New Milford took advantage of an injury-plagued Park Ridge squad on Tuesday, Jan. 19, coming away with a 52-43 victory to remain undefeated.

The Knights used their smothering defense to jump out to a 15-2 lead in the first quarter

“One of our goals this season is to push the ball,” said Knights coach Mike Kilgallen. “We want to see how other teams will stop it. We got some great looks in our offensive transition.”

“There was an uncertainty in the girls,” said Owls coach Mike Weaver. “This was our first real test without Jayme [Mizzoni]. They are learning new roles. After the first eight minutes it got better.”

Mizzoni is just the latest Owls starter to be sidelined. She had injured her knee two weeks earlier and thought she was nearly ready to play again. But an MRI detected a torn ACL which means the star guard is out for the season.

Nevertheless, Park Ridge outscored New Milford 19-6 in the second quarter to tie the game 21-21.

“He’s (Weaver) a great coach,” said Kilgallen. “He adjusted to what we did. Then they made a couple of shots, which took away our fast break.”

A basket by Meagan Madsen, who scored 20 points in the game, with six seconds left in the second quarter, gave the Knights a slim 23-21 halftime lead.

“Everyone on our team is talented,” said Madsen. “It’s not just one person. It’s everyone, even the players on the bench.”

New Milford burst out of the locker room in the third quarter, going on an 8-2 run, grabbing an eight-point lead.

“I told them at halftime that this is a game of runs,” said Kilgallen. “Park Ridge was on a run so halftime came at a good time for us.”

“They came back with a spark,” said Madsen. “Our team is together. We look for each other. No one is selfish. If someone is open we pass it to them.