An overtime defeat of the highly-touted Spaulding High Red Raiders followed by a four-point besting of the tough Bedford High Bulldogs left the Londonderry High boys’ basketball squad having begun its 2017-18 Division I campaign with promising pre-Christmas victories. And then it was on to holiday tournament play in Massachusetts.
Coach Nate Stanton’s Lancers nipped visiting Spaulding of Rochester by a tight, 45-43 tally in overtime on Tuesday, Dec. 19, with the hosts receiving 16 points from Ethan May, a dozen from Jack Anderson, and seven from Dakota Bertrand.
Two nights later, on their home court, the Lancers moved to 2-0 with a 63-59 bouncing of Bedford thanks to a combined 41 points from Bertrand (21) and Anderson (20). Court-general Cole Britting contributed nine of his own, and May was good for six.
The hosts won each of the first two quarters that evening but held modest leads of 15-13 after one and 31-26 at the half. Bertrand netted 12 of his game-high 21 in that first half.
Londonderry grasped a 46-41 advantage at the close of three periods despite the fact that the Bulldogs had gone up by one point late, and Shane McNamara’s three-point bucket midway through the fourth quarter had the hosts up by seven at 51-44.
Anderson tallied 14 of his 20 points in the second half, and the locals were able to push on to their second straight victory against a vaunted D-I opponent.
The LHS squad then enjoyed a five-day competitive break through Christmas which came to an end with its opening contest in the Commonwealth Christmas Classic at Methuen (Mass.) High School on Wednesday, Dec. 27.
Londonderry took on an equally-undefeated Lawrence (Mass.) High contingent that day and dropped a 66-50 decision in suffering its first downer of the young campaign. Lawrence advanced to 4-0 overall.
The Bay Staters completed the first quarter with a double-digit lead of 27-14, and 13 points was where their advantage remained at halftime (37-24).
The Lancers had their deficit down to a dozen points (56-44) heading into the final period, but Lawrence outscored the local cagers by a 10-6 tally in the fourth to put the win away.
Anderson led the Londonderry cause with his 15 points, Bertrand contributed 10, May was good for eight, and Britting and Pat Zepf each notched six.
The locals then found themselves matched up with Andover (Mass.) in their next tourney contest on Friday the 29th.
And the local cagers wound up dropping that decision as well, although by a considerably smaller margin in a 76-72 decision.
Londonderry led 17-14 after one quarter and 32-29 when the halftime break rolled around. The Lancers then outscored their opponent by a 24-18 margin in quarter three to grasp a 56-47 advantage going into the fourth. But the Massachusetts contingent outscored LHS by a 29-16 tally in the final period in bagging the win.
Bertrand netted 24 points for the locals in the losing effort while May notched 13, McNamara was good for 12, and Britting had 11.
Londonderry then finished up its 2017 slate and its involvement in the Bay State tourney with a contest on Saturday Dec. 30 against the Bishop Guertin Cardinals of Nashua.
And the Lancers ended their play in that holiday event by simply trouncing Guertin by a 75-46 tally.
The locals won each and every quarter and grasped leads of 16-15 after one quarter, 38-29 at the half, and 53-38 going into quarter number four. They then put the final touches on the pleasing success by outscoring the Cardinals by a 22-8 margin in the last quarter.
Anderson led all scorers with 23 points, Ryan Chisholm was good for 11, and Cam Champa contributed nine. Anderson nailed no less than four, three-point shots and Champa hit three in a performance which featured some 11 Lancer treys.
With that success still in mind the Lancers bounded into the new calendar year facing home games against Trinity this past Tuesday, Jan. 2 – after Londonderry Times press time – followed by a rematch with Guertin this Friday night.