High schools: Pittsfield boys’ basketball team avenges only loss of season with 58-57 win at Newmarket

  • Pittsfield guard Cam Darrah (center) tries to power past Newmarket defenders Simon Cote (left) and Travis Moseley (right) on Tuesday night. Darrah finished with a team-high 17 points and Pittsfield earned a 58-57 comeback win, avenging its only loss of the season. RYAN O’LEARY / Seacoastonline.com

  • Pittsfield guard Dylan Bocash (23) drives against Newmarket’s Simon Cote (11) and Craig Hounam on Tuesday night. RYAN O’LEARY / Seacoastonline.com

  • Newmarket's Travis Moseley (12) looks to shoot over Pittsfield's Dylan Bocash during Tuesday's first half. RYAN O’LEARY / Seacoastonline.com

  • Newmarket's Anthony Senesombath (3) attempts a 3-pointer during Tuesday's Division IV home game against Pittsfield. RYAN O’LEARY / Seacoastonline.com

Monitor staff
Published: 2/7/2018 12:40:31 AM


Monitor staff

For as much as Pittsfield boys’ basketball coach Jay Darrah encouraged his players to view Tuesday night’s contest in Newmarket as “just another game,” there was no getting around the fact that it simply wasn’t.

The Panthers knew it. The Mules knew it. And admittedly, Darrah knew it, too.

“I’d be lying if it wasn’t in these guys’ minds. As much as we try to tell them it’s just a regular game, they know,” Darrah said after Pittsfield avenged it’s only loss of the season, exacting some vengeance on the Mules with a 58-57 comeback win at Newmarket. “Our guys couldn’t wait to get here for this game. Ever since we lost to them the first time, they had it in the back of their minds.”

For three-plus quarters, it was shaping out to be another Newmarket victory. After defeating the Panthers, 66-60, on Jan. 5, the Mules were in position to double down with a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter in front of a packed home crowd.

That’s when a switch flipped for Pittsfield.

Tired of getting gashed on the defensive end, the Panthers (14-1) locked in and limited the Mules to single digits on the scoreboard in the final frame, outscoring them 18-9 in the quarter and holding on down the stretch for a marquee win in Division IV.

“There wasn’t a lot of defense played by us in the third quarter, but the fourth quarter when it matters, we got after it,” Coach Darrah said.

“It’s a huge win,” said senior guard Cam Darrah, who led the Panthers with 17 points and three 3-pointers. “Coach kept saying that we control our own destiny so tonight we just wanted to make a statement win and set ourselves up for a good tournament run."

While Cam Darrah didn’t have the hottest of shooting nights for a player who averages nearly 23 points per game, his teammates were there with huge buckets in the biggest moments.

Josh Whitter put on a scoring clinic late in the contest, notching seven of his 14 points in the fourth quarter, including a layup off a steal that gave Pittsfield a 56-55 advantage with 2:22 to play - its first lead since going up 20-19 early in the second quarter. And Casey Clark finished with 11 points, none bigger than the eventual game-winning free throws with 27.5 seconds left.

“Just the perseverance of these guys,” coach Darrah said. “They kind of took (Cam) out of the game with a lot of pressure on him - faceguarding him and things like that even though we had him at the point. But Whitter came through in that fourth quarter with a couple of buckets and Casey Clark had that big finish where he got fouled. That was huge.”

Newmarket (11-3), which led by four points after one and by five at the half, had multiple chances to win or send the game into overtime in the final seconds.

Still trailing, 58-57, scoring guard Anthony Senesombath (20 points) stepped to the free-throw line, but missed the front end of a 1-and-1. Travis Moseley (10 points) did the same, and with 2.6 seconds left on the clock, Craig Hounam couldn’t get either of his free throws to drop.

Cam Darrah grabbed the rebound off the miss and the Mules wouldn’t get the ball back for another chance.

“We put a little more pressure on the ball handlers (in the fourth quarter) and we just got after it,” Cam Darrah said. “You could see our faces went from, ‘We want this win,’ to ‘We need this win.’”

On course to lock up home-court advantage for the tournament, Pittsfield will face Concord Christian on Monday and Sunapee on Feb. 16 before closing out the regular season against Hinsdale on Feb. 17.

Newmarket will look to bounce back from its two-game losing streak Friday against Epping.

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

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