Pacers unveil championship banner
HINSDALE, N.H. -- It's always a good thing when players on the team you root for climb a step ladder on a court.
Usually they are holding a pair of scissors and going up to cut a piece of the net. Other times, like Monday night, their mission is to unveil a championship banner.
The Pacer fans packed the Stable, just like they did during every home game this past winter, to honor the Hinsdale girls basketball team's 22-0 season that included a Division 4 state championship.
SLIDESHOW: Sights and sounds from the celebration.
"It's special," said Hinsdale coach Terry Bonnette. "The girls worked so hard to get it. They left a legacy -- they won 46 regular season games in a row."
Backcourt mates Allison Scott and Skylar Bonnette each reached the 1,000-point milestone as seniors. Their names were recently added to the school's list, which was also on display on Monday evening.
"This group of seniors and last year's seniors decided that this was important to them," responded coach Bonnette, when asked how these Pacers were able to have so much success. "They worked to get this championship. They were playing basketball year around to get it."
There were two close calls during Hinsdale's 18-0 regular season, including a 41-40 victory over Pittsfield and then a 56-47 decision against rival Sunapee.
The Pacers had plenty of fan support for those battles and relied on that stingy 2-1-2 zone -- Bonnette and Breanna Benjamin applying pressure up top, with center Bridget Bourne, Skyler LeClair and Scott controlling the paint.
Hinsdale defeated Concord Christian, Colebrook and Littleton in the 2014 playoffs, before beating Sunapee 48-35 in the Division 4 title game on March 8 at Plymouth State University. Bourne had a double-double (15 points, 13 rebounds), while Benjamin scored 13 points and played lockdown defense on the 2013 Player of the Year in that finale.
"It was the school's first championship since our baseball team won it all in 1995," said Terry Bonnette. "I can't go anywhere without someone bringing up our achievement."
Hinsdale Athletic Director Mike McCosker introduced principal Ann Freitag, the team's four seniors and then coach Bonnette, and they all spoke to the crowd. The Pacers also gave medals to Andy Drummond, for taking photos at each game, and Mikey Batts, for his constant encouragement from the bleachers.
And then came what everyone in attendance had been waiting for, as the four seniors climbed the step ladder and unveiled the new banner that reads, "N.H. Div. IV Girls Basketball Champions 2014."
McCosker then called members of the championship team, one at a time, to give them their new jacket and ring. The order went: Benjamin, Bourne, Skylar Bonnette, Scott, Kathryn Fecto, Megan Finnell, Katelyn Towle, Jacqueline Atkins, LeClair, Kira Rideout, manager Rachel Girrouir, coach Bonnette, and assistant coach Alex Rideout.
Shane Covey can be reached at email@example.com or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 163.
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