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Lebanon Girls Build Big Lead, Hang On to Tip Hanover

  • Lebanon's Anna Wolke (15) is blocked by Hanover's Lois Schwarz at Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec.11,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon's Rebecca Wright (23) gets off a shot while under pressure from Hanover's Diana Schwarz (11) and Melissa Whitmore at Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec.11,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Anna Kirkpatrick (21) and Maddle McCorkle (20) try to block Lebanon's Rebecca Wright (23) from taking a shot, in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec.11,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon senior Will Tanski and the rest of the Lebanon fans erupt as the final two-tenths of a second elapse, with Lebanon holding onto a one point lead to win over Hanover, in Lebanon, N.H., on Tuesday, Dec.11,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon's Megan Gradijan (4) weaves through the Havover defense of Charlotte Johnson (23) Lois Schwarz (12) and Maddie McCorkle (20) in Lebanon, N.H. on Tuesday, Dec.11,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon's Rebecca Wright tries to get off a shot while being guarded by Hanover's Diana Schwarz in Lebanon, N.H. on Tuesday, Dec.11,2018.(Valley News-Rick Russell)Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Lebanon — As if anyone expected anything less than a nailbiter from a game between the Hanover and Lebanon high school girls basketball teams on Tuesday night.

Hanover, fresh off of its blowout win over Milford in the opener, erased a unsuccessful third quarter and a 13-point deficit late in the fourth, cutting Lebanon’s lead to one point with 1 minute, 15 seconds remaining. It had three chances at a game-winning basket in the final minute but couldn’t find one as the Raiders walked away with a 43-42 win at Lang Metcalf Gymnasium.

Lebanon, which defeated NHIAA Division II defending champion Hollis Brookline, 54-28, in its season opener, starts the 2018-19 campaign 2-0, having come out of a tough early-season stretch against two of the division’s top teams unscathed.

“We’re 2-0 early in the year; I’m not that big on it,” Lebanon head coach Tim Kehoe said. “But we’re also 2-0 on the two teams that everybody thought would be one and two (in D-II). It’s good. We have more confidence in ourselves. We’ll gain more confidence. We’ll get better as the year goes on. That’s what I do know. Hopefully, (if) you stay away from injuries and keep everything solid, you can let it play.”

On Tuesday, the Raiders were helped by an efficient effort on the foul line.

Hanover (1-1) was called for 24 fouls, sending Lebanon’s sharpshooters to the foul line 18 times through four quarters. The Raiders took 33 foul shots and made 24 of them; they managed only eight field goals — five twos and three threes — in the victory.

“They’re an aggressive team,” Kehoe said of the Marauders. “I thought we matched their aggressiveness by really attacking and playing hard. That’s the only thing you can do with a team like that that comes at you, is just keep on attacking.

“I thought we lost that a little bit in the fourth quarter, trying not to lose instead of playing to win,” he added. “You’ve got to attack their pressure with aggressive attacks to the basket. I thought we did a really good job doing that tonight.”

Hanover trailed by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, managing only three points in the stanza before McCorkle drained a 3-pointer with 0:35 remaining. It then went on a 10-0 run midway through the fourth, scoring six points on two turnovers in a 30-second span to cut into Lebanon’s lead.

A foul on Hanover’s Diana Schwarz, her fifth, late in the fourth quarter proved to be the game-decider. Lebanon’s Rebecca Wright missed her first foul shot but made her second to put the Raiders up, 43-40, with less than two minutes remaining. Wright finished the game 10-for-12 from the foul line to counter only three baskets from the field.

Hanover’s Charlotte Johnson answered on the Marauders’ next possession, sinking a shot from underneath the basket with 1:15 left. Hanover had three attempts to sink a game-winner down the stretch, all unsuccessful — Johnson was called for a travel with 20.4 seconds left, Lois Schwarz had a pass intercepted out of bounds with 4.8 seconds left and Maddie McCorkle missed a contested prayer with 0.6 seconds left.

“I was proud of the way we fought back,” Hanover coach Dan O’Rourke said. “We had a shot to win it. Unfortunately, we haven’t on last-second plays like that. It’s December. Come February or March, we’ll be a different team.”

McCorkle led all scorers with 20 points for the Marauders, who travel to Bishop Brady on Thursday.

O’Rourke said he’s liked what he’s seen from his upperclassmen-heavy group one year removed from a trip to the D-II semifinals. Hanover defeated Lebanon in the quarterfinal round of last year’s tournament, falling to eventual champ Hollis in the semis.

“This is the first team I’ve had since 2010 where we have more upperclassmen than underclassmen,” O’Rourke said. “We’ve gone through a stretch of seven or eight years where we’ve just been young. It’s nice to have an experienced team. You saw that tonight. If you have a young team, who knows what happens in those situations?

“They’ve been in situations like this since their freshman and sophomore years. I like it. I think this will be motivating.”

Wright, a junior, led the Raiders with 16 points on a subdued night for Lebanon’s most notable offensive threat. Senior Izzy Peress added 10 points, shooting 8-for-11 from the foul line. Anna Wolke netted eight points, including two 3-pointers.

“With a team like this, Becky has to do a lot,” Kehoe said. “Maybe she’s asked to do too much in a game like this. She has to sacrifice a little bit, scoring and everything else. She’s going to get double- and triple-teamed all year. … She had a ton of rebounds. (We’ll see) how she responds to that.

“(Wright) was on the bench for a long stretch in the second quarter. I think that was a real big key for us, to maintain our presence. We did a really good job. I think that was one of the main keys to the game. We kept our composure when she was not on the floor.”

Lebanon hosts Kearsarge on Thursday.

Josh Weinreb can be reached at jweinreb@vnews.com or 603-727-3306.