By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
GILFORD — Six girls basketball teams from the Lakes Region will play in the Division III tournament that opens Thursday night.
Second-ranked Gilford (16-2) will host 15th-ranked Stevens (6-12) at 7 p.m.
The Golden Eagles have reeled off 16 straight wins since dropping their first two games of the season and are led by senior Brooke Beaudet, who played on the undefeated Gilford team, which won the championship two years ago but missed last season with an injury.
Other leaders for Gilford include Shelby Cole and Hannah Perkins, who netted 27 points when the Golden Eagles outlasted Prospect Mountain last month.
Third-ranked Newfound (16-2) plays host to 14th-ranked Franklin (7-11) Thursday at 7 p.m.
The Bears are led by Ashley Dukette, a 6-foot-tall junior who was last year’s Division III player of the year. She has a strong supporting cast, led by Savanna Bony and freshman shooting guard Jasmine Peterson.
Hannah Hicks and Lauren Marsh have been the leading scorers and rebounders for the Golden Tornadoes.
Tenth-ranked Prospect Mountain (11-7) plays at seventh-ranked St. Thomas Aquinas (13-5).
Eleventh-ranked Inter-Lakes (11-7), one of only two teams to defeat Newfound this year, plays at sixth-ranked Hopkinton (14-4) at 7 p.m.
Thirteenth-ranked Belmont (7-11) plays at fourth-ranked Sanborn (15-3).
Top-ranked Monadnock (16-2) has a bye in the opening round and will be host to either the winner of the Sanborn-Belmont game or the winner of the Conant (14-4)-Newport (10-8) game Saturday at 7 p.m.
If Gilford wins Thursday night, it will be host to the winner of the Prospect Mountain-St. Thomas Aquinas game Saturday at 7 p.m.
If Newfound wins Thursday night, it will face the winner of the Hopkinton-Inter-Lakes game at home on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Should both Gilford and Newfound win their Saturday night games, they would face off against each other in a semifinal game on Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 5:30 p.m. at Southern New Hampshire University.
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