Souhegan boys, girls fall to Hanover

AMHERST – On a day when the Souhegan High School basketball community was celebrating the memory of a friend, it was Dan O’Rourke who saw his team come together in its own way.

After watching Hanover’s 12-point lead slip to three at the end of the third quarter, the Marauders coach implored his girls to play as one and be aggressive.

It worked, as Hanover outscored Souhegan 24-10 and left Amherst with a 59-42 victory in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. The Hanover boys managed to also hold off a second-half comeback by Souhegan, 46-40, as the Marauders pulled off a sweep on a day when both Saber teams were raising money for the Tony Barksdale Memorial Scholarship.

In the girls game, Hanover’ Lexie Hamilton scored a game-high 20 points, including six 3-pointers, and Eileen Daley added 17 points to give the Marauders (12-2) sole possession of second place in Division II.

“We were falling apart, making mistakes left and right, and they started to hit shots,” O’Rourke said. “We started to unravel a little. I told them I thought Souhegan was playing harder. I told them ‘stick together’ and I thought we had to attack. In the fourth, offensively, we were aggressive and that’s what we had to do and it worked.”

Hanover turned the ball over nine times in the final 4:14 of the third, and the Sabers (11-3) took full advantage, going on a 12-3 run to cut the deficit from 32-20 to 35-32 at the end of the quarter.

But in the fourth, Souhegan ran out of gas.

“One of the really difficult things for teams when you dig a hole, you spend so much energy coming back, you don’t have anything left,” Souhegan coach Mike Heaney said. “We did that. We had a great third quarter, we cut it two, and you’re exhausted. Then all it takes is a 4-0 run for the other team and it’s a six-point lead and you can’t get back.”

The Marauders scored the first six points of the fourth and opened the quarter with a 12-2 run to take a 47-34 lead with 5:34 left in the game. Souhegan’s Morgan Brady hit a 3 to get it back to a 10-point game, but Hamilton answered with a 3 of her own and the lead never dipped below double digits again.

Brady finished with eight points for the Sabers, while Jaime King had a team-high 12 and Cammie Formby-Lavertu added nine.

It’s the second loss in a row for the Sabers, after they had a seven-game win streak snapped by Hollis Brookline last Tuesday. Despite the loss, Heaney believes his team will be prepared for the tournament, which starts on March 4.

“I was disappointed because, and the scoreboard shows it, we got outplayed,” Heaney said. “I think the good thing is, because we’re senior laden, even if we drop a couple like we have, they’re not going to drop their heads and panic. We’ve talked about this stretch for a while now, that this was a mini-tournament. We’re losing out of it, but it’s getting us ready.”

BOYS: HANOVER 46, SOUHEGAN 40

The Sabers trailed by 13 at halftime, but managed to hold Hanover to just four points in the third quarter. The Marauders (8-5) lead was six, 32-26, going into the final eight minutes and it quickly got back up to 10, but Souhegan (4-10) stuck around until the end.

“They’re not giving up and they’re playing hard,” Souhegan coach Peter Pierce said. “We’re always preaching as a program that ever possession matters. You keep saying it and you drill it home, but it’s never more apparent than in a close game, when you look up and you’re only down by a possession or two at the end and you don’t win. That’s when it comes home and has some gravity.”

Two free throws by Rocco Linehan (14 points) gave the Marauders a 36-26 lead with 5:12 to play, but the Sabers went on a 7-0 run to pull within three on two free throws by Brian Dworkin. After John Flory (22 points) hit two free throws to give Hanover a 38-33 lead, Brock Lefebvre for Souhegan to make it a two-point game.

But the Sabers couldn’t get any close, as Hanover made 6 of 8 from the line in the game’s final two minutes.

A.J. Hayes led Souhegan with 13 points while Dworkin had eight.

“We had plenty of possessions and plenty of opportunities,” Pierce said. “We’re not quite there, but we’re getting closer.”

Both Souhegan teams are scheduled to play Tuesday at Milford in another doubleheader, with the girls game starting at 5 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

At Amherst

HANOVER (59)

Lexie Hamilton 6-2-20, Eileen Daley 4-9-17, J.J. Daniell 3-2-8, Holly Schlosser 4-0-8, Christine Croituro 2-0-4, Cathleen Beliveau 1-0-2. Totals: 20-13-59.

SOUHEGAN (42)

Jaime King 4-3-12, Cammie Formby-Lavertu 4-1-9, Morgan Brady 2-3-8, Devon Hickey 2-0-5, Mickenzie Larivee 1-2-4, Emily Gaukstern 1-2-4. Totals: 14-10-42.

HANOVER (12-2) 9 14 12 24-59

SOUHEGAN (11-3) 8 4 20-10

3-pointers: H-Hamilton 6; S-King, Brady, Hickey. Next game: Souhegan plays at Milford on Tuesday

BOYS BASKETBALL

At Amherst

HANOVER (46)

John Flory 6-6-22, Rocco Linehan 4-6-14, Jack Cavallaro 1-3-5, Ben Lynch 1-1-3, Noah Huizenga 1-0-2. Totals: 13-16-46.

SOUHEGAN (40)

A.J. Hayes 6-0-13, Brian Dworkin 2-3-8, Matt Segul 2-2-7, Jerrell Duguay Webster 3-1-7, Brock Lefebvre 1-0-3, Isaac Nevrla 1-0-2. Totals: 15-6-40.

HANOVER (8-5) 15 13 4 14-46

SOUHEGAN (4-10) 10 5 11 14-40

3-pointers: H-Flory 4; S-Lefebvre, Hayes, Segul, Dworkin. Next game: Souhegan plays at Milford on Tuesday.