The Weston girls basketball team went into the Jan. 15 game at Newtown with a plan: Build a lead early to seize momentum. The Lady Trojans did just that, jumping out to a 15-5 advantage after one quarter and going ahead by as many as 18 points in the second quarter en route to a 61-46 win.

"We talked about a our need to do that in road games," Weston Coach Pat Cole said of getting off to a good start.

Weston improved to 7-3 overall and Newtown had its four-game losing streak snapped and fell to 7-3. Both teams also walked out of the NHS gymnasium with the same 3-2 SWC records.

The Lady Trojans, who was 1-3 on the road (that one win coming in an easy 66-28 triumph over non-conference opponent Bullard Havens Tech) going into the game, applied a pressuring defense which generated turnovers and led to points off of the fast break.

It was a physical game throughout and both teams made seemingly countless trips to the free throw line as they combined for 48 foul shot attempts.

Free throw shooting was a difference-maker in this contest as the Lady Trojans were a sharp 19-25 from the line compared to Newtown's 10-23.

"It was a very physical game. It's not the first time we've seen that," said Cole, adding that, having been battle-tested before, the players were prepared to win such a hard-fought battle.

Senior captain Brittany Swanson led all scorers with 17 points, Ellie Martin wasn't far behind with 15, and Jessica Welsh and Hannah Hutchins had nine and eight respectively in the win.

Newtown, which was without leading scorer Sara Kelley, was led by Riley Wurtz with 15 points and Abbey Doski who dropped in 12. The host Nighthawks, despite falling so far behind early on, clawed back into the game. Down 42-24, the Nighthawks went on an 11-3 run late in the third quarter to get to within 10 and closed to within nine points in the fourth before Weston pulled away.

"It got intense quick," Hutchins said. "They came back real quick."

"I was a little bit nervous especially since they had girls who could hit the 3 pretty easily," said Martin, alluding to Wurtz, who sank two 3-pointers and Doski and Bridget Power, each of whom sank a shot from behind the arc.

Despite Newtown's resilience, the Lady Trojans had what it took to pull through.

"They didn't back down. They're easy kids to be proud of," Cole said. "This is a huge win for us. This is great for our mentality. To get a win against Newtown on the road is something to be proud of."

After Newtown had trimmed the lead to 49-40, Swanson drove to the hoop and converted a three-point play the old fashioned way for a 12-point cushion with under six minutes to play. Doski's 3-pointer got the lead back down to single digits only seconds later, prompting a Weston timeout.

Christina Welsh and Martin hit clutch front end of one-and-one foul shots to help seal the win.

The Lady Trojans, hosted Bunnell yesterday after press time and will play at Oxford on Saturday at 4 p.m.

"I think we're coming together well," Swanson said.