HINSDALE, N.H. -- The Lady Pacers have so much depth and talent, that there's probably only one team in their tournament bracket that can beat them.
And that's themselves.
Top-seeded Hinsdale was able to overcome a slow start, unforced errors and poor shot selection on Tuesday night at a crowded Stable, to remain undefeated with a 58-21 victory over No. 16 Concord Christian in the Division 4 playdown game.
"I wasn't exactly impressed with our play in the first half. We came out tentative and we weren't looking to attack," said Hinsdale coach Terry Bonnette.
The 19-0 Pacers will have to bring their A game on Friday, when they host No. 8 Colebrook in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Lexi Lawson poured in 28 points to lead Colebrook to a 65-59 decision over ninth-ranked Derryfield on Tuesday.
"I know Colebrook plays full-court man," noted Bonnette. "We have to show up and start faster if we want to advance."
Hinsdale missed several outside shots and often threw the ball away in transition in the first quarter of Tuesday's game versus the overmatched Kingsmen.
Leading 7-4, the hosts put together an 8-0 run early in the second quarter. It was sparked by consecutive hustle saves by Skylar Bonnette and Skyler Leclair's dive onto the stage while chasing a loose ball.
Aside from Bridget Bourne's hoop in the lane and Leclair's finish on a 2-on-1 break, Hinsdale relied on its outside shooting versus the packed-in, 2-3 zone. Bonnette drained two shots from downtown, while Allison Scott made a 3 and a baseline jumper to help the Pacers take a 23-7 lead to the break.
"I told them that we needed to attack the zone and get them shifting," said the Hinsdale coach of his halftime words. "I thought they played hard in the second half."
Their third-quarter play was more like what diehard fans such as Leo Marshall and Mikey Batts are used to. The Hinsdale cheerleaders and the school's student section were now into it.
"You can't do that," chanted the student section, after Suzanne Kleinberg barreled over Leclair for a charge.
Bourne started getting great post position and her teammates were feeding her. The center had four putbacks in the third quarter, showing a confident hop each time the ball went in.
Scott splashed a couple of shots from beyond the arc, Bonnette drilled a 3, Brianna Benjamin scored on a break, and eighth grader Kyra Rideout wowed the crowd with a 12-foot jumper, as the Pacers started looking like a title contender and gave the visitors reason to warm up the bus.
It was, however, a third quarter for Concord Christian center Kendra Jarvis to remember. She scored all 11 of her team's points, including two outside makes and a runner.
Coach Bonnette called off the dogs in the final quarter and his subs put on a show.
Megan Finnell, Jacquelin Atkins, Kaitlyn Towle, Kathryn Fecto and Rideout limited the visitors to just three points. Fecto showed off her smooth stroke when she buried a trifecta from the right wing, while rising star Kyra Rideout had a putback and a pretty reverse layup.
"Three more to go," chanted the Hinsdale student section, referring to wins in the quarterfinals, semis and state title game.
Scott (17 points), Bonnette (14) and Bourne (10) did the offensive damage for the victors. Jarvis finished with 16 to pace the Kingsmen.
In the other first-round games on Tuesday, No. 2 Groveton defeated Canaan-Pittsburg 53-22, No. 3 Sunapee sunk Gorham 72-40, No. 4 Woodsville knocked out Newmarket 31-21, No. 5 Littleton downed Lisbon 33-24, No. 6 Nute nipped Wilton 53-48, and No. 10 Pittsfield eliminated Moultonborough 37-27.
Shane Covey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.