NMHS Girls and Boys Basketball displaying skillful promise

Shane Fedigan

The New Milford Boys Basketball team, coached by Al Tolemeau, has had a season of ups and downs. The team started off in November with high hopes, and for the first couple of games, it looked as though their goals for a successful season would come true. The squad beat a very capable Norwalk team in a thrilling game that went down to the wire, and shortly after, acquired a strong team win against Weston. This was the first time the Green Wave had won their first two games in many seasons. The early wins revitalized the interest in the basketball team, getting the fans into the season in a way that has not been seen in a long time.

The New Milford boys entered the holiday tournament hopeful and hungry, but unfortunately fell to a strong Brookfield team. They looked to bounce back after the loss and succeeded, beating rival New Fairfield by a wide margin. After two tough losses to Newtown and Kolbe Cathedral, the team was able to best a very skillful Bunnell team, shutting down one of the best players in the league. In a low scoring match, the boys were later able to beat Bethel, though then falling to Farmington.

In a second matchup with Weston, the Green Wave had a strong showing and took care of their SWC opponent with ease. This win earned the Green Wave a strong record of 6-3 heading into their road trip, though the coming slump took the players by surprise. The team lost against Stratford, Daniel Hand, Joel Barlow and Notre Dame. Through adversity, the team is still optimistic. Senior Steven Davis stated, “We have started dropping the ball, but the season isn’t over and we know that we can still beat anybody.”

On the other side of the court, girls basketball at NMHS has gotten off to a fantastic start this season, one that has not been seen in some time. Coached by Bill Kersten, the Green Wave have learned how to win this season, already surpassing its win total for the last two years combined. What is the reason behind this new winning culture? Experience. The Green Wave returned all five starters from last season, and added a transfer student from Florida that is good enough to play for any top team in the state. Gillian Boss is averaging 20 points a game and allows the team to thrive around her, helping everyone find their roles.

In the first game against Bunnell, Boss shot a solid 40 points in the Green Wave’s win over Bunnell, breaking the previous school record of 37 set by a New Milford Hall of Famer. New Milford went on to beat Brookfield by a solid margin. Bristol Eastern then handed the Green Wave its first loss of the season, but it did not stop the girls as they went on to win 4 games against New Fairfield, Brookfield, Stratford and Masuk. The Green Wave then lost to a very skillful Kolbe Cathedral team, but bounced back in a hard fought win against Bunnell.

The ladies have struggled a bit as of late, losing their last 6 out of 7, besting Stratford. This stretch brings their record to a very solid 8-8 on the season. The Green Wave are far from out of contention, however, and are looking to close out the season strong. When asked about the season thus far, senior Jessie Horkan said, “We had a strong start with a record of 7-2, but struggled with some of the girls getting sick or injured. Now that everyone is back to full health, we’re planning on bouncing back and playing as a full team again.”

The girls are in no way defeated, and have the rest of the season to look forward to. They also qualified for the state tournament for the first time in two years, a fantastic achievement. The Green Wave is looking to make a playoff push, and this year they have the personnel and experience to do so.

Both the girls and boys basketball teams at New Milford High School have been experiencing success and have nothing but positive outlooks heading into playoff competition.