Bow, Brady, Pembroke and MV all advance in D-II girls’ hoop tourney

  • Hopkinton's Kally Murdough looks for room to operate against Conant during a Division III girls' basketball playoff game on March 3, 2021, in Hopkinton. Defending-champ Conant won, 54-25. JEFF SULLIVAN—

  • Hopkinton's Maddie Carmichael rises for shot against Conant during a Division III girls' basketball playoff game on March 3, 2021, in Hopkinton. Defending-champ Conant won, 54-25. JEFF SULLIVAN—

Monitor staff
Published: 3/3/2021 10:42:08 AM

John Stark sat out preseason and missed another week later in the year due to health concerns. And the Generals had just three wins going into Tuesday’s Division II girls’ basketball playoff game against Bow, which had just three losses.

Still, Stark took an early lead and was within one possession late in the fourth quarter before Bow pulled away for a 50-42 win.

“I’m extremely proud of this team, especially with the circumstances we had to deal with,” Stark coach Bruce Johnson said. “They showed great improvement from where we started, and they really competed very hard tonight.”

The Falcons (12-3) got 12 points each from Lyndsey and Bella LaPerle, and the junior twins scored seven of their team’s last eight points as Bow turned a tenuous 42-39 lead into the final, comfortable margin during the closing three minutes.

“It was good for our young team to get a quality road win in the playoffs,” Bow coach Phil Davis said.

Both teams started hot, combining to hit five of their first six shots, four of which were 3-pointers. A 3 from Brady Johnson (13 points, seven rebounds, five assists) gave the Generals an 8-6 lead with 5:44 left in the first, and they stayed on top until Bow went on a 5-0 run in the last 1:14 of the quarter to go up 13-10.

The Falcons clamped down defensively in the second and didn’t give up a field goal for the entire eight minutes. The only points for Stark (3-7) came from Johnson’s 6-for-6 effort at the free throw line, and Bow took a 29-16 lead into halftime.

A layup from freshman Eleanor Girardet (nine points) in the first minute of the third broke Stark’s cold spell, but the Falcons maintained most of their edge for the quarter and were up 35-26 going into the fourth. The Generals chipped away at that lead with interior buckets from Girardet and Lilli Stogner (10 points) and had it down to 42-39 with 2:56 left. Stark had a chance to tie and several chances to get within one after that, but the Bow defense was too tough and the Falcons made enough of their free throws to seal the win.

“This was a battle for us against a well-coached Stark team,” Davis said.

Things won’t get any easier in the next round as Bow travels to Hanover (13-0) on Friday night with a trip to the quarterfinals on the line. Hanover beat the Falcons in Bow on Feb. 20, 60-50. The Marauders jumped out to a 15-5 lead in that one and then made their free throws at the end.

“Hanover has a great program, great coach, great athletes. They run their offense really well, they play solid defense, and they have everything you want on a team – scorers, bigs, depth,” Davis said. “They will be the favorites, but I think us being able to play with them (on Feb. 20) put it in perspective for us that we can compete with them.”






Girls' Basketball

Bishop Brady 72, Sanborn 56

Key players: Bishop Brady — Libbey Hicks (23 points, 7 rebounds), Isabella Rivera (17 points, 5 rebounds), Ami Rivera (15 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds), Halle Laramie (10 points, 4 rebounds)

Highlights: After struggling to score in its regular-season finale, a 53-30 loss at Bow, Brady bounced back in a big way in this first-round D-II playoff game in Sanborn. The Giants found their shooting touch from the jump and built a 23-6 lead by the end of the first quarter. Next up for Brady is a second round game at Timberlane (1-9) on Friday. 

Coach's quote: “Some shots fell early for us and we continued to do what we have all year. We like the style to be fast pace and run up and down the court. We put four girls in double figures tonight and any night we do that we will be a tough out. In the playoffs it’s one game at a time and that’s what we keep telling the girls.” — Brady’s Sal Alosa

Records: Bishop Brady 13-2; Sanborn 6-6

Merrimack Valley 45, Kingswood 26

Key players: Merrimack Valley — Hayley Kenney (19 points), Macy Gordon (11 points)

Highlights: MV settled for too many 3-point shots against Kingswood’s 2-3 zone in the first half and scored just 16 points in the first 16 minutes of this D-II first-round playoff game. But the Pride defense held Kingswood to only 11 first-half points, and MV’s offense came around after halftime. The Pride advances to play at Laconia (10-2) on Friday.

