Nashua North brushes off Alvirne

NASHUA – It took just four minutes for the Nashua High School North girls basketball team to seal Alvirne’s fate Friday night.

The Titans scored the game’s first eight points, and never looked back, crushing the Broncos 59-38 in Day 2 of the Nashua North Holiday Tournament.

With the win, North moves on to play Bishop Guertin in the championship game at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday night.

“We wanted to go out and set the tone, we wanted to play BG (Saturday),” North coach Ricky Oliver said. “That’s what we wanted to do.”

That challenge against the Cardinals may be even greater if Taylor Choate can’t play. Choate, who finished with nine points, took a charge in the final minute of the game and came up limping. She had ice on her knee after the game, but Oliver said that she’s fine and hopes to have her back on the floor Saturday night.

On Thursday night, it was Choate leading the charge in a Titans’ win. On Friday, it was North’s other star player, Dezi Okorie, who rallied the team. The sophomore scored 12 points, 10 of which came in a first half that North dominated from the start.

For Okorie, it was something she set out to do since practice early Friday morning. She had just four points in Thursday’s win over Milford, but made a promise to Oliver that she would step up this time.

“I told Dezi she didn’t check in (Thursday),” Oliver said. “She didn’t punch her clock at the job, and she told me she was going to punch the clock (Friday) and do work, and that’s what she did.”

Sara Cordova and Emily Kendall contributed the North’s cause with double-figures as well, scoring 13 and 11 points.

After Veronica Moceri finally got Alvirne on the board with 3:17 left in the first quarter, Abigail Streeter answered with a pair of 3-pointers that gave the Titans a 19-9 lead after one quarter.

In the second quarter, it was all about the defense.

North suffocated the Broncos with some tough defense, holding them to just two points while Okorie continued to be the offensive spark in the first half.

“We just wanted to come and do what we do and that’s play strong defense,” Oliver said.

“There was no plan to shut anybody down, we just wanted to contest shots, make sure that they didn’t get multiple tries and get out on the break and get us some easy baskets.”

It was back to scoring in the third quarter, as the Titans outscored Alvirne 21-13 in the quarter to take a commanding 51-24 lead into the fourth quarter.

The lone bright spot for the Broncos was the play of Sandi Purcell, who led all scorers with 25 points, but didn’t get much help offensively. The next highest scorers were Vanessa Jacques and Brittney Lambert with three points each.

With the loss, Alvirne falls into the consolation game, where it plays Merrimack at 5 p.m. Saturday.

at Nashua

Nashua North (59)

Sara Cordova 5-2-13, Dezi Okorie 6-0-12, Emily Kendall 5-1-11, Taylor Choate 3-3-9, Abigail Streeter 2-0-6, Isabel Dunning 2-0-4, Kara Upton 1-0-2, Ali Nelson 1-0-2

Alvirne (38)

Sandi Purcell 11-2-25, Venessa Jacques 1-1-3, Brittney Lambert 1-1-3, Kaycee Carbone 1-0-2, Emily Barry 0-2-2, Veronica Moceri 1-0-2

Nashua North 19 11 21 8 – 59Alvirne 9 2 13 14 – 38

3-pointers: N – Abigail Streeter 2, Sara Cordova. A – Purcell.

BG 47, Merrimack 21

Jamie Sherburne looked as if she had seen a ghost early on against Merrimack Friday night.

The Bishop Guertin High School girls basketball team was held scoreless for the first six and a half minutes of the game, and Sherburne’s missed open jump shots and both failed free throw attempts were a hefty part of the struggles.

But she kept shooting. And once she got going, her teammates followed suit.

Sherburne scored a game-high 19 points and provided non-stop energy on both ends of the floor to lead the Cardinals to a convincing 47-21 win over the Tomahawks to advance to the Nashua North Holiday Tournament championship game.

“She’s the clear leader,” BG coach Jeremy Faulkner said of Sherburne. “She’s very experienced, she’s been through some big games.

“We’re a very young team, so to be able to have her this year, it’s good to have a leader like her to start building their whole high school careers.”

Sherburne, unaware of the pace she scored at Friday night, said that being the leading scorer isn’t her objective and far from her biggest role on the team. As was apparent throughout Friday’s contest, Sherburne aims to bring energy when she’s on the court and provided in all aspects on the game, including assists, rebounds and some tough defense.

“I’m the leader, so I’m trying to get the team going, get the energy going,” Sherburne said. “We keep starting off slow so we need someone to get everyone upbeat and get things going.”

The slow starts continued for the Cardinals on Friday night. Offensively, they were missing shots and turning the ball over, resulting in just five points – all scored in a 90-second span by Sherburne – in the first quarter.

