LITCHFIELD — After upsetting the sixth seeded Bow in the second round of the NHIAA Division III tournament on Thursday, the Golden Eagles ran out of magic on Saturday. The third seed Campbell Cougars beat (11) Gilford 55-47.
"They played their hearts out," said Gilford coach Rick Forge. "Campbell is a legit contender and we did a respectable job holding them."
The Golden Eagles kept the deficit manageable in the first half. Campbell's biggest lead of the half was eight at the beginning of the second quarter. Gilford buckled down and held Campbell scoreless for the final three and a half minutes of the half and scored six consecutive points of their own to cut the deficit to five at the half.
The Campbell Cougars came out of half time shooting, increasing the lead to 11 midway into the third and were never pressured thereafter. Gilford had an opportunity to pull within six late in the fourth but couldn't convert four consecutive free throws. "We had trouble finishing," continued Forge. "That was an issue we had all year. I am proud of this team and what we did tonight."
The Cougars will play the second seed, Bishop Brady in the semi-final round.
The Golden Eagles were led by Cassidy Bartlett, who had 12 points, Kelsey Buckley with 10 points and nine rebounds, and Jordan Dean with 10 points and 10 rebounds.