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Bishop Brady girls’ basketball team starts season on the right foot, beats Bow, 43-24

  • Bishop Brady players defend against Bow's Ashlie Tucker during the basketball season opener on Friday night, November 30, 2012.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Bishop Brady players defend against Bow's Ashlie Tucker during the basketball season opener on Friday night, November 30, 2012.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bishop Brady's Taylor Ong, right, and Bow's Suzanne Barry battle for possession during the basketball season opener on Friday night, November 30, 2012.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Bishop Brady's Taylor Ong, right, and Bow's Suzanne Barry battle for possession during the basketball season opener on Friday night, November 30, 2012.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff) Purchase photo reprints at PhotoExtra »

  • Bishop Brady players defend against Bow's Ashlie Tucker during the basketball season opener on Friday night, November 30, 2012.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Bishop Brady's Taylor Ong, right, and Bow's Suzanne Barry battle for possession during the basketball season opener on Friday night, November 30, 2012.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

Times have been tough around the Bishop Brady girls’ basketball program recently. The Green Giants went 6-12 last year and have been all too familiar with the bottom half of the Division II (and Class I) standings in the last few seasons.

But Brady moved down to D-III this year and has a new coach in Aaron Brochu, who spent the last five seasons as an assistant with the successful Pembroke Academy boys’ team. Last night the changes all looked great for the Giants as they ran away with a 43-24 win over Bow in the season opener for both teams.

“It’s definitely a great way to start, I can’t even believe it,” senior Tori LeBlanc said. “These past three years have been hard, and it’s been hard getting Brady’s name out there.”

The key for the Giants was aggression on both ends. Defensively, they kept the Falcons out of the paint and jumped passing lanes, disrupting Bow’s flow and forcing seven turnovers in the first quarter and 17 for the game. Offensively, Brady ran whenever it could, drove the open lanes and didn’t pass up any open shots.

“They were confused on day one, they weren’t used to playing this fast, but that changed and I think we were able to play fast tonight,” Brochu said. “But it took us some time to change their mindset. I think it’s been a little bit of a culture change here.”

Bow was a semifinal team last year and was expected to be near the top of D-III again this season. But the Falcons were stymied by Brady’s up-tempo play.

“They did what they wanted to and we couldn’t stop them,” Bow Coach Bill Vermette said. “They did what they wanted to on offense and on the other end, with our offense, we just were very timid. We played very soft both ways.”

Junior Selly Deoleo (eight points, five steals) set the aggressive tone for Brady by coming up with four steals in the first quarter. Her pressure helped the Giants score the first five points of the night and take a 10-5 lead after one. That lead gradually grew in the second as the Giants kept up the defense, crashed the offensive glass (seven offensive rebounds in the second quarter alone), and got five points off the bench from Maggie Alosa (nine points, four rebounds) to take a 23-10 lead into halftime.

In the past, Brady might have rested on that lead. But not the new, in-your-face Giants.

“At halftime we were up 13, and coach said let’s get it to 23 because no lead is safe,” said LeBlanc, who finished with six points, two assists and two rebounds.

The lead never got that big, but Brady maintained control in the third and pushed its advantage to 32-15 by the end of the frame. Sophomore Sarah Thomas (eight points, seven rebounds) scored four in the third, Taylor Ong (three points, 10 rebounds, three steals) seemed to get every loose ball, and the Giants didn’t allow Bow a basket from the floor for the entire quarter.

“If anything we’re preaching the opposite of what you saw,” Vermette said. “We’re trying to create more offense through transition and we’re trying to get our people to be more aggressive one-one-one players, but today it was a shrinking violet situation.”

Bow senior star Lindsey Nerbonne finally found some rhythm in the fourth as she scored six of her game-high 12 points. But even that push couldn’t get the Falcons any closer to Brady as the Giants showed off their depth by extending their lead as the benches emptied.

“We have wonderful depth and a ton of athletes, and that’s why we think we can run with anybody and play this kind of defense for 32 minutes,” Brochu said. “I think it’s going to cause some problems for other teams this year.”

And after going through many problems of their own in recent years, it’s nice for the Giants to turn the tables.

Newport 44, Kearsarge 41

Kearsarge carried a 27-18 lead into the final quarter, but a bit of a defensive breakdown helped Newport rally for the victory.

“We have three freshmen, a couple of sophomores … we may have run out of gas a little, too,” Kearsarge Coach Kurt McCandless said. “It’s about learning how to finish and close out a game. We played hard, ran, played great defense for three quarters. We just lost our focus at the end.”

The Cougars held the lead until the final 30 seconds, when Newport went up by two. Kearsarge got the ball back and was fouled, but made just one of two from the line, and the Tigers hit an insurance bucket at the buzzer.

Point guard Anna Cahill led the Kearsarge offense with 17 points, Lexie Bryk added eight, Eleanor Angus scored four points in the fourth quarter, played great defense and “showed poise beyond a freshman,” McCandless said. Molly Jenna was a force inside, grabbing eight rebounds.

Farmington 45, Belmont 34

The Red Raiders (0-1) dropped their first game of the season after an 11-4 Tiger run in the third quarter proved to be the deciding factor. Belmont held a 9-5 advantage after the first quarter and dipped to 20-18 at half before momentum was swung in Farmington’s (1-0) favor.

Chayleigh Cadarette led the way for the Red Raiders with 11 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two steals. Cassie Contigiani chipped in with nine points, three steals and three rebounds, while Andreya Murphy scored her first varsity points.

Makayla Donavan and Zoey Zeller played well defensively.

Franklin 44,
Hopkinton 42

Franklin jumped out to a 17-9 first-quarter lead, and that couple with some Hopkinton foul trouble led the Golden Tornadoes to victory over the Hawks in both teams’ season opener.

Christine Spaulding had an outstanding game off the bench for Hopkinton. Sloane White made two key shots for the Hawks down the stretch and finished with eight points. Callie Chase and Brittany Marshall each chipped in with 11 points.

Jessica Quinn played well underneath the basket.

hillsboro-deering 38,
stevens 26

Defense and rebounds were the two key factors in the Hillcats’ (1-0) opening victory over Stevens (0-1)

Mary Grace Bartoldus led H-D on the boards with 10 and chipped in with eight points. Erin DeLacy (nine points) and Hannah Pepper (eight points) also had solid games for the winners.

portsmouth christian 34,
Concord Christian 32

The Lady Kingsmen opened with a sluggish start but batttled back in the third quarter, exchanging the lead with the Eagles until the final seconds of the game.

Kendra Jarvis notched 11 points and 14 rebounds, while Hannah Revitsky (six points), Lauren McLaughlin (five points), Morgan Draus (four points), Kaity Purtell (four points) and Suzanne Kleinburg (two points) all played well.

Pittsfield 33,
Epping 15

Pittsfield opened the season with a suffocating defensive effort, holding Epping to six or fewer points in every quarter.

On the offensive end, the Panthers’ four returning starters provided all the scoring, led by Brooke Vien’s 12 points. Sage Anthony added nine points, while Stefani Gauthier and Bekah Adams chipped in with seven and five points, respectively.

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