High schools: PA girls’ basketball delivers birthday present in OT against MV

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  • ABOVE: Pembroke forward Annelise Dexter gets trapped by two Merrimack Valley defenders as she tries to secure a rebound during the first half on Thursday. GEOFF FORESTER photosMonitor staff

  • LEFT: Merrimack Valley forward Livie Lacasse keeps her eye on the ball even while on the floor as she tries to defend against Pembroke center Haley LeBlanc, who had just secured the loose ball.

  • Merrimack Valley guard Macy Gordon (20) just beats Pembroke guard Ashley Stephens (10) for a layup during the first quarter on Thursday, January 28, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Merrimack Valley guard Rhiley Tanguay dribbles around two Pembroke defenders during the second half on Thursday, January 28, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 1/29/2021 1:22:54 PM

Pembroke Academy is getting its money’s worth out of first-year girls’ basketball coach Steve Langevin. All five of the Spartans games have been decided by five points or less and two have gone to overtime, including Thursday night’s 51-50 win against Merrimack Valley, which happened to land on Langevin’s birthday.

“I’m only 56 but I feel like I’m about 80 after these first five games,” Langevin said. “But it’s so much fun. The D-II coaches are great, we can have a little back-and-forth during the games. There’s so much strategy in these close games and they kids are trying so hard, so it’s fun, but it’s also stressful and exhausting.”

With schedules localized due to coronavirus concerns, and because of a last-minute opponent cancellation just before the season began, Pembroke and MV have already played each other three times. The Pride (2-5) took the first two - 50-47 in the season opener on Jan. 13 and 46-45 on Monday - but Pembroke’s Ashley Stephens wouldn’t let it happen a third time. The junior guard had a game-high 16 points and scored the game-winning layup on a coast-to-coast drive to give the Spartans (2-3) a needed win against their rival.

“I was just really happy for them that they were able to get over the hump with this one because they’ve been so close each time but have just missed out,” Langevin said. “The other teams have been making good plays, it’s not like we’re just giving it away, but they need to get rewarded once in a while for all their efforts.”

Senior Haley LeBlanc finished with 10 points for the Spartans, freshman Annelise Dexter had eight points and Taylor Renna, another PA freshman, added six points, all in the second quarter.

Junior Macy Gordon had a team-high 11 points for MV and hit a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left in regulation that tied the game at 45-45, which is how it went into overtime. Mackenzie McDonald had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Pride, and Hadleigh Sargent added 10 points of her own.

“Overall it was three great games against Pembroke,” MV coach Bob McNutt said. “It’s good to have these kinds of close games where you’re able to draw up some plays late in games and get in some late-game situations. We’ve got to improve there and limit our turnovers and make some better decisions and things like that, but we’ve got a lot of time left to work on it. We played hard, PA played and it was just another battle between us that came down to the last possession, and this time they got us.”

The Spartans opened up a 15-9 lead after the first quarter, but Merrimack Valley held a one-point lead at halftime and the game was tied, 36-36, going into the fourth. Gordon and Morgan Tanguay both hit 3-pointers in the first minute of the fourth to give the Pride a 42-36 lead, but MV wouldn’t score another point until Gordon hit her game-tying 3 with 25 seconds left. In between, PA got some big offensive plays from LeBlanc, Britney Hill, Cierra Hill and Dexter to edge in front by three points, 45-42.

In overtime, Cierra Hill had a pair of key assists for PA, Hayley Kenney drilled a big 3 for MV and McDonald hit a shot with 18 seconds left to give the Pride a 50-49 lead that Stephens erased with her full-court game-winner. MV did get up a final shot, but it missed and Dexter gathered the rebound to seal the win.

Girls' Basketball

Bishop Brady 80, Coe-Brown 51

Key players: Bishop Brady — Ami Rivera (21 points), Libbey Hicks (17 points), Halle Laramie (11 points), Meg Pellerin (9 points), Becca Murphy (7 points), Riley Marsh (7 points)

Highlights: This was the fourth time these two have met this season, and Brady ran with that familiarity to open the game with a 25-10 first quarter on its way to the win in Concord. 

Coach's quote: “The girls played well tonight and it’s definitely hard to beat somebody four times in a season. Hats off to Coe-Brown and we wish them the best the rest of the season. It was nice to get so many on the score sheet tonight and play our pace.” — Brady’s Sal Alosa

Records: Bishop Brady 6-0; Coe Brown 2-5

Bow 44, Hillsboro-Deering 18

Key players: Bow — Alex Larrabee (12 points, 10 rebounds), Juliette Tarsa (8 points), Makayla Murray (6 points, 7 rebounds), Lyndsey LaPerle (5 points, 9 steals); Hillsboro-Deering — Zoe Kemp (9 points), Emily Howell (7 points), Eva LaValley (2 points)

Records: Bow 5-0; Hillsboro-Deering 0-3

Boys' Basketball

Bow 75, Hillsboro-Deering 39

Key players: Bow — Matt Lamy (21 points, 6 assists), Shaun Lover (18 points, 9 rebounds), Owen Petretta (12 points), Alex Boisvert (9 points, 6 assists), Kyle Martin, Cooper Larrabee, Matt Cardarelli sparked us defensively.

Highlights: Bow held Hillsboro to just eight first-half points as Kyle Martin, Cooper Larrabee and Matt Cardarelli sparked the defense. The Falcons finished the game with 17 steals and 13 assists.

Coach's quote: “Pleased we accomplished our first half goals so we could try different things in the second half. Taking 27 free throws on 60 possessions was near our desired pace, but too many unforced turnovers and poor shooting have to improve.” — Bow’s Tim Lee

Records: Bow 5-0; Hillsboro-Deering 0-4

Coe-Brown 49, Bishop Brady 23

Key players: Coe-Brown — Keegan Paradis (21, points, 11 rebounds), Cole Smith (7 points, 6 assists), Shane Cary (5 points, 3 assists); Bishop Brady — Nathan Nelson (9 points)

Coach's quote: “Both teams worked hard on defense all night.” — Coe-Brown’s David Smith

Records: Coe-Brown 5-2; Bishop Brady 0-4

Girls' Alpine Skiing

Concord second

Key players: Concord — Savanah Shannon (1st, 1:01.01 combined time of two slalom runs), Hannah Golden (5th, 1:08.26), Emma Burbank (10th, 1:19.74), Sarah Jeness (18th, 1:25.0)

Highlights: Defending Division I champion Portsmouth finished first with 389 points and Concord took second with 373 at this slalom race at Pats Peak. Londonderry was third with 360 points followed by Nashua South (342), Timberlane (335) and Nashua North (325).


Boys' Alpine Skiing

Concord first

Key players: Concord — Kevin McDonough (1st, 54.47 seconds combined time of two slalom runs), Neil Shea (2nd, 56.75), Brett McDonough (3rd, 1:02.15), Read Merrill (5th, 1:05.47)

Highlights: The Crimson Tide took four of the top five spots to finish with 393 points and easily beat out second-place Timberlane (360 points) at this six-team slalom meet at Pats Peak. Portsmouth (356) was third followed by Londonderry (353), Nashua South (341) and Nashua North (321).

JV results

Kalee Keyser scored eight points to lead the Merrimack Valley JV girls' basketball team to a 26-16 win at Pembroke Academy. Calli Gray and Victoria Leak led a strong defensive effort for the Pride (6-0).

■ Brandon Dukette had 34 points to lead the Merrimack Valley JV boys’ basketball team to a 63-39 win against Pembroke Academy. The Pride outscored PA 30-10 in the second half and improved to 7-0 with the win.

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