High schools: Second-half surge saves Hopkinton girls’ hoops from elimination

  • Hopkinton guard Amelia Thomas steals the ball from Mascoma guard Nicole Williams during the second half on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton guard Amelia Thomas steals the ball from Mascoma guard Nicole Williams during the second half on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton guard Amelia Thomas get fouled by Mascoma forward Lizz Pelton during the second half on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton forward/center Bree Hamilton drives to the basket as time expires in the first half against Mascoma on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 2/20/2019 11:51:03 PM

CONTOOCOOK – The Hawks haven’t had many halves like the one they suffered through on Wednesday.

With each miss, it became increasingly harder for the No. 6 Hopkinton girls’ basketball team to regain its composure during its Division III tournament opener against No. 11 Mascoma. And by the end of the first 16 minutes, all the Hawks had to show for it were nine points.

“We couldn’t of played much worse in the first half, but you have to give Mascoma credit for that,” Hopkinton coach Pat Roye said. “They played outstanding defense in the first half and we had all sorts of trouble running our offense.”

Luckily for the Hawks, defense is also their calling card. Despite the poor shooting performance, No. 6 Hopkinton only trailed by six at the break, and then cranked up the pressure on No. 11 Mascoma in the second half, outscoring the Royals by 16 to avoid elimination and walk away with a 38-28 win.

“They say you have to survive one rough game to move on through the tournament,” Roye said. “This might of been it for us, although you have to tip your cap to Mascoma.”

For a split second, it looked as though Hopkinton’s struggles were going to carry over into the third quarter as Emily Moulton opened the frame by banking in a 3 to give Mascoma (8-11) its largest lead of the night, 18-9.

But from that moment on, the Hawks, who led all of D-III in scoring average against (32.8 points allowed per game) and went 13-5 during the regular season, started to look more like themselves.

Freshman guard Kally Murdough’s layup with 4:40 to play in the third broke up a near seven-minute stretch of scoreless basketball for the Hawks and ignited a run that completely changed the contest.

Using its pressure defense and riding the hot hand of Amelia Thomas, Hopkinton erupted for a 24-2 run over the next quarter and a half.

“One of the things that Fiona (Beane) said in the locker room is that our offense comes from our defense,” said Thomas, who finished with a team-high 12 points on 12 of 14 shooting from the free-throw line. “So when we came out (for the second half), I just felt the difference in the team defensively. We were more there and that really helped our offense.”

Hopkinton opted to switch out of its normal press for man-to-man pressure in the second half, something Roye said the team hasn’t done a lot of.

But on this night it was needed.

The pressure bottled up the Royals and forced them into bad passes, which created turnovers and easy buckets for the Hawks in transition. The play of Thomas was another major factor, as the senior’s aggressiveness in getting to the charity stripe provided more easy points for Hopkinton.

“We adjusted in the second half and opened up the floor a little more so we could get that penetration,” Roye said. “That’s where Amelia took over, got to the rim and got fouled. She played like a senior.”

The run only left Mascoma coach Walt Hammond thinking the Royals should have done more in first half.

“I felt like we should of been up by more and needed to be up by more,” Hammond said. “Good teams are going to battle back, especially being on the road playing in their house, you expect you’re going to get that third-quarter flurry and we just didn’t survive it the way we needed to.”

Aiding Thomas in scoring for Hopkinton were Maurgan McGrath (seven points), Murdough (eight points), Ellie Owen (six points, all in first half) and Beane, who only scored two points but came off the bench at critical times to settle down the team on both ends of the floor.

“This is basically a young team and they’ve grown up a lot this year. I really enjoy them because they try to help each other on defense and share the ball on offense,” Roye said. “I think I played 10 or 11 (players) tonight and we got contributions from everyone. That helps a lot in a game like this.”

Up next for Hopkinton is a meeting with No. 3 Newfound in the quarterfinals on Saturday at 7 p.m. Hopkinton defeated Newfound last year in the quarterfinals, 33-31.

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)

Girls’ basketball
D-III First round

No. 8 Belmont 44,
No. 9 Berlin 43

Key players: Belmont – Julianna Estremera (28 points), Katie Galambos (19 rebounds), Mackenzie Donovan (6 points, 7 assists), Lizzie Fleming (defense), Molly Sottak (3 points, defense), Morgan Hall (4 points, defense), Alexis Donovan (defense)

Highlights: Trailing by 10, 39-29, midway through the fourth quarter, the Raiders changed up their defense, leaned on their seniors and fed off the energy from their home crowd to pull out the playoff win. Estremera scored 13 of her 28 points in the fourth quarter, including the go-ahead bucket, a floater in the lane, with just 15.5 seconds on the clock. Berlin had a chance to win with a good look at an inside shot, but the ball wouldn’t drop and Belmont advanced to face No. 1 Conant in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Coach’s quote: “This was a great win for the program. The girls never gave up, they kept making plays, and having the home court made a huge difference. The team really started to jell last week and I couldn’t be happier for the girls.” – Belmont’s Mark Dawalga

Records: Belmont 11-8; Berlin 9-10

Girls’ Basketball

Bishop Brady 76, Souhegan 39

Key players: Bishop Brady – Ami Rivera (20 points, 7 rebounds), Kaylee Smith (16 points, 10 rebounds), Halle Laramie (13 points)

Highlights: All 15 players got on the court for the Giants, who finished the regular season on a nine-game wining streak.

