Fall Mountain Pulls Away From Newport

Newport — The Fall Mountain Regional High girls basketball teams figures to be in the New Hampshire Division III title conversation, and the Wildcats showed why as they powered for points inside and bombed away from the outside in a 61-37 win over Newport on Tuesday night at Wheeler Gym.

“We try to mix it up,” said Fall Mountain coach Jon “Boomer” Aumand.

And mix it up they did, as Morgan Ferland and Peighton Alberg, two girls who played a lot of basketball this spring and summer for the Twin State Jammers, combined for 28 inside points, while guards Bailey Roberts and Beth Aumand hit five shots from outside the 3-point arc. Aumand finished with 13 points and Roberts 10. Also Ferland, at 6-feet, had 11 rebounds and the 6-foot-2 Alberg had 10. Both girls are just juniors.

“You can’t coach height if you don’t have it,” said Newport coach Dave Muzzy, who had a battling bunch of girls, but the matchups just didn’t work.

To Newport’s credit, the Tigers, who were behind 34-16 with 5:42 to go in the third quarter, ran off nine straight points, cutting the lead to 34-25 and getting the attention of the Wildcats.

“I tell you it’s a different atmosphere here since Dave took over,” said Aumand. “I love his coaching style.”

While Newport may have the style, Fall Mountain had the horses and plenty of them, as nine different Wildcats scored.

“You know we’re focused on team basketball and that means everybody,” Aumand said.

It was the second loss of the season for Newport, and the second time that fouls played a part. On Tuesday night Stephanie Carl, just a sophomore, but a grinder, had to sit with foul problems and the Tigers really needed her in there.

“What did she miss, 10-12 minutes?” said Muzzy. “She’s such a solid player.”

Carl still led the Tigers with 14 points.

While the Tigers got rejuvenated with the third-quarter comeback, the balloon burst real quick in the fourth quarter when Beth Aumand started the period with back-to-back 3-point bombs and added a third a little later to remove any mystery as to who was going to win this game.

“That broke our backs,” said Muzzy. “We’ve got to put a stop to that.”

Muzzy knew that his girls were going to have their hands full. Despite the loss, he said he saw “a lot of positives and things to build on.

“Somehow we have to play bigger,” he said.

Fall Mountain, which opened the season with a win over Monadnock and is now 2-0, had some shaky defensive moments and that was a concern for Aumand.

“Our first half defense was poor,” he said.

If there was one statistic that stood out on the night was that both teams had just three turnovers in the first half.

Newport goes to Hillsboro-Deering on Friday.