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High Schools: Pittsfield girls knocked out of D-IV tournament

The Pittsfield girls’ basketball team knew defense would be key in last night’s Division IV quarterfinal matchup at No. 4 Groveton. The Panthers delivered the defensive goods for the first half, giving up just four points in the first quarter and only six more in the second.

But the Eagles (16-4) started hitting shots in the second half, employed an aggressive and trapping defense, and claimed a 40-31 win over the fifth-seeded Panthers (15-5) to advance to Monday’s semifinal against No. 1 Hinsdale.

“I’m proud of the effort they put in tonight. That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” said Pittsfield Coach Steve Langevin, whose team reached the D-IV final last year. “In a game between two good teams, somebody is going to lose. It just happened to be us tonight.”

Junior point guard Stef Gauthier (five points) fueled the strong start for Pittsfield. Her ball-handling broke Groveton’s pressure and her passing sparked team ball movement as the Panthers took an 11-4 lead after one. The Eagles, who averaged 51.7 points per game during the regular season, still couldn’t get on track in the second and Pittsfield took a 15-11 lead into halftime.

But when the second half started, the Eagles had re-discovered their rhythm. Groveton’s Jenna Wheelock hit two 3s to open the third and by the end of he frame her team held a 26-19 lead.

The Panthers closed that gap early in the fourth and for most of that final quarter it was a one-possession game. But when the Panthers found themselves down, 34-30, with about 1:30 to go, they were forced to foul. The Eagles made the free throws, while Pittsfield couldn’t connect from beyond the arc on the other end.

Sophomore Brooke Vien led the Panthers with 12 points while senior Sage Anthony finished with eight.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Central 46, Concord 29

The Tide (0-18) lost its final regular season game to Central (5-13) for its second winless season in three years. No details were reported.

Coe-Brown 64, Kingswood 51

The Bears(11-7) and Kingswood (4-14) were tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter and Kingswood held a slim 42-41 lead heading into the final frame, but a big fourth quarter gave the Bears the win on the road to close out the regular season.

Abby Ahern finished with 25 points and Jennifer Schlim had 18 in the victory.

The Bears now await the final Division II standings to see which team will be their opponent in the first round of the playoffs.

Pembroke 57, manchester West 29

The Spartans (8-10) closed out the regular season with an easy win against the Blue Knights (0-18).

Adriana Major led the Spartans with nine points.

Pembroke will have to travel on Tuesday to meet its playoff opponent.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Kingswood 44, Coe-Brown 39

It was a close game throughout, but the Bears missed some free throws at critical moments in the fourth quarter and Kingswood capitalized on turnovers to win a tight game over Coe-Brown (8-8).

The Bears led 18-15 at halftime and trailed 28-25 heading into the fourth.

Chris Laurion was top scorer and rebounder (16 points, 11 rebounds) for the Bears, while Andrew Langdon (nine points, six rebounds), Johnny Schlim (four points) and Josh Jackman (four points) all played well.

Hollis-Brookline 48, John Stark 38

Playing its third game in four days against one of the top teams in D-II, John Stark (8-8) lost in a defensive battle to the Cavaliers (13-3). Despite being down 14-7 after the first quarter and 26-12 at halftime, the Generals outscored the Cavs 14-6 in the third to keep the game close and even took the lead briefly in the fourth.

“I was pleased that we dug ourselves out of a serious hole and took the lead,” Coach Mike Smith said. “H-B is the best defensive team we’ve played all season.”

Smith also praised the efforts of his own team’s defensive play, especially the effort from Ian Franco off the bench in the third quarter (Franco also hit a 3). Zach Grattan (eight points, 17 rebounds), Nic Lloyd (11 points) and Nic Simeone (six points, eight rebounds) also played well.

John Stark hosts Coe-Brown on Monday. Both teams have identical records and are battling for playoff position.

Hopkinton 60, Franklin 24

The Hawks (14-4) made quick work of the Golden Tornadoes (4-14), taking a 40-10 lead at halftime. The two teams are headed in opposite directions as the regular season comes to an end, with Hopkinton having won its seventh straight contest and Franklin losing its 11th in a row. The Hawks are a likely No. 6 seed in the upcoming tournament.

Hopkinton pressed Franklin during the first half and was able to knock down most of its shots, going 50 percent from the floor and 71 percent from the free throw line over the opening two quarters.

Seniors Steve Auger (14 points, eight rebounds) and Harry Legier (six points, five boards) enjoyed a solid victory on senior night at the Hawks gym, while Jake Nelson scored 11 points with four rebounds. Collin Paraskeva (six points, six rebounds), Cooper Cyr (two points, four boards) and Riley McNicholas (five boards) came off the bench and contributed.

Franklin was led by Dana Bean (eight points, eight rebounds), Jake Jameson (five points, four rebounds) and Bruce Carey (three points, seven rebounds).

Newport 41, Kearsarge 38

The Cougars (6-12) had a chance to tie the score on a last-second 3-pointer, but the shot rimmed out.

Kearsarge had a great game against Newport (17-1), one of the top teams in D-III, and led the Tigers 33-27 after the third quarter, but Newport outscored the Cougars 14-5 in the fourth.

Carter Noordsij led the scoring with 13 points and did an excellent defensive job on Newport’s Andrew Hood, holding one of the Tigers’ top scorer to just six points. Ollie Gallo (eight points), Peter Allen (seven), Casey Laughinghouse (four) and Tim Berube (four) supplied scoring for Kearsarge.

Jeff Stewart added an early basket to score his first varsity points.

White Mountains 50, Winnisquam 34

The Bears (7-11) hung with White Mountains (7-11) through the first three quarters and trailed by one point (31-30) heading into the fourth. But the Spartans, winners of four straight, ended the game in decisive fashion, outscoring Winnisquam 19-3 in the quarter.

It was a disappointing end to the regular season for the Bears, who have lost two straight and will wait to see who they face in the first round of next week’s tournament.

Freshman guard Christian Serrano was the high scorer for Winnisquam with 11 points. Tommy Mahoney and John Montalto each added six points.

Farmington 84, Belmont 75, 2OT

Pedro Perez (11 points, 10 assists) dribbled the length of the floor and scored a layup with two seconds to go in the first overtime to tie the game at 71-71 and forced a second overtime, but with two key players, Kaleb Brace and Bret Spaulding, fouled out, Farmington (7-11) was able to outlast the Red Raiders (8-10).

Belmont led for the first three quarters of the game, but Brace fouled out with four minutes to go in regulation, and Farmington took advantage to send the game into overtime with the score tied, 63-63. Spaulding (32 points, eight 3-pointers) fouled out in the first overtime. Jared Clough had 22 points and eight rebounds in the loss.

Concord Christian 70, Sunapee 65

Sunapee hit big shots down the stretch, but the Kingsmen (12-6) made some adjustments on defense and were able to hold off the comeback from the Lakers (8-10). Concord Christian’s Nick Peters finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and six steals. Jesse Kelley had 16 points and six assists, while Matt Johnson scored five points to go with 11 rebounds.

The younger players on the Kingsmen squad also performed well, with Jeremiah Boulter (23 points, three steals) as a the high-scorer and Adam Sylvester (seven points, three steals, six rebounds and six assists) playing a great all-around game.

The Kingsmen are putting it all together at the right time and are riding a four game winning streak into the playoffs.

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