Local roundup: Defending champion Raiders advance to D-II boys hoop semifinals

Staff Reports
Published: 2/12/2022 8:05:49 AM
Modified: 2/12/2022 8:33:05 AM

LEBANON — Taking home court at Lang Metcalf Gym for one last time, the Lebanon High boys basketball team’s storied senior class left everything it had on the floor.

Thanks to a clutch putback by Nyeoti Punni, a go-ahead 3-point play by Braeden Falzarano and calm foul shooting by Jackson Stone, the No. 4 seed Raiders (17-3) won a 64-61 thriller against No. 5 seed Pembroke in the NHIAA Division II quarterfinals on Friday night.

Lebanon trailed, 59-57, with two minutes left before Punni pushed an offensive rebound home to tie the game. After the Spartans retook the lead, Falzarano took it to the basket himself and made the layup plus the foul, putting the Raiders ahead for good.

The Lebanon defense made sure it stood up, getting stops on Pembroke’s last three trips down the floor. Spartans forward Preston Wallis had a good look on a three-pointer as time expired, but it bounced out, and the defending champions are off to the semifinals.

Falzarano and Stone had 22 points apiece and another senior, Cole Fabry, added 12. Neither team led by more than four points for the entirety of the game.

“I’ll probably be standing here next year, but our seniors don’t get to,” Raiders head coach Kieth Matte said. “It’s really good that they get to walk off the home floor for the last time with a game like that.

Lebanon avenged a season-opening loss to Pembroke, after which it won 15 straight games. Perhaps the biggest of those wins came on Jan. 24 at Souhegan — the Sabers’ only loss. The Raiders will face top-seeded Souhegan again in Tuesday’s semifinals at Oyster River High in Durham. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30.

Monadnock 52, Stevens 38

CLAREMONT — The Cardinals (9-7) concluded a stretch of five games in as many nights with a tough matchup against the Huskies (13-4).

Lucas Belisle and Kayden LaClair each had nine points to pace Stevens. The Cardinals took a 29-28 lead late in the third quarter but Monadnock answered with a 12-0 run that spelled doom for the hosts.

The Cardinals were 2-3 this week alone and will now rest up for the start of the NHIAA Division III playoffs next week.

Conant 57, Newport 22

NEWPORT — The Tigers dropped to 0-16 with the loss to the Orioles. Freshmen Aaron Fellows and Christian Forsythe led Newport with seven points each.

The Tigers will have one last chance to get in the win column on Saturday at White Mountains.

Girls Basketball Thetford 39, Oxbow 36

BRADFORD, Vt. — The Panthers (7-6) survived a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the Olympians (7-10) in a back-and-forth thriller.

Oxbow used a strong start to lead 18-10 at one point before Thetford scored six straight to get within two at halftime. The Panthers then took control in third with an 11-4 run to lead by 10 at one point, 36-26. Oxbow drained four three-pointers in the fourth quarter to claw back to within a field goal as the final seconds ticked away.

Whitney Lewis had 12 points to pace Thetford. Mason Fahey added eight and Macey Smith had six points.

Maggi Ellsworth had two of those late threes for Oxbow and finished with 12 points. Taylor Bean had the other two clutch threes in the fourth and had eight points.

These two teams get another shot at each other on Monday in Thetford. The Panthers will visit Randolph in the meantime with a 2 p.m. tipoff at the Galloping Ghosts on Saturday.

Mid Vermont Christian 63, Mill River 24

QUECHEE — Hayley Goodwin had 36 points and the Eagles (10-7) ran away with a win over Mill River.

“We got into an offensive groove early by keeping our spacing out wide, which opened up driving lanes for Hayley and Ray-Ray (Rachel Horner-Richardson),” Eagles coach Chris Goodwin said.

Horner-Richardson added 11 points. Skye Whitcomb had six points and Sarah Bascom had five. The Eagles now have a tough test on Sunday at undefeated Williamstown.

White River Valley 53, Bellows Falls 22

SOUTH ROYALTON — Tanner Drury had 21 points to spark the Wildcats (12-3) in a blowout win of the Terriers.

Jillian Barry added 12 points for WRV. Barry and Drury each made three 3-pointers. Ashlyn Rhoades added 11 points and Ella Perreault had seven for the Wildcats.

WRV closes the regular season with a pair of road games next week, at Leland & Gray on Tuesday and at Green Mountain on Friday.

Windsor 53, Fair Haven 48

FAIR HAVEN, Vt. — Reese Perry had 22 points to help the Yellowjackets (15-2) hold on for a quality road win at the Slaters.

Perry did it on both ends of the floor, pulling down a team-best 17 rebounds while blocking five shots. Elliot Rupp added eight points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Peyton Richardson chipped in five points.

Windsor visits Hartford on Tuesday.

Otter Valley 56, Woodstock 37

BRANDON, Vt. — The Otters made six three-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Wasps (5-12) in what had been a tight, but physical, game.

Emma Tarleton was 11-for-12 from the free throw for Woodstock and had 23 points. Lara Tarleton played a strong defensive game according to coach Dennis Wood and chipped in seven points.

“It was a very physical game in front of a packed house for their senior night,” Wood said. “We were physically pummeled by their players the entire game and officials just let it happen. Fortunately, we escaped with no serious injuries.”

The Wasps host Springfield on Tuesday.

West Rutland 55, Rivendell 29

WEST RUTLAND, Vt. — The Raptors (4-10) fell in a Friday night contest against the Golden Horde. Rivendell was led by nine points from Savannah Gray and eight from Kylie Taylor.

Next for the Raptors is a trip to Green Mountain on Tuesday.

Girls Hockey Lebanon-Stevens-Kearsarge 7, Manchester Central 1

MANCHESTER — Phoebe Ballard had two goals and an assist for the Raiders (7-4-0) in a dominant win at JFK Coliseum.

Lilly Gogan added a goal and an assist for the visitors. Olivia Pollard, Lily Hoegler, Elena Robb and Emma Leute also scored. Gogan’s goal came in the final minute of the first period before the Raiders erupted for six in the second period to put this one on ice.

The Raiders host a trio of home games next week starting with a matchup against Berlin-Gorham-Kennett on Monday.

Swimming & Diving Hanover divers open states

LEBANON — The Hanover High divers impressed on day one of the NHIAA Division II state championship swimming and diving meet at the CCBA’s Witherell Recreation Center pool.

Samuel Calderwood claimed first place in the boys diving event on the 1-meter board with a final score of 411.70 points for Hanover. Michael Hertog-Raz was second at 332.70 and Brynne Spaeth took third at 250.90.

Hanover’s Janina Li was third in the girls diving meet at 321.85 points. Teammate Charlotte Pidgeon placed fourth (277.75) and Jocelyn Dennis captured fifth (235.35).

With the diving events now concluded, the swim teams will take to the pool on Saturday afternoon in Salem.

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