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High Schools: Kearsarge girls’ basketball team snaps skid, regains hope

Time was running out on the Kearsarge girls’ basketball team. Riding a 10-game losing streak, it looked like the Cougars might simply be playing out the string on the season heading into yesterday’s game.

With one impressive performance, however, came an instant revival.

Anna Cahill (17 points) and Lexi Bryk (13 points) led the way as Kearsarge snapped its skid by beating a solid Mascoma team, 42-39, improving to 3-12 and providing a jolt heading into a three-games-in-five-days stretch to end the regular season.

“A huge win for us heading into the final week of the season,” second-year Cougars Coach Kurt McCandless said. “For confidence, for the future, even for playoff implications.”

McCandless thinks his team will need to finish with at least five wins to reach the 20-team Division III tournament, and with games against two teams the Cougars beat earlier this season coming up, suddenly the final week is a compelling one.

“The girls never stopped working,” the coach said. “We just hadn’t had the breakthrough. Better late than never.”

McCandless said yesterday’s win was mostly about defense, as the Royals (8-8) were held to just six points in the second quarter and seven in the fourth.

Kearsarge trailed 12-7 after the first quarter but turned that five-point deficit into a 25-18 lead by halftime, led by Cahill’s eight points (including two 3-pointers) and Bryk’s seven points in the second quarter.

“We rebounded and threw the outlet pass, and they finished it off,” McCandless said.

Mascoma outscored Kearsarge 14-11 in the third quarter to pull within 36-32, but the Royals couldn’t get over the hump in the fourth.

“We played lock-down defense,” said McCandless, praising the defense of Maicy Hansen and Lily Huntoon. “We kept stopping them.”

And now the Cougars have a chance to keep going once the tournament begins. They face Raymond (6-8) at home tomorrow night, then play the two teams they had defeated before yesterday – Newport (7-6) on the road on Wednesday and Stevens (2-14) at home on Friday.



The Spartans won for the third time in their last four games to improve to 10-5. Pembroke led 25-13 at halftime and never relinquished control against the host Blue Knights (1-14.)


Winnisquam (8-9) struggled for the duration of the contest, falling behind 39-10 at halftime and never making a run against a very good Newfound (16-1) team.

Rachel Willcutt provided solid leadership, while sophomore Amanda Blier recorded her first varsity points.

Sunapee 63, Concord Christian 22

The Lady Kingsmen (3-14), missing two starters, struggled in a loss to third-place Sunapee (15-1).

Kendra Jarvis led with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Suzanne Kleinberg added 10 points. Emily Purtell (eight rebounds, four assists) and Morgan Draus also played well.


Plymouth 49, Coe-Brown 30

The Bears (8-6) had a chance to take a lead into halftime, but the Bobcats (11-3) nailed two 3-pointers in the final minute of the second quarter to jump ahead, 18-15, at the break.

The Bears never got their offense untracked, netting only 15 points in each half, while Plymouth exploded for 31 second-half points.

Luke Zollman led the Bears with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Adam Edin (five points, eight rebounds) and Spencer Nowland (five points, four assists) also played well.

Hollis-Brookline 68, John Stark 34

The Generals fell behind the Cavaliers (10-4) 21-5 after one quarter and 38-9 at halftime and came away with an ugly loss.

Stark (3-11) had just 14 points after three quarters before scoring 20 in the fourth.

Drew McQuarrie led the Generals with a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Cam Williams had eight assists.

Winnisquam 59, Newfound 46

Winnisquam (12-3) passed the ball well and shared the load offensively to beat Newfound (4-11) for the second time this season. Winnisquam held a four-point halftime lead (29-25) and outscored Newfound 30-21 in the second half.

Christian Serrano led the offense with 16 points and Torrey Martinez (13 points) also reached double-figures. Timmy Harmon and Mike Buxton scored eight points apiece.



Austin Beaudette scored three minutes into the game as the Falcons (11-3) scored all three of their goals in the first period. Jake Rand and Devin Barker added the other two tallies, and assists were provided by Josh Lacasse, Chris Fournier and Jeremy Duhamel.

Kingswood (6-8) offered resistance, scoring one in both the first and second periods, but Falcons goalie Kinsman Corthell made 15 saves to preserve the victory.

Belmont-Gilford 7, Kearsarge 2

The Bulldogs (13-2-0) defeated the Cougars (1-6-1) by a wide margin, never letting Kearsarge come within striking distance.

Kearsarge goals were scored by freshman center Jakob Arnold and senior center Will Aufranc. Cody Rowe made 22 saves for the Cougars.

Kearsarge plays a make-up game tomorrow night against Kennett at Proctor Academy, while Belmont-Gilford looks to avenge one of its two losses against Berlin on Wednesday night.

John Stark-Hopkinton 11, Manchester West 3

The General Hawks (8-4-1) dominated the Blue Knights (0-12-0) in a one-sided affair in Manchester.

John Stark-Hopkinton’s scoring was led by a hat trick from sophomore Jacob Blanchette, who also picked up an assist. Junior Ryan Hawkes (goal, three assists) and sophomore Callahan Loos (two goals, assist) also played large roles on the offensive end of the ice.

The other goals for John Stark-Hopkinton were netted by Garrett Thomas, Robbie Ferguson, Adrian McCarthy-Tiella, Kyle Kolehmainen and Alex Lajeunesse.


Concord 6, Con-Val 0

The Tide (3-9) scored two power-play goals and three shorthanded goals in a win over Con-Val (0-14).

Concord started the scoring in the second period on an Annie Mullen power-play goal assisted by Kaleigh Otto and Elizabeth Donlon, followed by an unassisted Kate Dasey goal. Concord then rattled off three shorthanded goals courtesy of Otto, Donlon and Mullen (all unassisted). Delana Erickson ended the scoring in the third period on a power-play goal.



The Tide dominated the host team, displaying depth throughout the lineup.

Chris Munnell (138) had the lone pin, while Alex Kamau (132), Ian Wagner (152), Walters Ndi (195), Tyshawn Roberts (225) and Dylan Naylor (285) won by decision and Nate Engel (113), Connor Stadnicki (120), Brandon Simpson (126) and George Tarwo (182) won by forfeit.


State Championships

James McCluskey of Hopkinton had the longest jump of the competition (33 meters), but his overall score (118.5 points) was bested by Hanover’s Nathan Roth (119.5 points) as McCluskey tied for second place and helped his team finish third. Host Hanover won the team title with 390.5 points, ahead of Plymouth (370), Hopkinton (367.5) and Sunapee (340). Concord finished fifth (329), barely ahead of sixth-place Kennett (327).

Hopkinton’s Meg Hemmerlein (99 points, jump of 26 meters) came in 12th, while Jake Hemmerlein (97 points, 27 meters) and Tim Jones (97 points, 26.5 meters) tied for 13th.



Gia Quinn of John Stark came in sixth in the all-around in what was an impressive showing at the state championship in Hanover.

Quinn finished sixth on the bars, sixth on the floor, sixth on the beam and seventh on the vault.

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