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Basketball: Mascenic upset by Winnisquam in opening-round playoff shocker

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The Mascenic boys' basketball team hosted Winnisquam in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, February 26, 2019 11:32PM

 For the second straight year, Mascenic’s basketball season ended on their home court with a playoff upset loss. 

The No. 5 Vikings hosted No. 12 Winnisquam on Tuesday night in the NHIAA Division III preliminary round. Mascenic beat the Bears soundly earlier this month on the night when Sam Stauffeneker hit the 1,000-point milestone, and the 24-point loss served as a wakeup call for head coach Kevin Dame and Winnisquam.

“They did us a favor the first time they played us because they showed us what a bad offense we had against zone,” Dame said. “They did us a favor in a sense by kicking our tails in. The next four games we faced zones, and our offense was much better.”

Winnisquam came out hot behind the three-point shooting of Phil Nichols, who banged home the first shot of the game for the Bears from downtown and finished with five long balls and 17 points. 

“They made a lot of shots,” said first-year Mascenic head coach John Langlois. “They shot great from three-land – they shot the heck out of the ball and they disrupted our defensive gameplan.”

Mascenic’s 2-3 zone was being exploited – Winnisquam would finish with nine threes –  but the Vikings were reaping the benefits on the offensive end, where 6’8” senior center Nate Long had his way with the Bears early on. Long had five points and a couple offensive rebounds in the first half as the Vikings held a 13-11 lead after one. 

After a scoreless first quarter, Winnisquam’s own 1,000-point scorer, Kyle Mann, came alive in the second. The Bears  drew Long out of the paint and forced him to defend Mann,  who blew by the b ig fellow  for back-to-back buckets en route to a  six-po int quarter.

“Kyle is very tough to stay in front of,” Dame said, “just like the guy they’ve got on their side [Stauffeneker], he’s very tough to stay in front of.”

Stauffeneker scored six of his own in the second quarter and the two teams were tied 24-all at the half.

The second half was a see-saw battle. Gunnar Horman dropped a pair of threes right off the bat; Trey Shaw answered back with three three-pointers of his own, and the Vikings and Bears traded leads for the entirety of the third quarter, capped off by a Horman and-one that put Winnisquam up 42-40.

The Bears extended their lead to five in the fourth and had a chance to stick a dagger in the Vikings. Mascenic, however, wasn’t done yet.

“We never quit,” Langlois said. “We played hard, we never quit.” 

 Stauffeneker caught a full-court pass from Zack Barthel for a layup to cut the lead to 59-56 with just 40 seconds to go. Winnisquam’s inbounds pass was too low for Angelo Glover to handle, and it skittered out of bounds; Stauffeneker fired a deep three from the right wing on the ensuing possession to tie the game with 29 seconds left, and the Bears had the ball with a chance to win.

That’s when Dame put the ball in the capable hands of Kyle Mann. Mann, who’d scored his 1,000th point last week by dropping 44 on Franklin, sized up Logan Thibault, beat him, and put in a layup. The Bears were up 61-59 – but had they left too much time for the Vikings?

“I just wanted to hold for one and if we have a chance for a layup, take it,” Dame said. “I really didn’t want to give them another chance.”

Eight seconds was enough for Stauffeneker, who got the ball back on the right wing again and launched one for the game. It went in … and out, and the Bears lept for joy as the Vikings collapsed in agony. 

 “That shot was way too close by way too good of a shooter,” Dame said. “I can’t believe we left him for even a quarter of a second. Luckily we were able to survive.”

“It looked good, it looked in and out, that’s the best look we’re really gonna get,” Langlois said. “I loved our competitiveness, we’ve come a long way, but not quite long enough tonight.”

Horman had a game-high 21 points; Nichols and Mann finished with 17 each. 

Stauffeneker scored 20 for Mascenic; Barthel had 12 and T.J. Hiott 10.

Winnisquam (11-8) plays at No. 4 Campbell (15-4) Friday at 7 p.m. after the Cougars dispatched No. 13 Mascoma Valley 60-38 on Tuesday night.

Mascenic finished their season at 14-5. 

 

Newmarket 82, Wilton-Lyndeborough 30

After falling victim to the Mules’ big men in the two regular-season meetings between Newmarket and WLC, the Warriors tried to turn the tide during their first-round playoff game on Monday night. 

“We worked all week on trying to stop their big guys with a couple different zone defenses,” said WLC head coach Flip Tremblay. “We were successful in stopping their drives to the basket but it was those damn three-pointers they were hitting!”

No. 3 Newmarket’s duo of guards, Allen and Amar Phoubaykham, hit a combined seven three-pointers in the first quarter as the Mules immediately jumped out to a 34-6 lead. 

“I really wasn't expecting them to shoot that well from the outside,” Tremblay said.

Trailing by 40 at the half, senior Cody Swett tried to fire his boys up one more time.

“He had a lot of energy,” Tremblay said. “He was the leader in the locker room at halftime and he wasn't looking for a win at halftime, he was looking for guys to step up.”

Swett finished with a team-high 15 points as no other Warrior reached double figures. WLC was playing without junior guard and leading scorer Jack Schwab, who was serving a game misconduct after being ejected from the season finale against Nute. 

“I'm not totally discouraged,” Tremblay said of the playoff loss. “The outcome kind of stung, but we got there, which was a chore in itself.”

WLC finished the season with a 7-12 record.

 

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Laconia 39, ConVal 38

After a stellar defensive effort in the first three quarters, the No. 10 Cougars took a ten-point lead into the fourth against the No. 7 Sachems before senior Lindsey Carey left the Division II opening-round playoff game Tuesday night with a rolled ankle. Carey gritted through it and returned to the game; by then, the ten-point lead was three and Laconia was in striking distance. 

Freshman guard Katie Carey and senior forward Rachyl Parslow both fouled out, and ConVal was left with a relatively inexperienced lineup on the court to close out the game.

“We just got a little frazzled with the ball,”  said head coach Kevin Proctor.

With 27 seconds left, ConVal was up 38-37 and desperately needed a stop. But Laconia tossed up a floater that bounced, and bounced, and bounced on the rim before dropping. Lindsey Carey, who’d finish with a game-high 19, was able to push the ball upcourt for one last chance, but her contested layup didn’t fall and Laconia advanced with the win.

ConVal finishes the season at 11-8.