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Manchester Memorial stops Nashua North girls basketball

By Andrew Sylvia - For The Telegraph | Mar 4, 2020

Photo by ANDREW SYLVIA Nasua North's Victoria Conrad tries to stop Memorial's Janessa Brunette during Wednesday night's tournament game.

MANCHESTER – Defense wins championships, but not without just a little bit of offense too.

Nashua North was unable to find their shots on Wednesday night, falling 35-24 to Manchester Memorial in the First Round of the NHIAA Division I girls basketball tournament.

By halftime, the teams combined for more steals (11) than completed field goals (eight), with North unable to single point in open play during the second quarter. Only a completed free throw by junior Jordyn Choate kept the Titans from being completely shut out during that stretch. However, Crusaders only scored eight points of their own to hold a 14-6 lead heading into the break.

While North did manage to find a few baskets in the third quarter, they could only equal Memorial’s pace in the second half as scoring remained at a premium.

For North coach Curt Dutilley, the key factor behind the lack of

offensive input was anxiety.

“Defensively, the girls played absolutely fabulous all night long. But on offense, it was almost all first-time playoff rookies,” he said.

“I knew everybody would a little nerved up on the offensive end, but I’m very proud on the

defensive end, (Memorial) is a very high-scoring offensive team.”

Memorial Head Coach Greg Cotreau also felt that his squad had some early nerves that also impacted their offense early, but the fact that the Crusaders kept the Titans to just one point in the second quarter helped reduce anxiety offensively coming out of the break.

“I think they were a little more relaxed,” said Cotreau. “I told them, ‘you’ve been a great defensive team all year, and just remember that when your offense isn’t flowing, we have this to fall back on.'”

Memorial senior Janessa Brunette led the Crusaders with 12 points while Victoria Conrad topped North with 11.

With the season now in the past, Dutilley believes that with a positive offseason, his squad can build on the growth found during their seven-win regular season

campaign.

“We just kept progressing all season long, we kept growing on defense,” he said. “Now we’ll have an offense to develop that scoring. Add that to our defense and we’ll really be in the mix next year.”

Meanwhile, Memorial will now face Goffstown in the quarterfinals, after Goffstown defeated Portsmouth shortly after the Crusaders’ win.

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