Pictured: Coach Rob Smernoff and the Blue Dragons during a December 2021 home game. Middletown played well Tuesday despite the absence of Shalyn Smith (2). (Photo by Paul Augeri)

Senior Shadae Bushay scored a season-high 31 points and Tyah Pettaway contributed 26 to lead Middletown High’s girls basketball team to its seventh win of the season, 80-65 over Northwest Catholic on Tuesday night.

In seeing his Blue Dragons (7-1) extend their winning streak to five, Middletown coach Rob Smernoff praised the play of his entire rotation. The team excelled despite the absence of starting guard Shalyn Smith, who will return to the lineup next week, and two of its top reserves.

“One of the things we talked about was embracing the challenge of being without a starter and two key subs and the team really did that,” Smernoff said. “Shadae and Tyah played excellent all-around games as you would expect from your captains, but we don’t win that game without the solid play of Kaila Torres, Jada Bryant, Alexa DeSena and Taj Brock.”

Middletown stormed to a 23-9 lead after one quarter and scored 24 points in the second quarter to pull ahead of Northwest 47-27 at the break. The Dragons led by 24 entering the fourth quarter.

“We shot well and created some turnovers,” Smernoff said. “We had to be selective, knowing we were down a few kids, in when we pressed and when we pushed the tempo.”

Smernoff said his players are excited about their 7-1 start, yet that excitement is tempered because of their big-picture goal of a championship.

“They are excited, yes, but not out-of-control happy yet,” he said. “We have high goals.”

Post player Brianna Lebrun led Northwest with 25 points, while Morgan Murphy finished with 19.

Middletown continues a four-game homestand Thursday against Berlin at 6:45 p.m.

NORTHWEST CATHOLIC (3-2)
Abby Hubert 4 1 9, Maeve Rushin 2 2 6, Morgan Murphy 7 3 19, Susanna Schaub 1 0 2, Trinity Cruz 1 0 2, Brianna Lebrun 10 5 25, Brooke Propella 1 0 2. Totals: 26 11 65.

MIDDLETOWN (7-1)
Jada Bryant 3 4 10, Alexa DeSena 3 2 8, Tyah Pettaway 12 0 26, Jahne Carrenard 1 0 2, Tajahnae Brock 1 1 3, Shadae Bushay 13 2 31, Kaila Torres 0 0 0, Cadence Manning 0 0 0. Totals: 33 9 80.

Score By Quarters
NW Catholic…..9 18 16 22–65
Middletown…..23 24 20 13–80

3-pointers: NW Catholic–Murphy 2; Middletown–Bushay 3, Pettaway 2.

In other girls basketball games Tuesday:

Valley Regional 64, Westbrook 38

WESTBROOK (4-3)
Adriana Stranieri 0 2 2, Leticia Pires 0 0 0, Sadie Susi 4 0 10, Jami Sacco 5 9 20, Alex Zanzalari 1 4 6, Gianni Salisbury 0 0 0, Allison Brajcezwski 0 0 0, Olivia Palumbo 0 0 0, Emily Downie 0 0 0, Tatiana Vallejo. Totals: 10 15 38.

VALLEY REGIONAL (5-0)
Ava Cunningham 2 0 4, Abby Bradbury 8 5 26, Bitzy Klomp 3 0 6, Liz Allen 0 0 0, Olivia Cunningham 9 0 18, Lily Grow 1 3 5, Sharmel Rivera 1 0 2, Siena Schaller 0 0 0, Regan Grow 2 0 4, Rubee Cecchini 0 0 0, Emma Gibson 0 0 0: Totals: 26 8 65.

Score By Quarters
Westbrook…….4 19  9  6–38
Valley Reg…..15 11 19 19–65

3-pointers: Westbrook–Susi 2, Sacco 1; Valley–Bradbury 5.
Of note: Sacco had 9 rebounds for the Knights.
Up next: Westbrook vs. Wheeler, Saturday, 7pm; Valley Regional at Portland, Friday, 6.

East Hampton 54, Hale-Ray 18

EAST HAMPTON (6-1)
Amber Murphy 1 0 2, Olivia DeMartino 6 0 14, Jackie Russell 6 0 17, Liana Salamone 5 1 13, Jordan Murphy 1 1 3, Katherine Searles 0 0 0, Delaney Russell 1 0 2, Marissa Martin 0 0 0, Katie Ireland 0 1 1, Madison Yorker 0 0 0, Allie Jacobsen 0 0 0, Leah Kohler 1 0 2. Totals: 21 5 54.

HALE-RAY (0-4)
Kayla Bartolotta 2 0 4, Jackie Geotz 1 0 2, Gabby Aquilera 0 0 0, Kenzie Purdell 4 2 12, Nicole Sikorski 0 0 0, Mackenzie Albert 0 0 0. Totals: 7 2 18.

Score By Quarters
East Hampton…18 19 5 12–54
Hale-Ray………….4   0 5   9–18

3-pointers: East Hampton–J. Russell 5, DeMartino 2, Salamone 2; Hale-Ray–Purdell 2.
Up next: East Hampton hosts Coginchaug, Friday, 7pm; Hale-Ray hosts Coginchaug, Wednesday, 6pm.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Valley Regional 49, Westbrook 25

WESTBROOK (3-4)
Bran Naccarato 5 3 13, Joey Caslin 1 1 4, Jesse Whitney 1 1 4, Sam Freeman 0 2 2, Evan McIntyre 0 0 0, Justin Whitney 0 2 2 Totals: 7 9 25.

VALLEY REGIONAL (4-3)
Zach Kirla 0 0 0, Di’Angelo Jean-Pierre 2 0 4, Simon Partyka 0 1 1, Andrew Yermenson 1 0 3, Kevin King 0 0 0, Jack Driscoll 0 0 0, Conor Quinn 0 0 0, Sam Hutchinson 3 1 7, Max Nickel 0 0 0, James Marsden 5 3 14, Saagar Patel 6 3 16, Brayden Shea 1 0 2. Totals: 18 10 49.

Score By Quarters
Westbrook…..8   1 12   4–25
Valley Reg….10 12 10 17–49

3-pointers: Westbrook–Caslin 1, Whitney 1; Valley–Patel 1, Yermenson 1, Marsden 1.
Of note: For the Warriors, Jean-Pierre contributed 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals; Patel grabbed 7 rebounds and Hutchinson had a team-high 10 boards.
Up next: Westbrook at East Hampton, Jan. 18, 5pm; Valley hosts Portland, Friday, 7.

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