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Hanover’s Defense Dominates Kearsarge

  • Kearsarge's Erin Wheeler (24) and Hanover's Julia Golder chase a loose ball in the fourth quarter of their game in Hanover, N.H., on Jan. 30, 2019. Hanover won, 54-29. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover head coach Dan O'Rourke speaks with his team in the fourth quarter of their game against Kearsarge in Hanover, N.H., on Jan. 30, 2019. Hanover won, 54-29. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Lois Schwarz (12) looks for an opening against the defense of Kearsarge's Mary Meagher in the fourth quarter of their game in Hanover, N.H., on Jan. 30, 2019. Hanover won, 54-29. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Anna Kirkpatrick shoots over the defense of Kearsarge's Erin Wheeler in the fourth quarter of their game in Hanover, N.H., on Jan. 30, 2019. Hanover won, 54-29. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Correspondent
Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Hanover — A tight-knit group of players with strong defense, crisp passing and smart shots is a dream for any basketball coach.

On Wednesday evening, the defensive-minded Hanover High girls basketball team (12-1) checked all the boxes as it swarmed on defense throughout the game en route to a 54-29 home win against Kearsarge.

Coming out of the gates it was all Marauders, as they jumped out on a quick 8-0 surge, causing Kearsarge to call a timeout within the first minute of play.

“Defense is our number one priority,” Hanover coach Dan O’Rourke said. “If you play good defense, you will be in most if not all games.”

The Marauders used their swarming defense to cause 17 steals — five by Maddie McCorkle — and create fast breaks on offense, which resulted in easy points. Bella Bardales also dominated on the defensive end with four steals and a block.

That is not an accident, as Hanover is constantly working on the transition game, as speed and crisp passing is one of this team’s strong suit.

“I think we have a really good transition game,” senior guard Diana Schwarz said. “When we get a steal in the defensive end, we advance the ball without dribbling quickly down the court. I think it is one of our greatest strengths.”

Schwarz also attributes her team’s great transition game to their great chemistry both on and off the court.

“I think this year is the closest team that I have been on,” Schwarz said. “We’re good at knowing where people are and where they’re going to be on the court because we are so close.”

McCorkle led Hanover with 18 points, followed by Diana Schwarz with 15 points and three steals.

The win didn’t come without some bumps along the way, however. Sickness has been taking a toll on the Marauders, leaving five of the nine girls slightly debilitated.

“I told them good teams find a way to grind it out, even when things aren’t always going our way,” O’Rourke said.

The win was an all-around team effort in every phase of the game. But that does not mean the Marauders are content. An NHIAA Division II state championship is something that the has eluded the Marauders since 2008. It’s something senior sisters Diana and Lois Schwarz desire prior to graduating.

“I’d really like to win a state championship,” Lois Schwarz said. “Our ultimate goal is to leave this season with no regrets, even if we lose. We just want to know we gave it our all, I want to look back and know we tried our hardest, no matter what.”

Hanover looks to continue striving in the direction of becoming eventual state champions as they host rival Lebanon on Tuesday.