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Girls Basketball

Lancers stun unbeaten defending champs

 MANCHESTER — Brittany Roche netted the game-winning 3-point shot for Londonderry, but senior point guard Aliza Simpson proved to be the difference-maker.

The second-seeded Lancers won 57-56 over previously-unbeaten Bedford, the top seed, here in the Division 1 championship game at Southern New Hampshire University last night.

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Girls Basketball, 04/12/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central rally falls short against unbeaten Lynn English

Division 1 North Final

LOWELL — In another year, Central Catholic probably would have got onto the bus back to school last night as Division 1 North champs. The senior-laden Raiders roared back from a 27-12 deficit against an undefeated team and eventually got the lead at 43-42 following a three-point play by its best player last night, senior Amanda Williams. The problem was Lynn English’s best player, Catherine Stinson, scored five of her game-high 25 points to help end defending state champion Central’s season last night, 52-49. “I knew Central was going to come back. They always come back,” said Stinson. “That is one tough team. They’ve experienced winning (a state title) ... But we’re hungry, too.” Central appeared to be playing the Merrimack Valley Conference card, as soon as the game started, running off five straight points and holding Lynn English scoreless for nearly four minutes. But then Lynn English (25-0) showed its “undefeated” self running off 14 straight points, coupled with two fouls on Central’s star guard, Courtney Walsh, as the quarter ended. Central was a mess, falling behind by 15 points when coach Sue Downer called a timeout. “I just told them we had to keep fighting,” said Downer, whose team finishes 21-2 a year after winning the state title. “We were giving up too many easy offensive rebounds and putbacks. We just needed to play tougher, box out and settle down.” Central’s comeback was not immediate. It was more methodical. Four 3-pointers, two by Alex Nagri and Walsh, with Williams becoming more of a force down low. Central got the lead on three occasions, the last of which was on Caitlin Dell’Orfano’s 3-pointer (48-46) with 3:30 left in the game. But that was Central’s last stand. Central turned the ball over five times in its last six possessions and was able to get only one free throw the rest of the way. Central had the ball with 11.5 seconds remaining in the game but couldn’t get off a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds. The loss ended an incredible four years for Nagri, Walsh, Dell’Orfano and Williams, who scored 47 of Central’s 49 points. All four played varsity from Day 1 at Central. “That’s the hard part, thinking about this being the end for those incredible young women,” said Downer. “They all fought until the end and with a few breaks could be playing (at the TD Garden) on Monday.” Nagri, who is expected to be a point guard at Suffolk University next year, had one of her best games of her career during crunch time, hitting all of her 3-pointers in the second half. “We really wanted this. We didn’t want it to end this way,” said Nagri “I am so proud of every senior. We are very close and have been through a lot. We just ran into a team that wanted it as much as we did. Lynn English was for real.”

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Girls Basketball, 03/09/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central rally falls short against unbeaten Lynn English

Division 1 North Final

LOWELL — In another year, Central Catholic probably would have got onto the bus back to school last night as Division 1 North champs. The senior-laden Raiders roared back from a 27-12 deficit against an undefeated team and eventually got the lead at 43-42 following a three-point play by its best player last night, senior Amanda Williams. The problem was Lynn English’s best player, Catherine Stinson, scored five of her game-high 25 points to help end defending state champion Central’s season last night, 52-49. “I knew Central was going to come back. They always come back,” said Stinson. “That is one tough team. They’ve experienced winning (a state title) ... But we’re hungry, too.” Central appeared to be playing the Merrimack Valley Conference card, as soon as the game started, running off five straight points and holding Lynn English scoreless for nearly four minutes. But then Lynn English (25-0) showed its “undefeated” self running off 14 straight points, coupled with two fouls on Central’s star guard, Courtney Walsh, as the quarter ended. Central was a mess, falling behind by 15 points when coach Sue Downer called a timeout. “I just told them we had to keep fighting,” said Downer, whose team finishes 21-2 a year after winning the state title. “We were giving up too many easy offensive rebounds and putbacks. We just needed to play tougher, box out and settle down.” Central’s comeback was not immediate. It was more methodical. Four 3-pointers, two by Alex Nagri and Walsh, with Williams becoming more of a force down low. Central got the lead on three occasions, the last of which was on Caitlin Dell’Orfano’s 3-pointer (48-46) with 3:30 left in the game. But that was Central’s last stand. Central turned the ball over five times in its last six possessions and was able to get only one free throw the rest of the way. Central had the ball with 11.5 seconds remaining in the game but couldn’t get off a potential game-tying 3-pointer in the final seconds. The loss ended an incredible four years for Nagri, Walsh, Dell’Orfano and Williams, who scored 47 of Central’s 49 points. All four played varsity from Day 1 at Central. “That’s the hard part, thinking about this being the end for those incredible young women,” said Downer. “They all fought until the end and with a few breaks could be playing (at the TD Garden) on Monday.” Nagri, who is expected to be a point guard at Suffolk University next year, had one of her best games of her career during crunch time, hitting all of her 3-pointers in the second half. “We really wanted this. We didn’t want it to end this way,” said Nagri “I am so proud of every senior. We are very close and have been through a lot. We just ran into a team that wanted it as much as we did. Lynn English was for real.”

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Girls Basketball, 03/09/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Astros advance

A balanced Pinkerton squad got 15 points from Brandi Bonneau, 12 from Colleen Fortier, and nine from Valerie Martin to shade No. 3 Bishop Guertin 52-49 in the Division 1 quarterfinals.

