Tuesday February 26, 2013

PLYMOUTH, N.H. -- Hinsdale’s quest for the Division 4 varsity girls basketball title came to an abrupt end Monday evening, as the No. 1 Pacers fell, 45-32, to No. 4 Groveton in a semi-final playoff match.

Turnovers plagued the perfect regular season Pacers throughout the contest, held at Plymouth State University, in the John C. Foley Gymnasium.

Makenna Burke led the Eagles with 18 points and 15 rebounds, while the team’s Jena Wheelock scored 16 points. The Pacer’s Skylar Bonnette led her team with nine points.

With a quick start, Groveton took an 8-point lead with two minutes left in the first quarter. The Pacers missed some early opportunities as Groveton dictated the pace of the beginning of the game with defensive intensity. Becca Rogers and Talia Bedell drove in some early attempts to help Groveton get on top.

The Eagles kept pressure on the Pacers’ Skylar Bonnette and Bridget Bourne throughout the matchup.

Breanna Benjamin was hot off the bench for Hinsdale, and scored the team’s first field goal during the Pacer’s first quarter drought, while teammate Roxy Toussaint battled for possession. Skylar Bonnette had a clean steal, then threw one in off the glass.

Groveton led Hinsdale, 11-6, after one.

At the start of the second quarter, Rogers picked up a loose ball and went in for the shot, while Burke continued to pull down rebounds.

Hinsdale came to within four points of the Eagles with four minutes left in that quarter. The Pacers went outside after running into trouble in the paint, but missed some outside shots until Kenzie Bonnette took two shots, rebounded, and hit her second. This fired up the Hinsdale crowd. Then Wheelock sank a 3.

After a 23-15 score at the break, Groveton took an 11-point lead midway through the third. Hinsdale coach Terry Bonnette kept playmaker Allison Scott in the game with four fouls, and Bourne stepped up the defense against offensive dynamite Rogers. The Eagles’ Sadie Conroy hit a jumper at the buzzer.

The Pacers went into the fourth quarter, 35-22, after the Eagles distanced themselves in a tough third. Hinsdale had an early turnover, then missed three shots in a row.

With a comfortable 10-point lead midway through the fourth, Groveton spread out their play and burned up the clock.

The Pacers end their season with a 20-1 record.