Some uplifting news has come out of Newtown, Conn. tonight, where its citizens are doing everything they can to restore any type of normalcy to their daily lives. The Newtown High Nighthawks girls basketball team played against the Masuk Panthers Wednesday night, winning the contest in front of a sparse crowd, 64-44.
Understandably, most of the town is still grieving and attending a high school basketball game isn’t everyone’s first priority, especially with media hounds literally on every street corner. But as this article from ctpost.com notes, these young women, their coaches, and everyone who makes their games happen, are trying to do what they can to give some sort of comfort and sign of stability to their fellow citizens.
“We got to run, we got to get our minds, our frustration out of us a little,” Newtown senior Erin Kenning said. “It was just important for us to be here today.”
Athletic director Gregg Simon kept the media circus at bay Wednesday, only allowing local outlets into the Hawks Nest, where the walls were blanketed with cutouts of stick figures linking arms, every so often interrupted by a “SH” for Sandy Hook. A banner — Newtown strong — was placed just below the scoreboard. And 26 balloons — 20 of them white, six green, Sandy Hook Elementary’s colors — were along the sidelines.
“Basketball is really trivial in what is going on, and really insignificant in life,” [head coach Jeremy] O’Connell said. “But it is a positive place where this town has seen a lot of positive things.”
It is also noted that a strong team is something Newtown natives have come to expect, and that the blowout was all but inevitable when the Nighthawks pulled away in the third quarter. The 20-point margin by which they won wasn’t lost on Newtown faithful either.
— Jason McCallum (@ESPNJMac) December 20, 2012
Good to see sports at any scale providing whatever sort of diversion it can to people who have experienced such an unimaginably terrible event.