“It’s starting to get a little too trendy, getting off to slow starts,” Faulkner said. “Everyone just sits and watches, there’s no flow, no passing and cutting. They just watch Jamie dribble or whoever has the basketball dribble.”

Being a first-year coach who has focused primarily on implementing his “up-in-your-face defense,” Faulkner said that Friday’s effort has him thinking it’s time to start going over the offense a little more in practice.

The slow start was especially frustrating for Sherburne, but once she hit a shot from just inside half-court to put her team up 5-4 after the first eight minutes, the rest of the offense woke up.

BG outscored Merrimack 21-6 in the second quarter, closing out the half to take a 26-10 lead into halftime.

After a dominant third quarter gave the Cardinals a 31-12 lead, Sherburne opened the fourth quarter with her team’s next six points before leading her team from the bench the rest of the game. There she watched Abby Field dominate in the post with 10 points of her own.

“Obviously it’s frustrating if you keep missing shots over and over again, but that’s the advantage of having the four people on the floor, someone can step up and make a good play and it gets the whole team going,” Sherburne said.

Merrimack was held to single digits in all four quarters of Friday’s contest, with Lauren Dubois leading the scoring with six points.

The Tomahawks will play in the consolation game at 5 p.m. on Saturday.

at Nashua

Bishop Guertin (47)

Jamie Sherburne 7-4-19, Abby Field 4-2-10, Gabriela Piercy 2-1-5, Marie Laplante 2-0-4, Emma Williams 1-0-2, Meghan Cramb 1-0-2, Molly Dee 0-1-1

Merrimack (21)

Lauren Dubois 3-0-6, Elise Jolly 2-1-5, Kelsey Golemo 1-2-4, Dana Mendes 1-0-2, Sydney Johnson 0-2-2, Brianne Nordengren 1-0-2, Julianne Mayville1-0-2

Bishop Guertin 5 21 10 16 – 47Merrimack 4 6 2 9 – 21

3-pointers: BG – Jamie Sherburne.

Milford 54, South 41

The Milford High School girls basketball team erupted for 21 points in the third quarter on its way to a 54-41 win in the second game of the Nashua North Holiday Tournament.

Rebecca Cleary led the Spartans with 14 points while Adelle Pitsas added 12 points. Jocelyn Chaput kept South competitive in the fourth quarter with a game-high 15 points.

at Nashua

Milford (54)

Rebecca Cleary 7-0-14, Adelle Pitsas 4-2-12, Jennifer Dupuis 3-2-8, Taylor Steinbrecher 3-0-7, Jessica Ryan 1-2-4, Jennifer Carson 2-0-4, Devany Pitsas 1-0-2, Brianna Hoffman 1-0-2

Nashua South (41)

Jocelyn Chaput 5-3-15, Mallory McCabe 2-2-7, Daija Gianitsis 1-2-5, Nicole Fitzgibbons 1-3-5, Abigail Hearn-Gordy 1-2-4, Kiela Bridge 2-0-4

Milford 12 9 21 12 – 54Nashua South 11 7 5 18 – 41

3-pointers: M – Adelle Pitsas, Taylor Steinbrecher. S – Jocelyn Chaput 2, Daija Gianitsis, Mallory McCabe.

Souhegan 42, Pelham 39

The Souhegan girls basketball team survived a late fourth-quarter run by Pelham to take a 42-39 win in Day 2 of the Nashua North Holiday Tournament.

Mikenzie Larivee led the Sabers with 11 points, while Hannah Kenney and Devon Hickey chipped in with nine and seven points, respectively.

Pelham’s Hannah Paitchel led all scorers with 15 points, including a game-high two 3-pointers.

at Nashua

Souhegan (42)

Mickenzie Larivee 5-1-11, Hannah Kenney 3-3-9, Devon Hickey 2-1-7, Amanda Gendron 2-0-5, Cori Sousa 1-3-5, Ciarri Formby-Lavertu 2-0-4, Morgan Brady 1-1-3

Pelham (39)

Hannah Paitchel 4-5-15, Jordan Parece 4-0-9, Katelyn Supermant 1-2-4, Lilly Shilimon 1-0-2, Shannon Morin 1-0-2, Sarah Ratcliffe 1-0-2, Abigail Joncas 1-0-2, Lauren Anderson 1-0-2, Sabrina Sullivan 0-1-1

Souhegan 6 14 12 10- 42Pelham 4 11 16 8 – 39

3-pointers: S – Amanda Gendron. P – Hannah Paitchel 2, Jordan Parece.