Girls Hoops Team Overcomes Rusty Start to Beat Housy

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Courtesy of Nonnewaug High School/Instagram

Nonnewaug’s Erin Classey (2) hits a 3-pointer during the fourth quarter of the Chiefs’ 40-20 win over Housatonic in the season opener Feb. 10.

Annalise Rupe, Sports Editor

WOODBURY — For a while, it didn’t seem like basketball would return to Nonnewaug’s gymnasium this year, but despite all the odds, Nonnewaug made a comeback. The Nonnewaug girls basketball team won the season opener Wednesday against Housatonic, 40-20. 

Chiefs head coach Adam Brutting was “expecting things to be a little rusty,” he said, but “one of the things that was great was that each quarter we got a little better, especially on the offensive end.” 

This started late in the second quarter as the Chiefs finished the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 15-8 halftime lead. The second half included “more of a rhythm and better shots,” said Brutting.

Nonnewaug junior guard Erin Classey used her open opportunities and hit back-to-back 3-pointers with 2 minutes left in the game.

“I felt like I was on top of the world,” she exclaimed after hitting both shots.

Classey also pointed out teammate Anna Culkin’s play “Anna is a great shooter,” Classey said. “She could even hit a 3 if she wanted to.”

Culkin, a junior forward, led all scorers with 14 points. Behind her was Housatonic’s Sydney Segalla with 12 points. 

Throughout the game, Nonnewaug kept its defensive focus and limited Housy’s ability to get good shots. Sophomore guards Mallory Tomkalski and Sam Conti frequently stole the ball and got down and dirty. The whole team’s aggression pleased Brutting.

“We played well defensively the whole game,” he concluded. 

The first half was a little different offensively for the Chiefs. It started off slowly with the first quarter ending 4-4, but both teams committed many turnovers, which affected the teams’ ability to score. 

As the game progressed, the team became “more patient and made better decisions, and as a result got better shots,” said Brutting.

This was evident when the girls went on a 9-0 run to end the first half, and the Chiefs eventually extended it into a 15-2 run to take a 21-10 lead in the third. From that point on, the offense was unstoppable, scoring 19 points in the last quarter — senior captain Ashley Hennessey contributed four of those points. 

“It feels so good to be back out on the court,” said Hennessey. “It really means a lot.”

The Chiefs will now prepare for their game at Shepaug this Friday.

“They are very good,” Brutting said. “Shepaug is more guard-oriented, so we are going to work really hard to guard the ball really well, move our feet and limit penetration.”

Nonnewaug’s Sam Conti, left, drives toward the basket during the Chiefs’ 40-20 win over Housatonic on Feb. 10. (Courtesy of Nonnewaug High School/Instagram)