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Eagle girls fall to White Mountains Regional

GILFORD — The Gilford High School girls' varsity basketball team was knocked out of the Division III tournament on Saturday with a 46-14 setback against fourth-seeded White Mountains Regional. Coach Rick Forge said the Gilford team, which will graduate six seniors this year, will return next year as a showcase of young, promising talent.
It was a cold shooting Eagle club that found itself on the opposite side of a hot shooting Spartan squad on Saturday. White Mountains shot 10 for 14 beyond the arc, including their first six three-point attempts by Kaitlin Wood. Wood finished the day with seven three-pointers to tie a tournament record. The Spartans jumped out to an 11-4 lead after the first quarter and the Eagles, who shot only 11 percent on the night, found themselves behind 27-8 at the break. The second half was all White Mountains as they rolled into the semi finals. For Gilford, who end their season at 15-5, freshman Cassidy Bartlett led in scoring with 10 points. Gilford will graduate six seniors, including Molly Dietrich, Sarah Veazey, Paige Laliberte, Sophie Brunt, Hayley Jakubens and Abby Harris.
Harris had effectively already left the lineup by the time tournament season arrived, explained Forge, as a knee injury left her sidelined. Harris, a forward, brought a physicality and leadership element that he missed on Saturday against White Mountains. "Her court presenece was very important," he said. Referring to her season-ending injury, "That certainly affected us." Likewise, he expects to feel the loss of the other five graduating seniors when the season starts next year. "Losing six players like that is difficult to replace all at once," he said.
Athough he expects to experience a few "growing pains" in the near future, Forge has reason to be optimistic for the medium- to long-term. "We have a very good freshmen group coming up." Bartlett, as well as fellow freshmen Jordan Dean, Maddie Harris and Shannon Mercer could all earn starting roles next year, he said. "That's a very talented group." In addition, he noted that the junior varsity team went undefeated this year, and the eighth graders hold similar promise. "The program is very solid," he said.
"We played very well this year. With the exception of a couple of blips, we played exceptionally well." Forge also enjoyed the new alignment of districts within the NHIAA, a change that saw local teams all competing in Division III. "It was fun in the Lakes Region, on any given night, anybody and beat anybody. I think basketball in the Lakes Region was exciting this year," he said, adding that he was eager to see what his team would be able to do next year.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 23:38

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Gilford girls are 5th & 6th grade LAYBL champs

The 2013 Lou Athanas Youth Basketball League Invitational Tournament 5th & 6th Grade Girls Division Champions from Gilford celebrate their victory with their coaches and their Fans. Pictured from left to right are: Laurel Normandin, Colby Butterfield, Zoe Nash-Boucher, Hannah Perkins,  Brianna Salanitro, Shelbie Cole, Avy Bartlett, Kolbi Plante, Erin Hart , Randi Byars and Abby O'Connor. Also pictured are coaches Lisa Byars and Bill Butterfield. Gilford went 4-0 on route to the Tournament Championship. Gilford will play next in the 2013 Francouer/Babcock Memorial Tournament from March 6 to March 10 in Gilford. (Courtesy photo)

Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 23:33

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2 LHS bowlers compete in individual championship

Two members of the Laconia High School bowling team participated in the State Bowling Individual Championships, held Saturday at Spare Time Lanes in Manchester. The competition is open to the 64 bowlers with the highest season averages. Zina LaBrie and Samantha Batchelder, both representing LHS, made the cut this year. Both also performed well enough in the first three-game series to be remaining in the competition after the field was cut to 12 bowlers for the medal round, marking the first time a Laconia bowler has advanced beyond the first round. Both were knocked out in the first round of bracket competition.
Following the championships, the coaches of each team competed in a bragging rights tournament, which was won by LHS coach Jack Batchelder. Said Batchelder, "LHS bowling team had a great season. I hope other students will notice the success of our program and want to join our winning team next season."

Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 23:22

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LHS girls run out of steam in Bow

BOW — The Laconia High School girls' basketball team found the end of its post-season run in Bow on Saturday, where the Falcons defeated the Sachems 58-30 and earned the opportunity to compete in the Division III semifinal round.
Laconia found itself in an early deficit, falling behind 14-7 after the first quarter. The Sachems mounted a rally during the second period to close the gap to 26-21 at the half. The Falcons took control of both ends of the court in the second half, though. Bow scored 22 points after halftime, while limiting Laconia to nine points during the same time frame.
As has been the case for the Sachems this season, their offense was propelled by dynamic freshmen. Cali Swormstedt scored 13 points for Laconia, while her classmate Kailey Nute followed with ten points.

Last Updated on Monday, 25 February 2013 23:20

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