Boys basketball: Panthers split final regular-season games

The Masuk High boys basketball team wrapped up its regular season by splitting its final two South-West Conference games.

On Tuesday night, the Panthers fell to Weston, 57-55, to finish up their regular-season slate at 9-11, 8-6 in the SWC.

Masuk is seeded sixth in the SWC tournament and will host third-seeded Notre Dame of Fairfield on Saturday at noon in the quarterfinals.

Dominic Migliaro scored a team-high 21 points and added six assists for Masuk. Dan Cahill chipped in with 10 points and eight rebounds and Ryan Fitzpatrick hauled in 10 rebounds.

Dominic Migliaro.

Dominic Migliaro.

On Friday, the Panthers held on to defeat Newtown, 61-56, on Senior Night at Strong Gymnasium.

Migliaro poured in a game-high 29 points, including 18 in the first half.

“Dom did a great job,” Masuk coach John DeGennaro said. “All year, he’s been carrying the load.”

Matt Gerak added eight points and Bryan Acevedo and Cheever had seven apiece.

Masuk surged to a 36-18 halftime lead, but had to fend off a furious Nighthawk rally over the final 16 minutes.

Knocking down 7-of-12 shots from beyond the arc in the first half, the Panthers raced out to a 12-3 lead after the first quarter.

Sean Elliot made Newtown’s lone basket of the quarter, a 3-pointer at the 2:25 mark.

The Panthers rained down threes in the second stanza, with Migliaro sinking three and Gerak draining two.

An 11-0 Masuk run, capped by Migliaro’s jumper, made it 34-13 with 1:33 left.

Connor Quinn’s runner broke the Newtown drought, but Chris Butler tossed in a layup off an inbounds’ pass with 13 seconds left.

Quinn then hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the horn sounded, setting the tone for Newtown’s second-half rally.

“That three gave them a little juice,” DeGennaro said.

The Nighthawks reeled off the first 12 points of the third quarter, with Quinn (11 points) muscling in a pair of driving layups, pushing their overall flurry to 15-0.

With Masuk’s lead whittled all the way down to 36-30, Cheever then connected on a 3-pointer from the left corner.

Jake Ball answered for Newtown, which pulled within 44-38 on Julian Dunn’s layup.

Gavin Scallon’s 3-pointer made it 44-41 with 7:29 left to play, but that was as close as Newtown (8-10) would get.

Masuk made 7-of-10 free throws down the stretch, with Cahill converting a key putback and Acevedo scoring two layups, to seal the 61-56 victory — the Panthers fifth win in six starts.

“We’re getting better and better,” DeGennaro said.

The SWC tournament is set to begin at Strong Gymnasium on Saturday, with the quarterfinal round tipping off at noon.

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