WINSTED >> Housatonic’s girls basketball team lost a first-quarter lead at Northwestern Tuesday night, then put itself back together in the final period for a 39-36 win — its second three-point win of the season over the Highlanders.
Northwestern’s hopes for a state tournament berth disappeared with the loss.
“It’s frustrating for the girls, especially because we’ve let a couple get away,” said Northwestern coach Fred Williams, whose Highlanders, now 6-13 needed wins in their final two regular-season games to qualify for postseason play.
Tuesday’s game might have been one of them. Instead, the Mountaineers (10-9) found their touch when they needed it most.
In a chaotic game played with pressing defenses and lots of fouls, Housy ran off an 11-2 lead in the first 4 minutes. An unopposed drive by Marissa Swartley (9 points) were the only points for Northwestern.
“I was pleased with three of the quarters we played,” said Williams. “Obviously, the first quarter hurt us, but there’s no give-up in these girls.”
That was true of both teams Tuesday.
The Highlanders rallied with a 6-2 run, but Housy’s Lauren Wilks converted a layup on a great pass from Olivia Forstmann to bring the Mountaineer lead back to 15-8 after one.
The Highlander defense held Housy to just three second-quarter points. By halftime, the lead was down to 18-16.
Highlanders Swartley and Morgan Daley (9 points) took the comeback torch for the first four points in the second half, 20-18, Northwestern. Housy center
Hannah McGuire (8 points) slowed it down with a five-footer from the baseline.
Nevertheless, the Highlanders were rolling.
With three minutes left in the period, Northwestern commanded a 25-22 lead when every point was a struggle.
With 1:21 left, Chloe Dakers (game-high 12 points), out with an ankle injury for two games, buried the game’s first three, 25-25. Then Emily Geysalaers sank a foul shot.
This time, Northwestern had the answer – an outside shot by Addie Hester closed out the third quarter, 27-26 Northwestern.
Dakers took the lead back with her second three, 29-27, to begin the final period.
“Chloe’s threes killed us,” said Williams. “They came at a critical time.”
So was her steal that followed.
Amanda Jacquier turned that into a five-foot bank.
Housatonic star Chelsea Kearns, out with a broken wrist since the second game of the season, made a key appearance seconds later – good for a layup, 33-27, Housy.
The Mountaineers were inspired.
Jacquier stepped in front of a Highlander inbound pass for a layup, 35-27, 3:54 left. But the Highlanders didn’t quit.
Hester, Swartley and Daley rang up a 7-0 run, 35-34, Housy.
Jacquier hit from the baseline, 37-34. Hester made a layup, 37-36.
“They wanted to go back to a zone,” said Housy coach Frank Hadsell. I wouldn’t let them. I didn’t want any long shots.”
Instead, with 32 seconds left, McGuire went outside for the clincher for Housatonic.
The Highlanders had one more shot at a tie. It missed.
Housatonic 39, Northwestern 36
At Northwestern High School
Housatonic 15 3 8 13 – 39
Northwestern 8 8 11 9 – 36
Housatonic (39): Hannah McGuire 4-0-8; Chloe Dakers 5-0-12; Kailyn Reilly 0-0-0; Caroline Hurlburt 0-1-1; Amanda Jacquier 2-0-4; Lauryn Wilks 2-1-5; Mara Dorsey 1-0-2; Emily Geyselaers 0-1-1; Chelsea Kearns 1-0-2; Olivia Forstmann 2-0-4; Totals: 17-3-39.
Northwestern (36): Erika Swartley 2-0-4; Marissa Swartley 4-1-9; Angela Richard 0-0-0; Sydney Shaffer 0-0-0; Emma Propfe 1-0-2; Addie Hester 4-0-8; Gina Weingart 2-0-4; Morgan Daley 4-1-9; Totals: 17-2-36.
3-point goals: Chloe Dakers 2.
Records: Housatonic 10-9; Northwestern 6-13.