Coach's quote: “At halftime we talked about trying to get the ball to the basket and we did a better job of that and seemed to open up a lead. Kingswood continued to play hard and we were able to close it out in the fourth. Hayley Kenney played her best game of the season, providing a ton of energy for us when others couldn't get going offensively. We are excited about the playoff win but need to play better on the road against Laconia Friday night.” — MV’s Bob McNutt

Records: Merrimack Valley 9-7; Kingswood 0-5

Pembroke 54, Oyster River 25

Key players: Pembroke — Ashley Stephens (16 points), Annelise Dexter (16 points), Cierra Hill (defense); held Oyster River's leading scorer without a point. Oyster River — Gracie Gagne (7 points), Megan Moody (6 points), Maeve Hickok (6 points)

Highlights: Pembroke scored 16 points in both the first and second quarters to lead 32-9 at halftime in this first-round D-II playoff game in Durham. Hill held Oyster River’s leading scorer without a point for the entire game. The Spartans will now face local rival Coe-Brown (4-11) in the next round of the tournament on Friday in Northwood.

Coach's quote: “We got off to a great start offensively, moving the ball and making our shots. Defensively we really shut them down. It was a great team effort at both ends of the court.” — Pembroke’s Steve Langevin

Records: Pembroke 6-8; Oyster River 9-7

Kearsarge 70, Newport 35

Key players: Kearsarge — Tori Andrewski (16 points), Caroline Camp (15 points), Rayna Tucker (10 points); Newport — Riley Skarin (25 points)

Highlights: Kearsarge took care of business early in the first-round D-III playoff game in Newport and led 25-3 after the first quarter. 

Coach's quote: “We started fast like we talked about for two days, aausing a lot of turnovers and getting easy baskets. That is how we need to play moving forward in the tournament – play together as a team and rely on each other. We did that tonight and we had great results. Great team win and we will get ready for Fall Mountain (8-3) on Thursday. Proud of the kids, but this is just one accomplishment and now on to the next.” — Kearsarge’s Keith Roberts - Kearsarge

Records: Kearsarge 7-5; Newport 0-5

Conant 54, Hopkinton 25

Key players: Conant — Liz Gonyea (20 points), Emma Tenters (16 points); Hopkinton — Maurgan McGrath (7 points), Sierra Stone (6 points), Brooke Carlson (defense), Hailey Pecce (defense)

Highlights: Conant used a 16-4 run in the third quarter to break open a close first-round Division III playoff game in Hopkinton.

Coach's quote: “We played with them into the second half, but they just have too many weapons. I’m proud of our girls for the hustle and heart they showed all season, especially our three seniors, Maurgan McGrath, Brooke Carlson and Hailey Pecce.” — Hopkinton’s Patrick Roye

Records: Conant 11-0; Hopkinton 6-8

Girls' Hockey

Concord 9, Manchester Central-Memorial 0

Key players: Concord — Joanna Dustin (3 goal, 3 assists), Jaelyn Kelleher (3 goals, assist), Kaitlyn McKinnon (2 goals, assist), Maria Armaganian (3 assists), Leah Beauregard (goal), Greta Norton (assist), Elizabeth Brown (assist), Sophia Branch (assist), Julia Kirrane (assist); Central-Memorial — Coriann Hoag (68 saves)

Highlights: Concord scored three goals in a three-minute span late in the first period to take control of the first-round tournament game. Next up for the Crimson Tide is a quarterfinal game on Friday. 

Coach's quote: “It was great to watch our seniors lead the team tonight with discipline, skill and sportsmanship.” — Concord’s Tim Herbert

Records: Concord  10-4-0; Manchester Central-Memorial 2-8-0

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