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Nashua North girls hoop takes down Alvirne

Telegraph photo by HECTOR LONGO The rugged battle is on for this loose rebound between North's Jordyn Choate (left) and Olivia Mazerolle (right) vs. Alvirne's Hadara Ochieng (center). The Titans prevailed on Friday night, 37-26.

HUDSON – Growing pains and the new-coach dynamic aside, Nashua North, after an 0-4, start was desperate for wins.

A 2-0 week is just what the hoop doctor prescribed for the Titan girls, who followed up Tuesday night’s victory at Londonderry with a tidy road win here at Alvirne, 37-26.

“Road wins are important, absolutely,” said Titans’ coach Curt Dutilley. “I feel really good where we are at. We knew the first four games were against some of the top teams in the division (Goffstown, Concord, Bedford, Merrimack are a combined 22-5). New coach, pretty much all new varsity players. We knew that first stretch was goin to be very difficult.”

Paced by freshman Grace Cardin’s game-high 17 points, North ripped to a 15-3 first quarter lead and never looked back, holding a 19-12 advantage at halftime and a 28-18 margin after three.

“We’re learning. It’s all new varsity players, a very inexperienced team,” said Dutilley. “They haven’t been in these situations We’ve got a lead, and we’ve got the game under control. Down the road, those leads will extend. It’s starting to come together, and I think they are starting to feel a good about it.”

Cardin, who nailed three 3-pointers on the night, had seven in the opening quarter.

“We had some really good shooting from (Cardin),” Dutilley said. “Early on in the game, creating that super-fast separation in the first quarter, we executed really well. I thought we played outstanding defense in the first half. I’m very happy with that.”

But it might have been her second triple of the night, from about 24 feet to beat the third-quarter buzzer that was North’s biggest hoop of the night.

Down 10 with only eight minutes left in this defensive struggle, the deficit was nearly insurmountable for Alvirne, which fell to 2-5 with its third straight loss.

Bianca Gershgorin, Tori Conrad (11 rebounds) and Olivia Mazerolle each had five points apiece for North. Kaitlyn Laurendi added four.

“We get a week off now before we play Memorial (Friday night). This will be good to step away (for midterms),” said Dutilley. “We’ve won two in a row. We’re starting to see the confidence on their faces that they know they’re doing the right things.”

Senior Sara Ruigrok paced Alvirne with 10 points. Grace Hodgdon and Ellie Ochieng each pitched in four. Paige McKinley had the lone 3-pointer on the night for the Broncos, who travel down Route 102 to Londonderry on Tuesday.