BRISTOL — The Laconia High School girls' basketball team had a rough start of the season on Friday, traveling to Newfound Regional for a 50-26 loss. The Sachems were able to keep pace with the Bears through the first half but fell behind in the second due to foulingTate Aldrich, assistant coach of the team, stated that with score tied after the first half the girls had proved equally matched against Newfound, however the team experienced fouling issues during the second half that impacted their performance on the court.
Kailey Nute scored the first basket for Laconia, putting 3 points on the board. Newfound enjoyed a slim 8-6 margin at the end of the first quarter.
Second period proved to be the strongest of the game for Laconia. A two-pointer by Erika Marchione, assisted by Taylor Sullivan, brought Laconia even with Newfound at 8 each. Laconia kept the pressure on the hosts, and after a basket by Natalie Compton, the visitors held a 12-9 lead. Newfound fought back with a five-point surge, and by the end of the half the teams were even at 16 points each.
Pressure on the basket and quick passes helped give Laconia an advantage to start the third. The advance by Laconia was short-lived however, as Newfound eliminated Laconia's four point lead. With 3:27 left in the third period, Laconia coach Jeff Greeley called a time out, though the tactic did little to slow the host's momentum. As soon as play resumed, Newfound increased its lead by sinking a free throw and two consecutive two pointers, resulting in a score of 25-20. At the end of the third period, Laconia was looking at a 14-point deficit.
Compton had a chance to bite into Newfound's lead at the start of the fourth, earning a couple of shots at the free throw line. She missed both, though, and Newfound continued to roll, stretching the lead to 20 points. Laconia finally got some traction, cobbling together a basket by Marchione and two free throws by Compton. However, any hopes of as Sachem comeback were cut short by fouls.
Technical fouls proved to be the Sachems' downfall. Three players fouled out and Laconia was whistled for two back to back technical fouls within the last few minutes of the game. The teams left the court with a final score of 50-26 Newfound.
Compton, Marchione and Nute each scored six for Laconia. Karissa Boney led Newfound with 16 points. Newfound was 12 for 27 at the foul line, while Laconia sank 5 of the team's 12 penalty shots.
"We had a great first half, but a poor second half. I knew that the game was going to be difficult, and I pushed the girls to new places," stated Coach Greely in response to the game. "I look forward to watching the film, because it will help us see where we need to improve so that we can have a better game next time."
The Laconia girls' team will have its home opener today at 6:30 p.m.