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MV girls bring home first title, 55-49 over Coe-Brown

  • From left: Merrimack Valley's Olivia Thurber, Cassidy Huckins and Mayson Kimball spring off the bench as buzzer sounded at the Division II girls basketball championship against Coe-Brown at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    From left: Merrimack Valley's Olivia Thurber, Cassidy Huckins and Mayson Kimball spring off the bench as buzzer sounded at the Division II girls basketball championship against Coe-Brown at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen shoots the ball over Coe-Brown defenders during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen shoots the ball over Coe-Brown defenders during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley's Mayson Kimball blocks a shot by Coe-Brown's Sydney Fisher during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley's Mayson Kimball blocks a shot by Coe-Brown's Sydney Fisher during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Coe-Brown's Deborah Peabody tries to shoot the ball as Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen defends during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Coe-Brown's Deborah Peabody tries to shoot the ball as Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen defends during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen shoots the ball over Coe-Brown defenders during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen shoots the ball over Coe-Brown defenders during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley's Mayson Kimball blocks a shot by Coe-Brown's Sydney Fisher during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley's Mayson Kimball blocks a shot by Coe-Brown's Sydney Fisher during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Coe-Brown's Deborah Peabody tries to shoot the ball as Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen defends during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Coe-Brown's Deborah Peabody tries to shoot the ball as Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen defends during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.     <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley's Sammi Osborne jumps into Olivia Thurber's arms as (from left) Cassidy Huckins, Haley Adams, Erin Frost and Emily Mulleavey celebrate after receiving their state championship medals by defeating Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley's Sammi Osborne jumps into Olivia Thurber's arms as (from left) Cassidy Huckins, Haley Adams, Erin Frost and Emily Mulleavey celebrate after receiving their state championship medals by defeating Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

    Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014. Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.

    (ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

  • From left: Merrimack Valley's Olivia Thurber, Cassidy Huckins and Mayson Kimball spring off the bench as buzzer sounded at the Division II girls basketball championship against Coe-Brown at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen shoots the ball over Coe-Brown defenders during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley's Mayson Kimball blocks a shot by Coe-Brown's Sydney Fisher during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Coe-Brown's Deborah Peabody tries to shoot the ball as Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen defends during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Co-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen shoots the ball over Coe-Brown defenders during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley's Mayson Kimball blocks a shot by Coe-Brown's Sydney Fisher during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Coe-Brown's Deborah Peabody tries to shoot the ball as Merrimack Valley's Mary Mullen defends during the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.     <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley's Sammi Osborne jumps into Olivia Thurber's arms as (from left) Cassidy Huckins, Haley Adams, Erin Frost and Emily Mulleavey celebrate after receiving their state championship medals by defeating Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)
  • Merrimack Valley defeated Coe-Brown in the Division II girls basketball championship at SNHU on Sunday, March 16, 2014.  Merrimack Valley beat Coe-Brown 55-49.    <br/><br/>(ARIANA van den AKKER / Monitor staff)

MANCHESTER – The final steps were the toughest for this Merrimack Valley girls’ basketball team. The Pride faced fourth-quarter deficits in the quarterfinals, semifinals and again in yesterday’s Division II championship against Coe-Brown. The MV players might have felt that late pressure, but they’ve also sensed destiny on their side.

“We’ve been nervous all through the playoffs, then every time we get into the game we calm down,” Pride senior Mary Mullen said. “But like I said before, I’ve had this gut feeling that it’s our turn, and it turns out it was.”

After jumping out to an early 13-point lead, No. 4 MV saw No. 6 Coe-Brown fight back to take a three-point lead into the fourth. But like it has throughout the playoffs, the Pride (18-4) found a way in the fourth quarter and came away with a 55-49 win and the first girls’ basketball championship in school history.

“We were a little nervous in the fourth, but we were still into the game and still energized,” said MV sophomore Mayson Kimball, who finished with a game-high 18 points and 13 rebounds and led her team in scoring in all four of its tournament wins. “We wanted it still and we knew we could beat ’em.”

It was the third time this season Merrimack Valley beat the Bears (16-6). And like the first two games – 57-53 in Northwood on Jan. 14 and 41-34 in Penacook on Jan. 31 – this one came down to the end.

Mullen, who scored seven of her 16 in the fourth, tied the game at 38-38 with an and-1 three-point play on MV’s first possession of the final quarter, and the teams traded punches from there. Pride junior Cassidy Huckins, who scored all seven of her points in the fourth, hit a big 3 with 3:48 left to give MV a 47-44 lead. Coe-Brown’s Abby Ahern (11 points, seven rebounds) hit two free throws with 3:13 on the clock and then found Jenny Schlim (12 points, seven rebounds, two assists) for a layup to pull the Bears to within two, 51-49, with 2:01 left.

That was still the score when Coe-Brown gathered a missed free throw and called a timeout with 27.3 seconds remaining. The Bears searched for an inside shot, but the MV defense, which held Coe-Brown to 30.8-percent shooting for the game, wouldn’t allow it. The Bears did get Sarah Curtin (eight points, four rebounds) an open look at a 3, and the junior had hit two of her first three attempts from beyond the arc, but this one was a touch long.

