ConVal girls finish out of playoffs

The ConVal girls basketball team entered Friday night’s regular season finale with Goffstown in need of a win.

If the Cougars could pull off the upset for their fourth victory and John Stark and Kingswood both lost, it would move ConVal into a three-way tie for the 16th and final playoff spot in Division II.

The Generals and Knights each dropped their finales to finish 4-14, but the Cougars let another fourth quarter lead slip away and lost to the Grizzlies 53-47 to finish 3-15. John Stark, who ConVal defeated 39-26 on Jan. 18, earned the 16th seed.

“Whenever you get that close you can talk about what-ifs,” said coach Brian Pickering. “We knew we would have had a chance with that fourth win.”

It was the third time in four games that ConVal led a playoff bound team in the fourth quarter only to end with a loss. The Cougars held a 30-25 advantage entering the final eight minutes, but Goffstown scored more points in the fourth, 28, than they did in the previous three quarters, outscoring the Cougars by 11.

“We made some plays, but they made a few more,” said Pickering.

On Tuesday, ConVal led two-time defending champion Souhegan with less than two minutes remaining in the game only to fall by two. On Feb. 12, the Cougars couldn’t hang on to a late lead versus No. 5 Hollis/Brookline.

“We were getting to a point where we were proving we could compete with anybody,” said Pickering.

In her final game, senior Marena Brock scored a team-leading 19 points with nine rebounds.

“Marena Brock played as well as I’ve seen her,” said Pickering. “She saved her best for last.”

Lauren Mackey, the only other senior, led the way with 10 rebounds to go along with four points. Junior Jess Nerz, the team’s leading scorer, finished with 16.

After starting the year 2-2, the Cougars lost 13 of their final 14 games.

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