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Big Comeback Over Goffstown Gives Hanover Boys Basketball Badly Needed Spark

  • Hanover's Caleb Putnam, center, and Graham Penfield chase down a loose ball with Goffstown's Taylor French, and Aaron O'Melia during their game in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 13, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Simon Roach (21) and Goffstown's Colby Putnam dive for a loose ball during their game in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 13, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Charles Goodrich, left, and team manager Ali Nihat Altinova watch the last seconds of the JV game before their game with Goffstown in Hanover, N.H., on Feb. 13, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Hanover — After allowing two-win Goffstown to dominate the first half on Tuesday night, the Hanover High boys basketball team turned the game around in the second half and left with a 46-37 win. The Marauders may have saved their season in the process.

Disjointed after starting point guard Charlie Adams’ thumb injury several weeks ago and loser of five straight coming in, Hanover found itself in a rare position: potentially staring at missing the NHIAA postseason. Hanover (5-8 league, 8-8 overall) began the night No. 16 in a 15-team Division II playoff field, and Tuesday’s 20-point deficit against the Grizzlies (2-12) may have been its lowest ebb.

It turned around very quickly.

A few seconds after Goffstown’s Teagan Collins hit a jump shot to make it 28-8, Hanover senior Martin Paulsen — starting at the point in place of Adams — drilled a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to give the Marauders a spark heading into the locker room.

Hanover owned the rest of the evening, outscoring the Grizzlies 20-2 in the third quarter and 35-9 in the second half. The third period was a clinic on flipping the script, the dogged tempo Goffstown played with early on shifting entirely to the team donning home white.

Charlie Goodrich’s steal and layup, Paulsen’s underhanded basket and another Paulsen 3 came in rapid succession. Forcing five Goffstown turnovers in the period, Paulsen (team-high 13 points) and Nolan Gantrish sank additional triples.

Caleb Putnam and Graham Penfield converted from the free-throw line and Putnam was fouled on a baseline bank shot, hitting the free throw to give Hanover its first lead, 31-30, entering the fourth.

“We spent a lot of the first half chasing the ball on defense, so we wanted to come out in the second half with more dribble penetration and make (Goffstown) go where we wanted them to go,” Marauders coach Tim Winslow said. “Paulsen hit some big shots for us in that second quarter, as did (Gantrish) on an inbounds play. That gave us some confidence and our bigs got going from there.”

Forward Putnam scored all 10 of his points in the second half. Charlie Goodrich scored eight of his 11 in the final two quarters. They delivered after Paulsen was sidelined with an ankle injury late in the third, Goodrich sinking Hanover’s seventh 3 to give Hanover a 37-32 lead with 5:52 to play. Putnam and Goodrich converted from the free-throw line down the stretch to help the Marauders end the game with their largest lead of the night.

Hanover’s capably staunch defense also emerged in the second half, suffocating Goffstown and forward Collins (game-high 16 points). The lanky senior was blanked in the third quarter and remained neutralized until going 4-for-4 from the line late.

“Our help-side defense had to step it up in the second half, and we did that,” said Putnam, who pulled down all of his six rebounds in the final two quarters. “When Paulsen started hitting those shots, I think it helped our defense, too. We got on a run and just kept rolling.”

Goffstown, which has lost five games by single digits this year and two by one possession, built a 14-1 lead in the first six minutes before Goodrich and Gantrish sank 3s for Hanover to make it 18-7.

The Grizzlies were undeterred, using decent speed and ball movement to go on another 12-1 run, Collins hitting the last two baskets to make it 28-8 before Paulsen’s buzzer-beating trey.

“Especially with (Adams) out, I know I have to step up my offense,” said Paulsen, who re-entered the game in the fourth quarter following his ankle tweak. “I’ve always been a shooter, so that’s what I need to continue to do.”

Hanover is hoping the huge comeback will provide a boost moving into a favorable schedule over the final three weeks of the regular season. Including Goffstown, Hanover’s remaining opponents were a combined 23-52 (.307) entering Tuesday.

“We hope this is something we can build off,” Winslow said. “It doesn’t matter who our opponents are. It’s how we play that’s going to be the difference.”

Jared Pendak can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727-3225.