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At Newport, 3 Heads Are Better Than One

  • Newport girls' basketball coaches from left, Doug Beaupre, Samantha Hemmingway, and Tim Spanos react after a Newport basket during the team's 49 - 45 win over Stevens in Newport, N.H., Thursday, January 9, 2014. <br/>(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Newport girls' basketball coaches from left, Doug Beaupre, Samantha Hemmingway, and Tim Spanos react after a Newport basket during the team's 49 - 45 win over Stevens in Newport, N.H., Thursday, January 9, 2014.
    (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brooke Beaulieu of Newport pushes past Morgan Busby of Stevens during their game in Newport, N.H., Thursday, January 9, 2014. Newport won, 49 - 45.<br/>(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

    Brooke Beaulieu of Newport pushes past Morgan Busby of Stevens during their game in Newport, N.H., Thursday, January 9, 2014. Newport won, 49 - 45.
    (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »

  • Newport girls' basketball coaches from left, Doug Beaupre, Samantha Hemmingway, and Tim Spanos react after a Newport basket during the team's 49 - 45 win over Stevens in Newport, N.H., Thursday, January 9, 2014. <br/>(Valley News - James M. Patterson)
  • Brooke Beaulieu of Newport pushes past Morgan Busby of Stevens during their game in Newport, N.H., Thursday, January 9, 2014. Newport won, 49 - 45.<br/>(Valley News - James M. Patterson)

Newport — When Dave Muzzey resigned as the Newport High girls basketball coach four games into the season, the program scrambled.

Area schools have tried co-coaches in a number of sports, but rarely has it been successful. Which made it strange when athletic director Doug Beaupre recently announced that he, Tim Spanos and Samantha Hemmingway would each have a hand on the Tigers’ helm.

With Thursday’s grinding 49-45 victory over Stevens, however, it appears Beaupre might be on to something. Newport improved to 3-2.

“We all have the same philosophy,” Beaupre said. “We had almost as many coaches as players.”

That’s because junior varsity coach Greg Pickering and middle school coach Josh Fisher were also on hand. Beaupre guided the program to a 2007 state title and Hemmingway is a former 1,000-point scorer for the Tigers.

None of that sideline presence would have mattered, however, if not for lanky sophomore Stephanie Carl, who scored 20 points — 17 during the second half of her team’s comeback victory.

Carl had only three points before halftime, her impact reduced while she sat out with two fouls.

“I put her in with about three minutes left in the (second) period and said don’t you dare get that third foul,” Beaupre said. “She didn’t.

“There were a lot of jangled nerves with the new coaches and all, but I thought it was a good night.”

Stevens fell to 1-5. But after a 23-14 loss to Mascoma, Cardinals coach Ross Dole wasn’t overly disappointed, although he noted his team’s pregame discussions included how best to defend Carl.

“She was on our minds all night,” he said. “We made some mistakes, but it was a lot better than the last game.”

The Cardinals’ Alexis Melcher had 17 points, but only four during the second half.

Stevens led, 11-7, after one period but it was Newport in front at the half, 25-22. The Tigers led 45-44 with three minutes remaining but Carl, who had 10 points during the final stanza, scored twice to give her team a 49-44 lead.

Stevens’ Natalie Wilson closed the night’s scoring on a free throw with two minutes to play.

Stevens made 12-of-19 free throws, led by Melcher making 9-of-12. Newport made 15-of-23 from the charity stripe.

The Tigers visit Hinsdale on Monday and Stevens hosts Fall Mountain the same night.