Coach’s quote: “In a fun, final regular-season home game, team energy was high as we honored and played for our seniors tonight. Applause to Emily St. Arnaud, Ariel Bergeron, and Abby Tremblay for their play tonight and for their contributions to our girls’ basketball program throughout the years. We now look forward to postseason play.” – Bishop Brady’s Annie Alosa

Records: Bishop Brady 15-3; Souhegan 3-14

Pembroke 51,
Manchester West 30

Key players: Pembroke – Lindsay St. Jacques (13 points, 7 rebounds), Savannah Youngman (10 points)

Highlights: The Spartans built a 13-2 lead after the first quarter and kept it going from there.

Coach’s quote: “Great team effort tonight. Looking forward to playing again on Friday.” – Pembroke Academy’s Michaela Champlin

Records: Pembroke 5-12; Manchester West 2-16

Boys’ basketball

Merrimack Valley 65, Manchester West 63, OT

Key players: MV – Kyle Dube (38 points), Jared Sylvester (14 points), Dillon McCarthy (seven points)

Highlights: West started hot, draining 3-pointers early to take a 36-28 lead into halftime. The Pride started making shots in the second half and rode Dube to the win.

Coach’s quote: “Kyle Dube put us on his back and we escaped with the win.” – MV’s Tim Mucher

Records: Merrimack Valley 12-5; Manchester West 2-14

Pittsfield 54,
Portsmouth Christian Academy 47

Key players: Pittsfield – Devin Bedell (14 points, 10 rebounds), Dylan Bocash (14 points, 8 rebounds), Jesse MacGlashing (8 points, 6 rebounds); Portsmouth Christian Academy – AJ Chase (14 points), Jason Stockbower (14 points)

Highlights: Playing on back-to-back nights, it took the Panthers a couple quarters to get their feet under them. Portsmouth came out of the gates fast and jumped out to a 12-0 lead. Pittsfield still trailed by 11 in the third quarter, but the Panthers upped the tempo and cut PCA’s lead to one going into the fourth. MacGlashing then scored six of his eight points in the final quarter and Bocash provided some senior leadership to guide the young Panthers to their 13th victory of the season.

Coach’s quote: “With the emotional overtime win last night, I was concerned with how much energy we would have left. This is very resilient group. It has been a different guy stepping up each night. Tonight it was MacGlashing with some timely baskets. We’ll take the rest of the week off, rest and hopefully get healthy for the tournament on Monday where is looks like rival Farmington will be coming over as the No. 11 seed.” – Pittsfield’s Jay Darrah

Records: Pittsfield 13-5; Portsmouth Christian Academy 11-7

Boys’ Hockey

Concord 9, Central-West 0

Key players: Concord – Anders Norton (3 assists), Devin Philbrick (2 goals), Ryan Philbrick (2 assists), Colin Nelson (goal), Joey Ala (goal), Derek Kelleher (goal), Andrew Paquette (goal), Matt Hauschild (goal), Tyler Coskren (goal), Colin O’Brien (goal), Will Pegnam (shutout)

Highlights: The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first and scored three more in the second period.

Records: Concord 13-3-1; Central-West 0-16

Bishop Brady 5, Memorial 0

Key players: Bishop Brady – Sam Verdi, Ethan Piotrowski

Coach’s quote: “Ethan Piotrowski and Sam Verdi really ignited our team by their hustle and tenacity on the puck. They were rewarded by scoring our first two goals. Solid team effort.” – Bishop Brady’s Ed Seney

Records: Bishop Brady 8-8-1; Memorial 2-15-0

Girls’ Nordic

Hopkinton first, Concord second

Key players: Hopkinton – Emma Rothe (third overall), Lily Sabol (sixth), Francine Trafton (seventh), Lilian Eckberg (14th); Concord – Katie Watt (second), Dasha Savelieva (10th), Johanna Nichols (11th), Katherine Kennedy (12th); Bow – Janna Stich (17th), Brianna Boone (18th), Natalia Rivera (22nd), Isabelle Dolcino (24th)

Highlights: The Hopkinton girls finished with 375 points to finish first at Tuesday’s Capital Region Championships. Concord was second with 369 points and Bow took third with 342.

Boys’ Nordic

Bow first

Key players: Bow – London Warburton (fourth overall), Kirpal Demian (seventh), Samuel Berube (ninth), Luca Demian (10th); Concord – Cameron Brochu (second), Gavin Graham (third), Lucas Thomas (22nd), Brady Rice (29th); Hopkinton – Theodore Mollano (fifth), Parker Wuellenweber (11th), Michael Eggers (14th), Ryan Hughes (18th); Belmont – Zach Ennis (first)

Highlights: With four in the top 10, Bow finished first at Tuesday’s Capital Region championships with 374 points. Concord and Hopkinton tied for second with 359 points. Winnacunnet was third with 337.

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