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Newport Boys Hold Off Kearsarge

North Sutton — Senior night in Kearsarge almost provided one of the biggest upsets of the season as the host Cougars boys basketball team fell to one-loss Newport last night, 41-38.

Kearsarge (6-12) used an early burst of emotion and a packed home crowd to their advantage in taking a 33-27 lead through three quarters over the Tigers (19-1). Newport rallied in the fourth behind hot-shooting Derrick Pare, who led the Tigers with 16 points including four 3-pointers. Newport leading scorer Andrew Houde was held to just six points thanks in large part to an inspired defensive effort by the Cougars’ Carter Noordsij.

“I tip my hat to Carter, he’s an athletic, long kid and he just crowds you and makes you uncomfortable,” Kearsarge coach Nate Camp said. “It was a great game, we were playing really well. Our guys poured it all out there.”

Senior night festivities prior to the game continued after the opening tip with a celebratory moment for Jeff Stewart, an autistic senior at Kearsarge. Newport won the tip, and by prior agreement, the Tigers scored an uncontested layup. The Cougars inbounded and found Stewart under the basket — the senior then converted a bucket for his first varsity points.

“Jeff is a great kid who everybody loves. It was really special, the crowd gave him a standing ovation. It’s special, our community rallied around our seniors and around Jeff. To be part of something like that, as a coach you teach certain values and to be part of something bigger than yourself, every kid should get to be a part of something like that,” Camp said.

Noordsij finished with 13 points to lead Kearsarge. Down by three with the ball and eight seconds to play, the Cougars ran a play to isolate Noordsij with an open look at a game-tying attempt from behind the arc. The shot rimmed out and the clock soon ran to zero.

“We really struggled last season. Although the scoreboard didn’t have us winning, our community did tonight. We have a lot of momentum and it’s nice to put it all together,” Camp said.

Newport will enter the upcoming New Hampshire Division III playoffs with a seed near the top of the bracket, pending results of other games. Kearsarge should just squeak into the tournament field according to Camp. Both teams await full seeding to be announced on Monday.

Union-32 61, Oxbow 49

East Montpelier, Vt. — The Olympians (4-16) battled to within six points at one point in the third quarter, but couldn’t fight all the way back against the Raiders.

Caleb Lafaille had a game-high 30 points for Oxbow, and did yeoman’s work defensively to hold U-32 star Ryan Booth to just 10 points.

“He really locked (Booth) down,” Oxbow coach Rich Thornton said. “I’m proud of our effort, we competed as hard as we could. We just can’t seem to get the one basket to get us over the hump to put us in positon to win.”

Andrew Lyman added 12 points for the Olympians, who now await their playoff seeding.

Kimball Union 86 Marianapolis 71

Meriden — The Wildcats rebounded from two losses earlier this week with a victory over Marianapolis.

Malik Abu led the way with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Devin Gillighan added 22 points and eight rebounds, while Duby Maduegbunam had 14 points and eight rebounds. Point guard Devon Thomas added 15 points while dishing out eight assists. KUA concludes the regular season at 18-7 overall, 11-4 in NEPSAC AA play, and now awaits its postseason seeding.

Mascoma 44, Inter-Lakes 41

Meredith, n.h. — The Royals (12-6) held on to win a close game in their regular season finale.

Todd Buckwold led Mascoma with 11 points while Adam Dutille had eight, Cam Braley had seven and Andrew Cashe and Justin Marsh each had six points.

Coach Jim Barry credited Cashe for his play in the second half as the sophomore guard came up with a couple key steals off the bench. “The kids really toughed it out and showed a lot of poise in the fourth quarter. We were able to force some turnovers, I was happy with the character we showed tonight,” Barry added.

Thetford 47, Lamoille 43

Orleans, Vt. — The Panthers (16-4) secured the No. 2 seed in the Vermont Division III playoffs with a victory over the Lancers.

Brandon Gray led Thetford with 14 points while Ian Weider added 13 and Aiden Cleaves had 11. Thetford led 11-6 after the first quarter and battled the host Lancers tightly from then on.

Girls Basketball

Hinsdale 39, Woodsville 34

Hinsdale, n.h. — The Engineers put a scare into the undefeated Pacers in the quarterfinals of the New Hampshire D-IV playoffs.

Woodsville led 24-18 at halftime and then scored just 10 points in the second half as Hinsdale rallied. The Engineers finish the season at 14-7 overall, 12-7 in D-IV.

Chelsea 43, Sharon 41

Sharon — The shorthanded Phoenix squandered a late lead and fell to 2-16.

Sharon dressed just seven players and then had three players foul out by the midway point of the fourth quarter. Leading 32-19 after three, the Phoenix played 4-on-5 for the last four minutes of the final quarter as Chelsea came back for the victory.

“We tried to hold the ball, we just couldn’t do it. We had the game won, just couldn’t hold it together,” Sharon coach Brian Allard said.

Caroline Price led the Phoenix with 15 points while Suzie Moses added 13. On Tuesday, Sharon hosts Williamstown on senior night.

Craftsbury 46
South Royalton 24

Craftsbury, Vt. — The Royals (5-13) trailed 20-4 after the first quarter and couldn’t dig out of the early hole.

Ellen Manby and Rachel Moore each had eight points for South Royalton, which visits Rivendell on Tuesday.