. The Hounds completed a perfect run through the regular season at Torrington by getting out to a 37-21 halftime lead. Naugy spread the damage around with Hinnant (16 points), Onakpoma (15) and Lindsay (13) sharing the load. Swanson and Perris Sayler added five points each while Aiden Robertson scored four points.
Overtime with Ken Morse: Naugatuck boys finish regular season at 20-0