Saturday February 23, 2013

HINSDALE, N.H. -- The Hinsdale girls basketball team is now just two wins away from being on the same list as Rocky Marciano and the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

The top-seeded Pacers improved to 20-0 with a come-from-behind 39-34 victory over No. 8 Woodsville in Friday’s Division 4 quarterfinal at the Stable.

"Being undefeated is a good feeling, but we’re only as good as our next game," said Hinsdale coach Terry Bonnette, whose team will play in the semifinals on Monday at Plymouth State College at 7 p.m. versus Groveton "It’s nice that we’re going to the semis. This team has actually played just as well on the road."

Trailing 24-18 at the break, the Pacers got back to playing their stingy defense and limited the Engineers to just 10 points the rest of the way.

"We played our lock down defense in the second half. I think the difference was our defense and that we started penetrating more," noted the Hinsdale coach. "The girls started driving into the lane and drawing contact or else they got it to Bridget (Bourne) over the top."

Bourne had a couple of buckets in the third quarter to ignite an 11-3 Hinsdale surge. Super sub Breanna Benjamin contributed with a deep deuce and then a trifecta from the right wing that knotted the score at 27-27 and sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

"Come on, Sky. Come on, Al," yelled Mikey Batts from the front row, whenever the backcourt mates brought the ball up the floor. The Hinsdale cheerleaders and athletic director Mike McCosker -- while waving his blue towel -- kept the home crowd fired up.

Allison Scott stole the ball late in the third quarter and then scored on a drive to put the Pacers ahead 29-27 with eight minutes remaining. They would lead the rest of the way.

"This crowd’s been nice. We love their support. It’s been great to get momentum and have the fans go nuts," stated the Hinsdale coach.

The Pacers made six of their 11 free throws in the fourth quarter to hold the lead, including three makes by Scott. Her first completed a three-point play and then her other two came with 1.8 seconds left.

A 3 from the right wing by Woodsville’s Tiarra Beatrice cut Hinsdale’s lead to 32-31 at the three-minute mark, but Bourne would follow her own miss and then three swishes from the charity stripe by the Pacers put it out of reach.

Scott paced the 20-0 Pacers with 15 points, Benjamin followed with seven, and the hosts got six apiece from Skylar Bonnette and Bourne. Christina Valliant and Beatrice scored 14 and nine points respectively for the Engineers.

Hinsdale fell behind 11-10 in the opening quarter, despite seven quick points by Scott -- she made four freebies and also drilled a triple from the left wing. Skylar Bonnette also delivered from downtown.

Roxy Toussaint started the second quarter with a three-point play, but it was basically all Woodsville for the remainder of the half. A triangle-and-two defense was frustrating Hinsdale’s backcourt mates and then Bourne had to sit with two fouls, allowing Valliant four easy layups before the break.

Woodsville took a 24-18 advantage to the intermission. Another bunny by Valliant early in the third made it 26-18, before the Pacers battled back using their stingy 2-1-2 zone.

In the other three Division 4 quarterfinals on Friday, Groveton downed Pittsfield 41-30, Colebrook knocked out Newmarket 68-64 and Sunapee leveled Littleton 58-49. Colebrook and Sunapee will meet in the other semifinal.

Shane Covey can be reached at scovey@reformer.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.