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High Schools: Belmont girls end losing streak with upset of Laconia

The Belmont girls’ basketball team snapped its five-game losing streak by taking out one of the top teams in Division III last night. The Red Raiders (3-13) handed Laconia (12-4) its second straight loss and won their first home game of the season, 46-36.

“It was a quality win against a quality team,” Belmont Coach Mark Dawalga said.

Sophomore Cassie Contigiani had a strong game with 16 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Raiders, who held a narrow lead for much of the game but fell behind briefly in the third quarter.

Laconia, which had narrowed Belmont’s first-half lead to two points (22-20) by halftime, went ahead by a point. Just when the Sachems looked to have momentum on their side, the Raiders made consecutive baskets, capped off by Jackelyn Robarge’s 3-pointer to give Belmont its lead back.

The Raiders held down the lead by making 10 of 15 free throws and kept Laconia at arm’s length during the fourth period.

Chayleigh Cadarette (seven points, 14 boards) held down the middle of the floor for Belmont, while Robarge had 10 points. Makayla Donavan (seven points) and Elizabeth Yelle (six) added scoring for the Raiders, who have endured some tough stretches this year but came up big against a Laconia team that had put together a six-game and four-game winning streaks this season.

“I’m proud of them as a group,” Dawalga said. “They play hard for 32 minutes every night.”

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Coe-Brown 52, Plymouth 40

Coe-Brown (8-6) led 29-22 at halftime thanks to an effective press and a good transition game, but strong low post play in the second half extended the Bears’ lead over Plymouth (1-13).

Jennifer Schlim scored 13 points and Abby Ahern added 10. Liz Peabody played well in the low post.

Hopkinton 44, Newport 32

The Hawks (11-5) got off to a shaky start and couldn’t hit any early shots, while Newport (4-11) shot well to take an early 10-0 lead and held a 14-5 lead at the end of the first quarter. But Hopkinton settled down in the second quarter and started to take more inside shots, outscoring Newport 16-3 to take a 21-17 lead at halftime.

All 14 players on the Hopkinton roster contributed, but Sabrey Montore was the leading scorer with 12 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Callie Chase and Abby Lui scored eight and six points respectively. Jessie Quinn played a great all around game with two points, seven rebounds and three steals, and along with Lui, was responsible for helping the Hawks turn the game around.

Mascoma 58, Kearsarge 20

Anna Cahill scored 11 points for the Cougars (1-15), who went behind early on the road against Mascoma (11-5) and couldn’t get back into the game.

The Royals opened up a 30-10 lead at halftime and didn’t look back.

Bri Sullivan made a late free throw to pick up her first varsity point, while Lily Huntoon played hard on defense.

Pittsfield 38, Epping 23

The Panthers got going offensively at the end of the first quarter, ending with a 14-6 advantage, and played a strong second quarter to take a 24-11 lead and control of the game by halftime.

Strong defense was also a factor as Pittsfield (12-4) allowed Epping (4-12) to score no more than seven points in a single quarter.

Sophomore Brooke Vien was the high-scorer with 13 points. Co-captains Sage Anthony (10 points) and Bekah Adams (eight points) contributed offensively.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Plymouth 58, Coe-Brown 44

The game was close at halftime, with Coe-Brown (8-4) only down by four, but a solid defensive effort from Plymouth (8-4) kept the game out of reach.

The Bears made a couple of runs late in the third quarter and early in the fourth quarter that closed the gap to one point, but Plymouth hit key shots to stifle those runs and preserve its lead.

Coe-Brown was paced by a well-balanced offense, with Chris Laurion scoring 10 points and grabbing eight boards, while Josh Jackman, Damon Doyle and Andrew Langdon scored eight points each.

Belmont 69, Laconia 63

Bret Spaulding scored 34 points, including eight 3-pointers, and had seven rebounds to lead the Red Raiders (6-8) to victory over the Sachems (2-12).

Belmont consistently held an 11- to 12-point lead in the first half, but Laconia battled back in the third quarter, cutting the Red Raiders’ lead to 51-49 heading into the final frame.

Belmont’s offense and good shooting proved to be the difference, however, with Jared Clough (12 points, 10 rebounds) and Kaleb Brace (10 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists) also playing well. As a team, the Red Raiders took care of the ball offensively by not giving up turnovers, being patient and setting up good shots.

Mascoma 61, Kearsarge 47

The Cougars (4-11) battled hard against one of the top teams in Division III and held a four-point lead, but were outscored by Mascoma (10-4) 23-5 in the final quarter.

Kearsarge struggled to score in the fourth quarter and was unable to keep Mascoma’s top scorer in check, allowing him to score 29 points, including 15 in the final frame.

The Cougars played a strong first three quarters thanks to a strong night of rebounding and leadership from Ollie Gallo (16 points, seven rebounds).

“That kid is a warrior,” Coach Nate Camp said, adding that Gallo is “a great leader.”

Casey Laughinghouse (seven points, seven rebounds) and Dan Orlando (nine points, eight rebounds) also played great games on the boards.

Winnisquam 69, Newfound 66

With the game tied in the closing seconds of the fourth, Winnisquam (6-9) forced a turnover that set up a Tucker Normand (seven points) 3 at the buzzer for the win in an exciting back-and-forth game against Newfound (2-13).

Newfound held a one-point lead after the first quarter and Winnisquam led by one at the half. Winnisquam extended the lead in the third quarter, but four 3s from Newfound down the stretch kept the game close.

Christian Serrano had 21 points and Spencer Pevine had 18 to lead the victors. Zach Plourde also played a big game.

SKI JUMPING

Meet at Proctor

Local ski jumpers competed in a pre-state meet on Wednesday at Proctor Academy.

Hanover won the meet with a score of 377.5, ahead of runner-up Plymouth (371) and Kennett (358). Hopkinton (350.5) and Concord (325.5) finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Bishop Brady’s lone jumper, Warren Bartlett, was the top local finisher, coming in second overall.

James McCluseky (tied third), Ned Metcalf (ninth), Jake Hemmerlein (tied 28th) and Meg Hemmerlein (38th) scored for Hopkinton, while Julia Finch (tied 24th), Tyler Dow (tied 26th), Ryan Erlich-Mitchell (tied 34th) and Ben Denoncourt (40th) jumped well for Concord.

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