“We were trying to get the ball inside to Jenny or Abby,” Coe-Brown Coach Dave Hartnett said. “But they left (Curtin) wide open, and she’s one of our better 3-point shooters, so I had no problem with that shot.”

Kimball grabbed the miss, was immediately fouled and hit both free throws at the other end. The Bears then turned the ball over on their next possession and Huckins hit two more foul shots to ice the win.

“When Cassidy went to the line I was just like, ‘Thank God,’ ” Mullen said. “I looked at Mayson and we started cheering to each other and the adrenaline started rushing, maybe even more than in the game. This has been a fun ride.”

Kimball took the whole team for a ride in the first quarter. The 5-foot-11 sophomore scored the first nine points of the game as the Pride jumped out to a 15-2 lead.

“I had Cheerios and banana for breakfast, that’s my key,” Kimball said with a smile when asked about her per-game routine. “I was just into it to start, it was crazy.”

On the other end, the Bears missed their first 12 shots and didn’t score until Ahern hit a hook shot in the lane with 3:16 left in the first.

“It’s the one thing we haven’t done during this winning streak (Coe-Brown had won nine straight) is got off to a slow start,” Hartnett said. “And I think jitters, being a younger team (no seniors), caught up to them at the beginning.”

But it was one of the youngest Bears, sophomore sub Sydney Fisher, who helped pull Coe-Brown back into the contest. Fisher scored five points in the final 16.8 seconds of the first quarter to cut MV’s lead to 18-10 after one. She added six more of her team-high 13 points in the second as the Bears pulled to within five, 30-25, at halftime.

“The plans this year weren’t for (Fisher) to be a key contributor, but when some of our seniors didn’t come out for the team, she had to step up and do the job,” Hartnett said. “And she’s had several games like that this year where she’s played as well as anyone on the floor, and today was one of them.”

The Pride shot 47.7 percent for the game (21-for-44), but went just 2-for-12 in the third quarter, and Coe-Brown took advantage. Schlim scored six in the frame and when Fisher hit a pair of free throws with 17.4 left in the quarter, the Bears had the 38-35 lead they would take into the fourth. They couldn’t make that lead stand, but a tough end won’t spoil the entire season.

“It was a great season,” Hartnett said. “Believe me, if you had been in the locker room after the Lebanon game (a 62-38 loss on Feb. 7), you would have wondered which direction we were going as a team, but these kids, they did the right thing.

“They made an effort, they bought in to what we were doing, they believed in each other and I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids.”

Dave Huckins is in just his first year as the MV girls’ coach, but he’s no stranger to the Pride basketball program. He was on the first Merrimack Valley team to win a basketball title of any kind when the boys did it in 1989, and he wore number 13, which is the same number his daughter, Cassidy, wears.

“It’s all kind of weird,” Huckins said. “It’s the 25th anniversary of that championship, and (MV Athletic Director) Kevin O’Brien is my boss now and I played for him when we won it. So it’s really fun.”

All that full circle history is meaningful to the Pride players, but it might take some time for them to process all of it.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Mullen said. “It probably will at 10 o’clock tonight when I’m in bed thinking about it, but I don’t think it will be real until I see the banner go up on the wall.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

MV 55

Coe-Brown 49

COE-BROWN (49)

Schlim 5-11 2-4 12, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Curtin 3-8 0-0 8, Ruth 0-7 1-4 1, Peabody 1-4 1-2 4, LeBlanc 0-1 0-0 0, Langdon 0-0 0-0 0, Bettencourt 0-0 0-0 0, Ahern 4-15 3-7 11, Fisher 3-6 5-8 13, Reiff 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-52 12-25 49.

MERRIMACK VALLEY (55)

Thurber 0-5 0-3 0, Huckins 1-4 4-6 7, Mulleavey 0-2 0-0 0, Kimball 7-11, 4-5 18, Mullen 7-12 2-5 16, Osbourne 2-4 0-0 6, Frost 4-6 0-0 8, Dube 0-0 0-0 0, Waldo 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-44 10-19 55.

Coe-Brown 10 15 13 11 — 49

MV 18 12 5 20 — 55

3-Point Goals—Coe-Brown 5-15 (Schlim 0-1, Curtin 2-4, Ruth 0-2, Peabody 1-3, LeBlanc 0-1, Ahern 0-1, Fisher 2-3), MV 3-10 (Thurber 0-1, Huckins 1-3, Osbourne 2-4, Frost 0-2). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Coe-Brown 36 (Schlim, Ruth, Ahern 7), MV 36 (Kimball 13). Assists—Coe-Brown 11 (Ruth 4), MV 13 (Thurber, Mulleavey, Mullen 3). Total Fouls—Coe-Brown 15, MV 21. A—1,109.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

MV trailed going into the fourth quarter in its last three games, but won all three: 39-28 vs. defending champ Lebanon in the quarterfinals, won 67-61 in OT 26-24 vs. top-ranked Milford in the semifinals, won 51-43 38-35 vs. No. 6 Coe-Brown in the championship, won 55-49 FINISHING STRONG The game was tied 44-44 midway through the fourth when MV …

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