LHS Girl Cagers Nab Split with Panthers and Lady Devils

The Londonderry High School girls’ basketball squad saw its Division I record move to 7-5 last week with a road win over Nashua South and a slim loss to the Salem High Lady Blue Devils.

In the 62-53 upending of South’s Lady Purple Panthers in the Gate City on the evening of Tuesday, Jan. 31, the Londonderry crew managed to overcome its aggressive opponent’s efforts and its own difficulty with decision-making to advance to a 7-4 record.

The Lancer squad won every quarter but the fourth, leading 13-10 after one quarter and 26-20 at the halftime break. The LHS advantage sat at double digits at 45-35 at the end of three periods, and the locals worked hard in the fourth – but got outscored 18-17 – in putting away the win.

The victors received 17 points from Amanda DeAngelis, 16 from Michelle Marino, and nine from Courtney Shay in the challenging team success.

“This was a tough, physical game,” said coach Nick Theos. “They were ready to play and push the tempo, and we struggled for most of the game to make good decisions. We had 25 turnovers, which gave South a lot of fast-break opportunities. Luckily, we shot 17-21 from the foul-line, and that along with some clutch lay-ups in the fourth quarter got us the win.”

The team ran into a considerable amount of frustration on the New Hampshire/Massachusetts border Friday night, Feb. 3 in their 51-47 loss to a Salem crew which is battling to get back to the .500 mark.

The Lancers battled to overcome now 6-7 Salem’s height advantage, among other things, in absorbing the tough defeat.

“We struggled to get our offense going early in the game, and on defense Salem got the ball inside and we couldn’t stop their bigs,” said coach Theos. “We couldn’t get the weak-side defense to step up and stop penetration, which led to easy baskets for them. They also beat us up on the board in the first half, especially on the offensive glass.”

Theos was certainly pleased by his squad’s ability to mount a fourth-quarter comeback, but that rebound didn’t tally the win which Londonderry sought.

“To start the fourth, Salem had a 12-point lead and things started to change for us. Our intensity picked up as well as our defense, and because of those things we started to score and get turnovers with our press,” said the coach. “We fought back and took a lead for a brief moment down the stretch but missed lay-ups, and bad turnovers did us in. They regained the lead with under 30 seconds left and never gave it back. We had an opportunity to tie the game with 10 seconds or so left but came up short.”

The Lady Lancers got 15 points from DeAngelis, 13 from Shay, and eight from Hannah Hagearty in the close-but-no-cigar performance.

“I hope we learned something from this game,” said Theos. “We need to play four quarters of good basketball if we want to compete against the state this season. One or two quarters of good ball just aren’t enough. We have a tough stretch coming up over the next two weeks, and we will need to be better if we want to stay in the playoff hunt.”

The locals moved into this week looking at a slate which had them playing host to Winnacunnet of Hampton on Tuesday, Feb. 7, after Londonderry Times press time, followed by a Thursday, Feb. 9 home game against a tough Pinkerton squad which defeated it in Derry in Ball Family Trophy action recently.

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