Gilford beats Laconia 75-50 in boys' hoops

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Gilford High Golden Eagle Mason McGonagle (#32) battles in a crowded post for a loose ball in a 58-55 loss to Kingswood at the 43rd annual Holiday Basketball Tournament in Gilford over Christmas break. Gilford rebounded from the tough loss and beat Laconia 75-50 at LHS on Tuesday, Jan. 3. (David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun)

By David Carkhuff/The Laconia Daily Sun

LACONIA — Slow starts and tough finishes.
The Laconia High boys' basketball team has struggled to start games. The Gilford High boys' basketball team has battled back from a tough finish at their home tournament to even their season record.
On Tuesday, when the two teams met in Laconia's gym, Gilford exploited the opening quarter by outscoring Laconia 22-3. Gilford went on to win 75-50.
Laconia High boys' basketball head coach Steve McDonough said the 19-point deficit after the first quarter proved fatal.
"It's a six-point game if we can get that first quarter. But that's been the story of the season for us, we've struggled to get going early," McDonough said.
"The kids are staying positive, they're working hard. The kids battled to the end," he said.
McDonough praised Ryan McCrea's attitude and leadership and the contributions of Jake Ellis in the second half. "Ryan Chandler as a freshman coming off the bench and filling it up for us was nice to see," he said.
Laconia High boys travel to Newfound Regional High School for a 7 p.m. game Thursday, Jan. 5. Laconia is 0-3 on the regular season, 1-1 at the 43rd annual Holiday Basketball Tournament.
The game at Newfound is "going to be a big one for us," McDonough said.
"Newfound's in the same boat we are right now, regular season play, we're both 0-for."
For the Golden Eagles, the convincing win on Laconia's home floor helped erase the sour taste of a 58-55 last-minute loss to Kingswood at the 43rd annual Holiday Basketball Tournament in Gilford over Christmas break. Gilford was in the lead for all but the final minute of the tournament semifinal.
Chip Veazey, head coach of the Gilford High Golden Eagles, said after Tuesday's win, "This is a really good effort on part of our team today. Everyone played really well. We started the game really well. We executed our offense. We made it really tough for them to get anything in the paint, especially in the first half."
Gilford returns to the court Friday, Jan 6, at 6 p.m. at Prospect Mountain High School.
The Golden Eagles are 2-2 on the regular season, 1-1 at the 43rd annual Holiday Basketball Tournament.
Prospect is "always scrappy and competitive," Veazey said, predicting a tough game.
At the 43rd annual Holiday Basketball Tournament, Belmont came off a 47-37 drubbing of Winnisquam to overpower Laconia 56-37 in the semifinals. In the game, Belmont's MVP Trevor Hunt scored his career 1,000th point en route to a tournament championship, when Belmont beat Kingswood 60-53 in three overtimes.