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Girls Basketball, 03/08/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Astros advance

A balanced Pinkerton squad got 15 points from Brandi Bonneau, 12 from Colleen Fortier, and nine from Valerie Martin to shade No. 3 Bishop Guertin 52-49 in the Division 1 quarterfinals.

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Girls Basketball, 03/08/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Simpson dominates

Aliza Simpson recorded a double-double (27 points, 10 assists) while Ashley Berube added eight points and 10 rebounds to lead Londonderry 71-43 over Winnacunnet in the Division 1 quarterfinals. 

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Girls Basketball, 03/08/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Championship season

Mikaela Rogers scored 14 points, Carrie Durning eight and Jennifer Lynch eight as Bradford Christian beat St. Marie's 38-22 to capture the N.H. Small Private League title game.

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Girls Basketball, 03/07/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Martin-ized

Junior forward Valerie Martin scored 20 points and Pinkerton held Manchester Central to nine second-half points as the Astros cruised to a 43-27 win in the first round of the Division 1 tourney. Kayla Stacy added 11 points for the Astros (14-7, 14-5 Division 1). No. 6 Pinkerton is at No. 3 Bishop Guertin in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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Girls Basketball, 03/05/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central cap off dramatic comeback, stun Masco

LAWRENCE — Madison Borrelli pumped her fist during a brief and well-earned celebration with 2:54 left in the contest. She had just driven to the basket and made her layup while getting fouled.
The basket put Central Catholic ahead for the first time since early in the second quarter and capped a tremendous comeback after the defending state champion Raiders appeared on the verge of elimination.
If Central Catholic fans didn’t receive enough drama during the boys’ overtime victory over St. John’s Prep on Tuesday, then they bit the remainder of their nails off last night.
Down 12 points with 1:41 remaining in the third quarter, the second-seeded Raiders rallied for a thrilling 49-43 victory over third-seeded Masconomet in the semifinals of the Division 1 North playoffs at Lawrence High.
“I was just so excited because we were finally up in the game,” Borrelli said about her first pump. “And I wasn’t making my shots and it just felt great.”  
Central advanced to the Division 1 North final. It will play Woburn or Lynn English on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Tsongas Center.  
Borelli scored nine second-half points and completed her three-point play with 2:54 left to put Central ahead 43-40. That came right after Amanda Williams’ completed a three-point play with 3:33 remaining to tie it.
Borrelli, Williams, Courtney Walsh and Caitlin Dell’Orfano all produced in a huge way offensively in the second half.
But the offense came when Central began to full-court press Masconomet.
Masco couldn’t handle the pressure, throwing balls away, traveling and missing baskets. In all, the Chieftains scored just six points in the final 9:40 of the contest.
“We win games by defense so we just had to get one stop at a time,” Borrelli said. “I was doing anything I could to get that defensive stop. And I know we all worked together to get it.”
Masco’s defense was the story for most of the game. The Chieftains used a double-team against Williams down low and caused the high-powered Central offense to score just four points in the second quarter and 16 points through the first 20:04 of the game.
The Raiders didn’t score their first second-half basket until 4:04 into the third period.
But when it mattered most, Central’s defense was better.
“None of us had a doubt in our mind that we were going to win this game coming into it,” Dell’Orfano said. “Our defense creates our offense. That’s our motto. That’s how we get going. That’s how we get our points. Offense should be easy for us.”
Despite being covered pretty well with 1:25 left in the game and Central ahead four points, Dell’Orfano kept calling loudly for her teammates to pass her the ball. Dell’Orfano did receive a quick pass and drove in from the 3-point line for a layup to make it 46-40.
“She’s a senior, she’s so experienced and she wanted it so bad,” Borrelli said. “She wanted to do it before Al (Alex Nagri) because Al had four fouls and we knew we had to get this for her.”
With 7.3 seconds left and her team up four points, Borrelli sealed it with two free throws.
“We all contribute every game: our four seniors especially and especially our sophomore, Madison Borrelli, tonight,” Dell’Orfano said.
Central Catholic 49, Masconomet 43
  Division 1 North Semifinals
Masconomet (43): Nicole Femino 4-0-8, Meghan Collins 2-0-4, Megan Letvinchuk 1-0-3, Hannah Kiernan 8-1-19, Kate Kitsakos 0-3-3, Lexie Nason 0-0-0, Stephanie Mini 2-2-6. Totals 17-6-43
Central Catholic (49):  Courtney Walsh 4-1-10, Alex Nagri 0-4-4 , Amanda Williams 6-3-15, Toni Joy 0-0-0, Madison Borrelli 2-5-9, Colleen Frey 0-0-0, Caitlin Dell’Orfano 4-3-11. Totals 16-16-49
3-pointers: M - Kiernan 2, Letvinchuk; CC — Walsh
Masconomet (21-2):    13 11 13  6 — 43
Central Catholic (21-1):    12  4 15 18 — 49

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Girls Basketball, 03/05/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Simpson stars, but hurt again

Aliza Simpson has shaken off the rust from her knee injury and is dominating again. Last night the Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer had 17 points, 8 rebounds and 6 steals in Londonderry's 82-25 first-round laugher over Exeter. But she suffered a hard foul and "turned her knee a little", said coach John Fagula. He added, "She tells me she's OK."

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Girls Basketball, 03/05/14 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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