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Mascenic girls drop opener to powerhouse Campbell

Senior Sarah Sharp led the Vikings with 15 points in the 67-35 loss

  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.
  • The Mascenic girls basketball team lost to Campbell 67-35 on Friday, Dec. 6.

The Mascenic Vikings girls basketball team has drawn the unfortunate assignment of facing the Campbell Cougars in their season opener for each of the past two seasons. Campbell is a perennial powerhouse that has been to the DIII state title game in five of the past six seasons, and with a first opponent like that, it’s been tough for the Vikings to start their seasons off on the right foot.

“We knew that this was going to be a tough game coming into it,” Mascenic senior Sarah Sharp said. “We played Campbell in our first game last year and it wasn’t pretty at all.”

In last year’s opener, Mascenic was blown out 75-30. This year, they were able to narrow that gap a little bit, but they still fell 67-35, and it still wasn’t pretty. The Vikings struggled against Campbell’s fierce full-court press early, turning the ball over a number of times, including a ten-seconds call.

“We turned the ball over,” head coach Wiley Billings said after the game. “That was our Achilles’ heel last year and it is this year. For some reason, with defensive pressure, we panic, and it’s a panic pass instead of a good pass.”

Once the Vikings figured out the press, they still had trouble putting in the ball in the basket. Shooting percentage was one of Billings’ focuses coming into the year, and they’ll still need to improve that going forward.

“If you had counted up how many layups we missed when we went over the top of the press – I think it was seven layups,” Billings said. “So we missed seven layups in the first quarter, that’s 14 points. Add 14 points to our score, I can live with that against one of the top teams in our division, if not the best.”

Senior guard Sarah Sharp put the Vikings on her back as she worked hard to get to the rim – and the free throw line – over and over again. Sharp finished with 15 points (5-for-11 from the line) to lead the Vikings.

“Our new offense lets you drive a lot,” Sharp said, “so I was just driving to the basket and hoping to get something. I need to work on my foul shot, but other than that, just keep driving.”

Sharp looked like the senior leader on the court Friday night; she’ll need to step up into the leadership role vacated by Jocelyn Ojala if the Vikings are going to make any noise this season.

“It’s my senior year, I want to play as hard as I can,” Sharp said. “Everyone played hard tonight and I’m proud of them. They left their hearts out on the court.”

Senior forward Cheyanne Sauvola added six points and sophomore center Michelle Paradis scored five in the loss.

“We had seven girls, and I was happy with their output,” Billings said. “I wasn’t happy with the score, but again, this is one of the toughest teams in our division. They aren’t going to lose too many games.”

Campbell’s high scorer was Alex Trevains, who scored 18. The Cougars suffered a tough loss in the second half, when senior captain Brianna Hardy came down hard after being fouled and left the game with an apparent ankle injury. Hardy left the court in a wheelchair.

Next up for the Vikings is Monadnock, which dropped its season opener against Fall Mountain 62-41 Friday night. It should be relatively easier sledding for the Vikings.

“I’m excited for our next games against Monadnock and Conant,” Sharp said. “We’re just going to try our best and see what happens.”

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