Lady Lancer Cagers Extend Winning Streak, Then Falter

The two-time defending Division I champion Londonderry High girls’ basketball squad extended its winning streak to eight games by defeating Salem during the middle of last week. But by the end of the week, that winning streak ended as well.

Despite a strong effort from the 5-7 Salem High Lady Blue Devils at LHS Wednesday night, Jan. 27, the 10-1 Lady Lancers made it eight divisional victories in a row with a  47-33 defeat of the guest.

The hosts were up by 11 points at halftime (24-13), led by veterans Jackie Luckhardt (15 points, nine steals, five assists), Kate Balcom (12 points, six rebounds, three blocks), and Kelsey Coffey (10 points).

“A tough, physical game, our third one in six days,” said LHS coach Nick Theos. “Salem pushed us and kept it close in the first half. But we played our best basketball in a while during the third quarter, outscoring them 18-5 and playing amazing half-court defense.”

The hosts grasped a 24-point lead rolling into the final period.

But the Lady Lancers walked a far more rocky path in Hampton two nights later, suffering shooting woes and losing to the skilled Winnacunnet High Lady Warriors by 20 points in a 65-45 decision.

“(Winnacunnet) shot nearly 70 percent in the first half. Some of that was the fact that we couldn’t or didn’t play defense,” lamented Theos. “They got up 22-7 after one quarter, and they didn’t stop. We couldn’t slow them down. They ran their offense perfectly and knocked down every open shot.”

Londonderry continued to work diligently to climb back into the fray, but fell short in that effort.

“We cut the lead down to 16 with the ball in the third, but we missed two free-throws and didn’t get back on defense, so they got an uncontested layup. That four-point swing really hurt our chances. We played four games in seven nights, and our legs just were not there,” he said.

Coffey scored 18 points and Balcom contributed 15 on a tough night that ended with Winnacunnet bumping its divisional record up to 9-3 with its fourth victory in five games.

It will be a much more rested Lady Lancer group that will take on the arch-rival Pinkerton Academy Lady Astros in Ball Family Trophy action at LHS Saturday afternoon, Feb. 6.

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