HINSDALE, N.H. -- If defense really does win championships, don’t be surprised if Hinsdale girls basketball coach Terry Bonnette is given a Gatorade shower when all is said and done.
The Pacers held Mascenic scoreless for the first 11:27 of Tuesday’s game at "the Stable" and galloped to a 46-25 victory -- their 16th win in as many games.
"Offensively we struggled, but we did play good defense. The girls played hard and held them to just two points in the first half," said coach Bonnette, whose team improved to 16-0 on the season.
Playing in the middle of Hinsdale’s 2-1-2 zone defense, center Bridget Bourne changed shots and even rejected one by Sarah Sharp. Skylar Bonnette applied some full-court pressure that forced a travel and Kenzie Bonnette picked off a pass, as the hosts pitched a shutout until Mascenic’s Erin Scollans scored on a putback midway through the second quarter.
Both teams got second and third chances in the early going, with Scollans and Bourne often grabbing offensive rebounds.
Skylar Bonnette started the scoring with a make from downtown, Kenzie Bonnette delivered via a baseline drive, and consecutive layups by Bourne gave the Pacers a 9-0 advantage eight minutes in.
"Bridget has come a long way. She’s now aggressive and looking to get the ball down low. I’d say that four of her last six games, she played the best basketball of her career," noted the Hinsdale coach.
Shooting guard Allison Scott would take control in the second quarter, as she set up a Bourne runner with a pretty feed, scored off of a steal, and drilled a trifecta from the top of the key. Her performance had super fan Mikey Batts making noise in the front row and also got the Hinsdale cheerleaders into it.
The visiting fans, however, didn’t have much to cheer about. Aside from the hoop by Scollans, they had to watch Elizabeth Martel’s shot from beyond the arc go in and out, and they could only cover their eyes as free throws missed their target.
Hinsdale went to the break leading 20-2.
The Vikings would outscore the hosts 13-11 in the third quarter, using a press that they certainly lived and died by. It led to a steal and layup by Brier Haigh for instance, but the Pacers also burned it for four hoops by Bourne.
"We broke the press well...at times," said coach Bonnette. "Versus the pressure, we need to spread out and come to the ball. We were dribbling way too much."
Kenzie Bonnette jumped an outlet pass for a takeaway and also hauled down a few defensive boards to keep the Vikings from getting any closer. Scott would hit another trey, with Haigh in her face, and the Pacers went into the final quarter ahead 31-15.
The visitors basically traded hoops with Hinsdale down the stretch. Kenzie Bonnette had a couple of putbacks and Skylar Bonnette scored off of a steal for the hosts, while Mascenic’s highlight was Martel’s money ball from the left wing.
Bourne paced the Pacers with 16 points, Scott added a dozen, Kenzie Bonnette finished with eight and Skylar Bonnette chipped in with seven. Martel and Scollans led the 6-10 Vikings with six points apiece.
Hinsdale will host Nute today at 4:30 p.m. and then welcome Sunapee on Friday night at 7.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.