LACONIA — The Laconia High School boys' basketball team (4-1) Jumped out to an early lead and held on late to beat the Golden Eagles 67-62. The Sachems led by 15 early in the second quarter in large part by the play of junior Matt Swormstedt (15 points). "I have coached Matt from a freshman," Coach Stephen McDonough said. "You could see when he arrived in the locker room, he came ready to play. I don't know if there is a kid that bleeds Laconia red more than Matt."
"We were careless with the ball," Gilford coach Chip Veazey said. "We have been careless all year. We have to do a better job protecting the ball. We had too many turnovers that led to easy shots."
Gilford did not roll over easily, scoring 23 points in the final five minutes of the first half. The Golden Eagles charge was led by Cody Goodwin (15 points), who came off the bench and scored 11 consecutive points in under two minutes. Gilford held a two point lead going into the half 34-32.
Laconia responded in the second half by holding Josh Joyce (18 points), Gilford's leading scorer, to only three points in the final frame. The Sachems reclaimed the lead midway into the third when Gilford's Kaleb Orton (17 points) slammed the ball down in disgust from a foul call, an outburst that drew a technical foul. Laconia converted the free throw and scored eight consecutive points to go ahead and not look back. The second half scoring was led by senior captain Aidan Dean, who scored 12 of his 16 after halftime. Laconia's leading scorer was Jake Sullivan, who scored 18 off the bench.
The Sachems will host Division II foe Plymouth (5-0) tonight at 6:30. Gilford visits Winnisquam (2-2) tonight at 4:30.