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Mascenic girls basketball narrowly falls

The Mascenic girls basketball team came within one basket of the program’s first victory in more than five seasons on Tuesday, but fell just short in a 31-30 loss at home to Monadnock.

The Vikings missed a pair of shots with a chance to take the lead in the final 30 seconds, including one that would have won it at the buzzer.

“We had some good looks at the end,” said first-year coach Wiley Billings.

The game was tied at 28 before the Huskies connected for a 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter. Mascenic responded with a pick and roll between seniors Jocelyn Ojala and Erin Scollons, with Scollons converting a lay-up to cap off her 15-point night and make it a one-point game.

“I had fans coming up to me saying that was the best girls basketball game they’ve seen in years,” said Billings.

After a steal with less than a minute left, the Vikings missed their first chance at the lead.

Mascenic led 8-5 after the first, but saw the advantage slip away before halftime, as they trailed 18-17 at the break.

Monadnock increased its lead to three after the third, but the Vikings’ 4-1 run to start the fourth pulled it all even at 28.

“I’m very happy with the effort,” said Billings.

In addition to her team-leading 15 points, Scollons also pulled in 25 rebounds. Ojala scored five points and senior Asia Traffie had two put-backs for four points.

Billings said he hopes this kind of game will build the team’s confidence and lead to future success.

“They got a taste for what it takes to win a game,” said Billings. “They know now that they can win a game. I think we’ll get that win this year. If we play like that we will.”

But like with any game, Billings saw things he liked and some he didn’t.

“Our defensive intensity was just phenomenal,” said Billings. “But our half-court offense is still a work in progress.”

Mascenic hosts Conant on Tuesday.

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