HINSDALE, N.H. -- From the time Adele’s "Set Fire to the Rain" was atop the charts in February of 2012 until Katy Perry recently started asking radio listeners "So you wanna play with magic," the Hinsdale girls basketball team has been winning regular-season games.
Forty-two in a row to be exact.
The Pacers defeated rival Sunapee 56-47 in overtime on Friday and then mauled Mascenic 43-14 on Saturday, behind Bridget Bourne’s 15 points, to complete a perfect 2013-14.
"The girls have won 42 in a row and you can’t take that away from them. It’s quite an accomplishment, but I know they would trade it all for a state title," said Hinsdale coach Terry Bonnette. "These girls are competitive, they’ve worked hard and basketball is important to them. They play it all year long."
Hinsdale (18-0) will now host a Division 4 playdown game on Tuesday at 7 p.m., most likely against Concord Christian.
On Senior Night, Friday, Skylar Bonnette, Allison Scott, Brianna Benjamin and Bourne were all honored. And then they faced arguably their toughest challenge during the 42-game winning streak.
"This Sunapee team runs and runs and runs. I knew this was going to be a war," said coach Bonnette.
Was it ever.
Trailing 43-36 with five minutes left in regulation, the Lakers quieted those at the Stable with an 11-4 surge that forced OT. But the visitors were shut out over the four-minute bonus period while all five starters scored for Hinsdale to extend the winning streak to 41.
"We did not play our smartest game," noted coach Bonnette. "We forced shots, we drove when it wasn’t there, we didn’t get back on defense. But give them credit."
The Pacers stole a 17-7 lead in front of a packed house. With the WTSA tandem of Tim Johnson and Charlie McLoughlin calling the action, Brianna Benjamin, Skylar Leclaire and Skylar Bonnette all drilled a 3 in the early going.
And then Sunapee battled back to get within 21-19 at the intermission.
"We didn’t have the intensity. Once we let them back in it in the first half, I knew it was going to be a war. We gave them confidence and you can’t do that against a good team," said the Hinsdale coach.
Sunapee center Katie Frederick controlled the boards during that rally, while junk defenses and double teaming had the Hinsdale scorers frustrated. Frederick had eight points in the second quarter, on four free throws and a couple of layups.
The lead changed hands six times in the third quarter. The two 1,000-point scorers did the damage for Hinsdale, with Bonnette scoring 10 points and Scott draining a couple of mid-range jumpers. Erika Waterman connected from downtown and Frederick continued her dominance inside to keep the Lakers within 37-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Scott went 4 for 4 from the charity stripe and Bourne added a putback to give Hinsdale a 43-36 advantage with five minutes left. And then came the 11-4 Sunapee surge that forced overtime.
Sydney Clark scored her team’s first seven points in that span, including two bunnies and then a trifecta from the right wing. Trailing 47-43, Sunapee’s Anna Richardson banked home a 15-footer with 1:20 left and then tied the game at 47-47 with a layup with 55 seconds remaining in the fourth.
And then Hinsdale’s defense completely shut the visitors down in OT, as Bonnette had a couple of steals and Benjamin also had a takeaway.
Meanwhile, the Pacers were pushing it -- up-tempo like Perry’s Dark Horse song -- and all five starters scored in those four minutes. Bonnette splashed a pull-up jumper and Bourne added a putback, while Leclaire, Benjamin and Scott all made free throws.
If the Pacers are able to win Tuesday night’s first-round contest, they will host a quarterfinal matchup on Friday at 7 p.m.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.