The defending Division I girls’ basketball champs from Londonderry High saw their 2015-16 record move to 2-1 last week following a resounding road victory over a much weaker opponent followed by a tough home loss to a highly-touted and tough opponent.
Coach Nick Theos saw his Lady Lancers thump the Spaulding High Lady Red Raiders in that squad’s home gym last week. But three nights later the Bedford High Lady Bulldogs stepped into the LHS gym and walked away with a 13-point win that wasn’t put away until the fourth quarter.
The most challenging thing about the Lady Lancers’ first road trip of the young season was the trip itself, because the defending state champs’ game at Spaulding High School out in Rochester Tuesday, Dec. 15 was a breeze.
The locals trounced their much weaker hosts by a 68-15 score, racing out to a 29-2 lead in the first quarter and never having any reason to look back.
Freshman center Ashley Evans netted eight points in the first half and finished up with a dozen of them, and she also blocked four Spaulding shots. Veteran Kelsey Coffey ended the evening with 11 points, and her fellow veterans Kate Balcom and Jackie Luckhardt each netted nine. Sure-handed guard Luckhardt also dealt out 10 assists and made six steals. “Our defense was much better in this game, and we jumped on them early, got turnovers, then ran the court well. The girls did their jobs and now we move on to Bedford on Friday,” said Theos, who was somewhat less than satisfied with his team’s overall defensive effort in its season-opening win over Alvirne a little less than a week earlier.
In the 45-32 home loss to Bedford last Friday night, Dec. 18, the Lady Lancers grasped a seven-point lead during the middle of the third period before Bedford managed to turn the tables and outscore its host by a 16-4 tally in quarter four to collect the victory.
The now 3-0 Lady Bulldogs held slim advantages of 10-8 after one quarter, 17-16 at the half, and 29-28 after three periods before busting the game open during that final stanza.
“When it came down to the fourth, they ran their sets and hit their shots, but we struggled to run our sets and missed our opportunities. That was the difference in the game. It’s still early in the season, so hopefully we can bounce back,” said Theos.
Standout guard Luckhardt netted 14 points and collected four steals while guarding Bedford stalwart Bree Purcell. And Balcom drew praise from her coach, who said “Kate Balcom was the most athletic player on the court, taking down 10 rebounds, making five steals, and scoring four points while playing amazing defense on taller players.”
The local cagers then aimed to return to the winning path this past Monday night by making the trip to Manchester to take on a Trinity High troop that had also gone 2-1 in its first three contests of the new season.
And the Londonderry crew got the job done in the big city, handing its host a 62-47 thumping in getting back to winning.
The Lady Lancers led by a relatively solid nine points at 33-24 at halftime, and their advantage was also right there at nine points (47-38) rolling into the final 12 minutes of play.