The presence and talent of battle-tested standouts Jackie Luckhardt, Kate Balcom, and Kelsey Coffey gave the Londonderry High School girls’ basketball team ample reasons to believe it could battle its way to a third consecutive Division I championship this winter.
Unfortunately for the team and second-year varsity coach Nick Theos, that didn’t happen as the Lady Lancers were felled by the Bedford High Lady Bulldogs in the semifinal game recently.
But nobody who saw the Londonderry High contingent this year will challenge the suggestion that that terrific trio gave its all and then some in keeping the Lady Lancers exciting and competitive until the final seconds of the 2015-16 campaign.
And as a result of those efforts, Luckhardt, Balcom, and Coffey all received all-state recognition from the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Association in the wake of the campaign.
Five-foot-six-inch, athletic senior point-guard Luckhardt, named to First Team All-State, did an exceptional imitation of the Energizer Bunny all campaign long and provided multitudes of points, assists, and rebounds, to a Londonderry contingent that went 15-3 during the regular season before pummeling number 15 Exeter and seventh-ranked Nashua North in the first two rounds of the tournament before the rough, 30-28 tourney loss to Bedford.
Immediately after the defeat at the hands of Bedford, Theos confided to members of the press that Luckhardt had been ill for much of the week leading up to that semifinal battle and unable to practice. But she showed herself – once again – to be a warrior in giving her all as her team chased another state title. As a result, she was named a First Team All-Stater.
“Nobody has meant more to this program than Jackie,” said Theos. “She made the biggest plays on the biggest stage each of the last two years.”
Senior swing player Balcom – who saw time at both guard and forward for the Lady Lancers – was a constant source of steady and impressive play for the locals throughout the 2015-16 campaign. And she subsequently earned Second-Team All-State honors for her efforts.
Balcom’s stellar court-sense, athleticism, and intensity were always reliable for Theos and the Lady Lancers, and like Luckhardt this talented senior gave the opposition fits night after night.
Junior shooting guard Coffey could easily have earned second team honors as well, but she had to be satisfied with honorable mention recognition at the end of the campaign.
One of the finest shooters in all of Division I, LHS could always count on Coffey’s intensity and smart play as it has since she was a freshman playing varsity ball on a championship contingent. And her senior campaign should be something to witness next winter.
Caption: Exceptionally athletic LHS senior guard Jackie Luckhardt was named a First Team All-Stater.
Caption: Smart, aggressive, and versatile veteran Kate Balcom was named a Second-Team All-State pick.
Caption: Sharp-shooting junior guard Kelsey Coffey received All-State Honorable Mention status.