By ROGER AMSDEN, LACONIA DAILY SUN
It will be an all Lakes Region contest in Saturday's Division III girls' state basketball tournament championship game at Southern New Hampshire University when undefeated Gilford (21-0) faces off against Laconia (18-3).
Laconia upset top-ranked Conant (20-1), the defending Division III champions and winners of 42 straight games, 55-45 Wednesday night, while Gilford advanced to its second straight title game with a 53-46 win over sixth ranked Fall Mountain (17-4).
It will be the fourth time the two squads have met this year with Gilford winning all three games, the last of which was a triple overtime affair last month.
Gilford trailed Fall Mountain 41-39 early in the fourth quarter Wednesday before staging a strong finish to put away the victory. Jordan Dean tied the score with two free throws and Brooke Beaudet scored on a fast break play in which she was fouled and converted the foul shot to put Gilford up by three. Beaudet later scored another three points when she stole the ball and was fouled as she made another basket, putting Gilford up 50-43.
Maddie Harris led Gilford with 18 points and Beaudet had 14.
Laconia jumped out to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter against Conant which battled back the rest of the way and took a 38-37 lead going in to the final quarter, which was a back and forth affair until Natalie Compton hit a three-pointer with 1:29 left, putting the Sachems up by four.
Kailey Nute led Laconia with 19 points.
Gilford and Laconia will meet at 4 p.m. Saturday at Southern New Hampshire University.
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