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High Schools: Merrimack Valley girls’ basketball hits stride in win

  • Merrimack Valley's Jordan Filion, left, looks down court for an open teammate while being defended by Kingswood's Danielle Wilkins during the game on Monday, February 18, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Merrimack Valley's Jordan Filion, left, looks down court for an open teammate while being defended by Kingswood's Danielle Wilkins during the game on Monday, February 18, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Merrimack Valley's head coach, Joe Raycraft, calls out to Mary Mullen, center, as she moves the ball along the sidelines while being defended by Kingswood's Nicole Matarozzo during the game on Monday, February 18, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

    Merrimack Valley's head coach, Joe Raycraft, calls out to Mary Mullen, center, as she moves the ball along the sidelines while being defended by Kingswood's Nicole Matarozzo during the game on Monday, February 18, 2013.

    (JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

  • Merrimack Valley's Jordan Filion, left, looks down court for an open teammate while being defended by Kingswood's Danielle Wilkins during the game on Monday, February 18, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)
  • Merrimack Valley's head coach, Joe Raycraft, calls out to Mary Mullen, center, as she moves the ball along the sidelines while being defended by Kingswood's Nicole Matarozzo during the game on Monday, February 18, 2013.<br/><br/>(JOHN TULLY / Monitor Staff)

It was senior night for the Merrimack Valley girls’ basketball team, and in the last home game of their high school careers, it was the seniors who anchored the Pride’s 62-32 victory over Kingswood.

Merrimack Valley (10-7) got off to a fast start, outscoring the Knights 19-2 in the first quarter.

“We came out and shot exceptionally well,” Coach Joe Raycraft said, identifying the difference maker in the game. “We shot well from the floor and played well defensively.”

Molly Mullen recorded a double-double, scoring 16 points and grabbing 10 rebounds, while fellow seniors Jordan Neylon (four points, five rebounds) and Jordan Fillian (eight points, seven assists and three steals) also had strong games.

Bekka Donovan scored 12 points and dominated in the paint, grabbing 10 rebounds and blocking nine shots. Mary Mullen finished with 14 points and added four rebounds, Erin Frost tallied four points and five rebounds, and Cassidy Huckins chipped in one point and two assists. Belle Weeks scored three points and led Merrimack Valley defensively.

“This was a great win heading into the final game before the tournament,” Raycraft said.

Merrimack Valley currently ranks ninth in Division II, but looks to improve its tournament seeding tomorrow at Manchester West.

“It was a great team effort,” Raycraft said. “We’re starting to move in the right direction.”

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Mascoma 37, Winnisquam 31

In a physical back and forth game, Mascoma (13-5) defeated Winnisquam (12-6) to secure eighth place in Division II. Winnisquam jumped out to an early 9-4 lead after the first quarter, but the Vikings fought back and won the second quarter to close out the half down 19-18.

The game was tied 23 after three quarters. Mascoma turned up the pressure in the fourth quarter and closed out the game. Winnisquam was led by Angie Roy with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Bailey Long with eight points and 11 rebounds and Hannah Chapin with six points and 11 rebounds.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Laconia 57, Winnisquam 52

Laconia (4-13) used the energy from its home crowd to maintain its composure, force Winnisquam turnovers, and pull out a close victory.

Christian Serrano (16 points) led the way for the Bears (7-10). Andrew Serrano scored 11 points while Spencer Pevine added nine points.

Concord Christian 72, Portsmouth Christian 68, OT

In a back-and-forth game, Concord Christian (10-6) made crucial shots down the stretch, and was able to hold off Portsmouth Christian (4-12) to secure the win.

Jeremiah Boulter was the lead scorer for the Kingsmen with 22 points, while Nick Peters scored 20 points, grabbed nine rebounds and added five assists. Jesse Kelly also contributed to the offensive effort with 14 points.

Epping 41, Pittsfield 37

With five seconds left on the clock, the Panthers (12-5) had possession of the ball and a three-point deficit to overcome. They drew up a play and got a shot off, but it rolled around the rim, Epping (11-5) grabbed the rebound, and sunk a free throw to clinch the win.

Xenthios Cyr (13 points) Elias Doucette (10 points) and Tyler Booth (six points, eight rebounds) led the way for Pittsfield.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

Concord 8, Exeter 2

Annie Mullen scored a hat trick in the first period alone as Concord (5-10-1) won for the third time in its last four games.

Mullen finished with a six-point night (four goals, two assists), while Jess Carroll notched a five-point night with two goals and three assists to lead the Tide.

Kate Dasey and Isabel Stoddard also scored, while Meg Ficarra and Aelin Shea each doled out three assists.

Arielle Berger had a strong game in net, making 13 saves.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Manchester Central 6, Concord 3

The Tide came away without a win from Manchester (10-4), but not empty handed. Thanks to Londonderry’s victory over Nashua North, Concord (6-9-2) is assured of a tournament berth regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s regular-season finale against Bishop Brady.

It was a one-goal game late in the second period, but Central’s Austin Sprague, the state’s leading scorer, answered the Tide’s second goal with his third of the game to make it 4-2.

“Going in we knew what to expect, but we couldn’t stop number 4 (Sprague),” Walsh said. “We’re not the type of team that can contain a big, strong forward like that.”

Harrison Murphy scored with 13 seconds to play in the first to make it 2-1, and after Central regained its two-goal cushion early in the second, Braden Smith converted to pull the Tide back to 3-2. But Sprague scored the eventual game-winner a minute later.

Bradley Sargent scored his first goal on the power play in the third period to finish the Tide’s scoring. Colin Stevens provided two assists, and Alex Orcutt, Sargent, Austin Erickson and Adam Godbout all notched assists.

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