Newtown girls’ hoops helps town start to heal

Updated: December 20, 2012

The community of Newtown, Conn., continued the healing process Wednesday night with a return to the basketball court.

Five days after 20 children and six faculty members lost their lives at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Newtown High School girls’ basketball team added a tiny piece of normalcy, taking on its longtime rival Masuk of Monroe.

“We got to run, we got to get our minds, our frustration out of us a little,” Newtown senior Erin Kenning told of Danbury. “It was just important for us to be here today.”

According to the website, the walls at Newtown High were blanketed with cutouts of stick figures linking arms. A banner — Newtown strong — was placed just below the scoreboard. There were also 26 balloons — 20 white, six green — in Sandy Hook Elementary’s colors along the sidelines.

There was a 26-second moment of silence for the victims.

“Basketball is really trivial in what is going on, and really insignificant in life,” Newtown coach Jeremy O’Connell told “But it is a positive place where this town has seen a lot of positive things.”

Newtown celebrated its first victory of the season, 64-44, a big positive as the town tries to move forward.

“School hasn’t been normal,” Kenning told “But it’s the best we can do right now.”

Instead of selling tickets, more than $2,200 in donations were accepted for the Sandy Hook victims.

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