D-II Girls: No. 1 Concord Christian overwhelms Derryfield, 53-18

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Photo by Stacy Harrison. More photos available at https://stacyharrisonfreelance.smugmug.com/

CONCORD, NH – The Derryfield School girls’ basketball season came to an end, Saturday night, in precisely the same manner it began in mid-December — with a one-sided loss to the best team in Division II.

Top-seed Concord Christian got off to a fast start and never looked back, rolling to a 53-18 win over No. 9 Derryfield in a D-II quarterfinal showdown.

It was the first time the teams had met since the season-opener for both teams, a 60-25 win for Concord Christian back on Dec. 13.

Derryfield, which beat No. 8 Oyster River, 53-50, in a first-round game, ends its season at 13-7.

“I think (Concord Christian) is a pretty good team that’s pretty well coached,” said Derryfield Head Coach Courtney Cheetham. “I would have liked us to be a little bit more aggressive. I think, to be honest, our girls played a little intimidated and I think that resulted in us scoring only 18 points.”

The offensive output was the lowest of the season for the Cougars, who had topped the 50-point mark seven times this season, with a high of 81 points against Hollis-Brookline in the regular-season finale. But Derryfield could get nothing going against an aggressive, pressing Concord Christian defense that has held opponents under 30 points 10 times this season.

Junior Lilli Carlisle dropped in 18 points to lead a balanced offensive attack for Concord Christian (18-1). The Kingsman also got 17 from sophomore Emma Smith (6 rebs.) and 12 from sophomore Kayden Rioux (4 three-pointers).

Concord Christian jumped out to a 15-6 lead after one quarter and had built the lead to 27-8 by halftime. Derryfield guard Tia Ferdinando drilled a pair of 3-pointers early on to try and keep the Cougars close. She finished with a team-high 10 points.

Abby Fournier and freshman Bre McCabe added four points each for Derryfield. Fournier also pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds.

Fournier and  Sam Chappell are the only seniors on the Derryfield squad. While Cheetham has a solid core group returning next season, she says Fournier and Chappell will be difficult to replace.

“It’s just the two seniors but it’s our best offensive player and our best defensive player, so it will be tough,” she said.

While the ending was disappointing, Derryfield’s season has had more highs than lows. Eight of their 13 wins came against teams that made the D-II Tournament, including a 50-point win over Hollis-Brookline and a stunning 44-34 upset of John Stark (16-4).

Speaking of No. 4 seed John Stark, that will be Concord Christian’s opponent in the semifinal round, Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., at a neutral site to be determined. No. 2 Laconia will take on No. 3 Pembroke in the other semifinal.

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Photo by Stacy Harrison. More photos available at https://stacyharrisonfreelance.smugmug.com/


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Photo by Stacy Harrison. More photos available at https://stacyharrisonfreelance.smugmug.com/

About this Author

Bill Gilman

Bill Gilman is a veteran journalist with 35 years of experience covering community news and sports in New England. He and his wife have two grown sons and two perfect granddaughters.