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Houde-Winked, Again: Newport Junior’s Big Night Helps Stop Gritty Wildcats

  • Newports Zach Whalen (center), reaches for the ball along with Fall Mountain's (left to right) Matt Wood, Nick Burns, and Garrett Ward during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    Newports Zach Whalen (center), reaches for the ball along with Fall Mountain's (left to right) Matt Wood, Nick Burns, and Garrett Ward during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • Fall Mountain's Nick Burns (22) defends against Newport's Matt Bocko on a drive to the basket during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    Fall Mountain's Nick Burns (22) defends against Newport's Matt Bocko on a drive to the basket during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • Newport's Eric Bailey stands on a chair and fixes the rubber around the backboard during a timeout as referee Kevin Talcott watches during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

    Newport's Eric Bailey stands on a chair and fixes the rubber around the backboard during a timeout as referee Kevin Talcott watches during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014.
    Valley News - Sarah Priestap Purchase photo reprints »

  • Newports Zach Whalen (center), reaches for the ball along with Fall Mountain's (left to right) Matt Wood, Nick Burns, and Garrett Ward during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap
  • Fall Mountain's Nick Burns (22) defends against Newport's Matt Bocko on a drive to the basket during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap
  • Newport's Eric Bailey stands on a chair and fixes the rubber around the backboard during a timeout as referee Kevin Talcott watches during the Fall Mountain at Newport boys basketball game in Newport, N.H., on Jan. 27, 2014. <br/>Valley News - Sarah Priestap

Newport — Newport High junior Andrew Houde opened the third quarter taking five 3-point shots and making all of them as the Tigers remained the only unbeaten team in New Hampshire Division III with a not-so-easy 70-56 win over Fall Mountain at Wheeler Gym on Monday night.

Houde, who had seven triples in the game to tie a school record, had 19 points in the third period and 35 for the game. He tied the 3-point mark that had been previously set by Jason Jean and Trevor Houghton.

Fall Mountain (5-3) played a dogged game making the Tigers (9-0) snarl for every point. “But we had no answer for Houde,” said Fall Mountain coach Jason Bardis.

Few have. Monday’s effort was one point short of Houde’s personal best for Newport (10-2 overall), topped only by a 36-point outing in a 63-62 win over Mascoma on Jan. 15, 2013. Joining the Tigers last year after spending his freshman season at Pembroke Academy, Houde has now scored 815 points in just 35 games in Newport colors. The Tigers are 31-4 over that time.

The Newport lead was just 30-29 at the half. But Houde made his first 3 at the 7:13 mark, and by the time there was 4:02 left in the quarter, he had four more to his credit. And they were not just on the edge of the 19-foot, 9-inch arc; Fall Mountain kept pushing him back, and he kept pumping them through.

“His teammates knew he was having a big quarter, and they were getting him the ball,” said Newport coach Steve Lavolpicelo.

Because his team played on Saturday, Bardis said the Wildcats did not have much time to get ready for Houde. “Our focus was to give him the 3 and take the drive away from him,” said Bardis. “It didn’t work.”

What also didn’t work was the Wildcats man-to-man defense on Houde. “I thought when we went into the box-and-one on him in the fourth quarter, it worked better,” said Bardis.

Despite the shooting of Houde, it was not a walk in the park for the Tigers. Even after Houde had the sensational third period, the Tigers couldn’t put the Wildcats in the cage until a late-game spurt.

The game was physical throughout, as Fall Mountain challenged every rebound and dove for every loose ball.

“This was a rough game, but I think we needed it,” said Newport point guard Spencer Coronis, who had a 16-point game.

As it was, only four Tigers scored. Zach Whalen added 10 points for Newport, and Jason Teeter finished with nine.

As usual, Wheeler Gym was packed. If fans were there to see a Newport rout, they were in for a surprise.

After the Tigers took an 18-10 lead after one period, Fall Mountain scored the first eight points of the second quarter. Nick Burns hit two free throws and two in-the-lane jumpers along with a Garrett Ward bucket, developments that led Lavolpicelo to call a timeout. Newport was able to extend the lead to 26-20, but Fall Mountain kept coming back and trailed just 31-29 at the half.

“Fall Mountain does a lot of good things,” said Lavolpicelo. “They played us hard, physical and shut down the driving lanes. This was not an easy night.”

With that in mind, Lavolpicelo opted to play a slowdown game in the fourth quarter, trying to manage the clock. But the Wildcats were dogged and forced turnovers and missed shots, yet had trouble capitalizing on the offensive end and never could get closer than eight points.

“It wasn’t that we were not trying to score; we were just trying to get good shots,” said Lavolpicelo.

Newport goes to Sunapee Wednesday night.