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Marauder boys seal opening win

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 3/9/2020 10:15:16 PM
Modified: 3/9/2020 10:15:09 PM

HANOVER — Jai White scored a career-high 25 points, Nolan Gantrish and Hank Pikus each added 14 points and the fifth-seeded Hanover boys basketball team coasted past No. 12 Kearsarge, 76-45, on Monday night in the opening round of the NHIAA Division II tournament.

The victory is Hanover’s first playoff win since the 2015 postseason.

The Marauders held a 33-32 lead with 2:20 remaining in the first half, but closed out the second quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 40-32 lead into the break. Hanover (18-3, 16-3 NHIAA) then outscored the visitors 36-13 in the second half.

“Our defense played better and we took away their penetration,” said Hanover coach Tim Winslow, whose team is averaging 67 points per game. “That’s how they were scoring points. I’m a firm believer that defense creates offense, and if you look at some of the defensive stops we made, they allowed for offensive opportunities.”

The Marauders set the tone for the second half on the opening inbound play. White rolled to the basket thanks to a Gantrish pick, and a Pikus lob pass resulted in a White alley-oop.

The dunk jump started Hanover, which opened the second half on a 7-0 run, and showed White’s versatility. Only a sophomore, he entered the night averaging over 12 points a game.

Charlie Adams chipped in 12 points for the Marauders, who had nine treys in the win and shot 7-of-11 from the free-throw line. Max Galbraith finished with five points, including a 3-pointer as time expired.

“I think we stayed focus the whole time,” White said. “We played like we were the better team. After Thursday night (Hanover lost to archrival Lebanon to close out the regular season), we practiced with a chip on our shoulder.”

The victory advances the Marauders to the quarterfinals, where they will either visit No. 4 Hollis-Brookline or host No. 13 Laconia on Friday night.

The two teams were supposed to play Monday night, but the game was postponed to Tuesday because an employee was being tested for COVID-19 in the Hollis-Brookline school district.

“If they play together, with Adams, Gantrish and Pikus, who are three of the better guards around, and sprinkle in what Jai did tonight, they’re going to be very tough,” said Kearsarge coach Nate Camp, whose team finishes the season 9-10.

Pete Nakos can be reached at pnakos@vnews.com.




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