Early End for Royals
Newfound Holds Off Mascoma Girls in Playoff Opener
Mascoma’s Lindsey Thompson, right, wrestles over a rebound with Newfound’s Natasha Yarbrough during Mascoma’s 47-36 loss in Canaan last night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Mascoma coach Mike Neily leads his team to the locker room to reassess after the first half last night. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
Mascoma High senior Adam Dutille could not will his team to victory last night. The Royals girls basketball team lost last night to Newfound in the second round of the playoffs. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Purchase photo reprints »
West Canaan — Having already dropped a pair of games to Newfound this season, Mascoma girls basketball coach Mike Neily hoped things would tip in his team’s favor during last night’s rematch in the second round of the New Hampshire Division III playoffs.
The ninth-ranked Bears had other ideas, however, taking a 47-36 win over No. 8 Mascoma.
Diminutive sophomore Karissa Bony — 5 feet, 1 inch and every bit a gadfly — scored a game-high 17 points and added nine rebounds and five steals as the Bears (13-6) jumped out to a 23-6 lead and hung on to advance to the quarterfinals. They’ll play tomorrow at top-ranked Conant (18-1), a 35-29 winner over No. 16 Monadnock last night.
Mascoma trailed, 16-6, after the first quarter, not much better than its 17-5 deficit after one in Newfound’s 52-41 win Jan. 30 in West Canaan.
“For some reason, this team has our number,” said Neily. “They say it’s hard to beat a team three times in the same season, and I thought being at home with the crowd on our side that we could come out on top.”
The Royals gave it their best effort, outscoring the Bears, 22-12, from the midway point of the second quarter to the opening minutes of the fourth and pulling within 35-33 on Alex VanZandt’s 3-pointer with 6:20 left.
Bony got Newfound back on track, scoring on an underhanded layup, then getting a steal and another basket to make it 41-33 with four minutes to play. Junior center Brittany McArthur (six points, nine rebounds) had a big fourth quarter with three blocked shots and a 3-pointer with 2:45 remaining to put the visitors back up by double digits, 44-34.
At 5-foot-9, McArthur was the tallest player on the court. She normally reserves 3-point attempts for practice, according to Bears coach Karri Peterson.
“She actually loves shooting the 3, she just doesn’t make many of them,” Peterson said. “We let her keep shooting and shooting until she makes them at practice, but that’s usually not what (her role is in games).”
VanZandt scored 11 points and Kori Kosiorek had nine for the Royals (13-6), who led, 6-2, before the Bears erupted for a 21-0 run to hush the Royals’ crowd.
Bony scored seven points during the rally while Allie Symonds and Amber Plummer (14 points) sank 3-pointers. A long-range jumper from senior Courtney Douville gave the Bears a 23-6 advantage, their largest of the night.
“We talked about it a lot before the game, about how we could not get behind against this team,” Neily said. “But they came out strong and I think we might have been a little nervous. We battled back and made a run, but again, it was just too much of a hole to dig out of.”
The Royals began finding their groove with about six minutes to play in the first half. Megan Crate hit a layup and VanZandt scored six straight points, including a midrange jumper after Kayla Larocque wrestled out an offensive rebound and fell down while dishing off for an assist.
That type of effort lasted into the second half for the Royals, who doubled up Newfound 14-7 in the third quarter. Five different players scored in the period for Mascoma: Kosiorek, Erin Tevere, VanZandt, Lindsey Thompson and Crate. VanZandt’s trey with 6:20 to go pulled the Royals within a basket.
“We rely so much on pressing and running for our game, and you can’t really do that when you’re not scoring,” said Peterson. “But give Mascoma credit. They play a very aggressive man-to-man defense and they started making us turn it over.”
Free Throws: Both teams struggled from the foul line, the Bears hitting just 13-of-27 attempts and Mascoma only 4-of-14. ... Mascoma held a 37-30 edge in rebounds, but the Bears led, 13-9, on the boards in the fourth quarter. ... The Bears have now won eight of their last nine games, while the Royals had a four-game winning streak snapped. ... Newfound had seven turnovers in the third quarter, including four turnovers in the first three minutes as Mascoma rallied.
Jared Pendak can be reached at email@example.com or 603-727-3306.
The caption for a photograph associated with this article has been amended to correct an earlier error. The following correction appeared in the Feb. 24 edition of the Sunday Valley News:
Mascoma Valley Regional High School's Lindsey Thompson (23) was photographed wrestling for a rebound with a Newfound player during Mascoma's 47-36 loss in Canaan on Thursday night. Thompson was incorrectly identified in the accompanying caption in Friday's Valley News.