WOODBRIDGE — In barely over two weeks, Hillhouse made it a clean sweep over Amity this winter.
The Academics 4-1, and off to their best start since the Bria Holmes days in 2012, came into the Paul Mengold Gymnasium and knocked off Amity, 54-45, in a Southern Connecticut Conference intradivisional girls’ basketball contest Wednesday night.
The margin of the victory was identical to the 59-50 victory Hillhouse garnered in New Haven on Dec. 18.
“It’s a rivalry between us and we know it’s always going to come down to a dogfight,” Hillhouse coach Catrina Hawley-Stewart said. “With the patience and commitment we’ve had, we came out victorious.”
The game was even for most of the first half with the exception of a 2 1/2 minute span late in the second quarter.
Neither team had more than a four-point lead over that period, but with Amity up, 16-14, with 3:07 to go in the first half, the Academics went on an 11-0 spurt to take a 25-16 lead with 33 seconds remaining until halftime.
“We had the timeout there and I told them we had to get back to basics,” Stewart said. “We had to rebound the ball and run. They can’t stop our running game and we finished off our layups.”
Amity did close it to 25-18 at the break, but Hillhouse stretched its lead to 27-18 to open the second half, which was its biggest lead to that point.
“Hillhouse has a lot of good athletes and they are hard to prepare for,” Amity coach Michelle Shoop said. “They got a little too far ahead of us and it was hard to crawl back.”
Hillhouse kept its lead just under double digits throughout the third quarter, but the Spartans were able to chip away at its deficit early in the fourth quarter. A pair of Skylar Burzynski free throws after a technical foul on Hillhouse closed it to 38-36 with 7:15 remaining in the game.
Amity stayed within four points over the next two minutes, but a 6-0 spurt paced by a pair of putback layups by Alexis Powell gave the Academics a 48-39 with 2:39 left and the Spartans were never able to get back closer than seven points for the rest of the night.
“We got outrebounded by a lot,” Shoop said. “Their height is hard to deal with.”
Tanayja London led Hillhouse with 18 points, while Tyree Allen added 12 and Ranasha Frazier 10.
Amity (4-3) was paced by Tara Laugeni with 18 points and Jillian Martin with 10.