Cougars exact revenge, extend win streak

The Derryfield School girls varsity basketball team is cruising through the first half of the season.

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MANCHESTER, NH – Roughly 10 months after falling to eventual champ Hinsdale in the 2021 Division IV playoffs, the Derryfield School girls varsity basketball team earned revenge in dominant fashion Tuesday night.

Hosting the Pacers on Holland Court at the Derryfield Athletics and Wellness Center, the Cougars earned a 55-26 win and extended their current undefeated streak to seven games.

Senior captain Lilly Losey has the Cougars off and running this season.

“They took it too us,” said Hinsdale head coach Terry Bonnette. “You know, they were the quicker team. We didn’t play well. We certainly didn’t shoot well at all. But I give them credit because they were hustling, they were working hard, they ran the court well, they had some fast breaks, they played good defense. We really didn’t get many open looks, so we were forcing shots. They earned it.”

“There’s all kinds of factors that weigh in, but today was on our side, so I’ll take it,” said Derryfield head coach Courtney Cheetham, in her third season at the Derryfield helm. “My hope is that we’re getting better every day, and we’ll face whichever opponent is at us, but I’ll take our team against anyone.”

Now 7-1, the Cougars lone setback this season came in their first game of the current campaign, falling 47-33, to Concord Christian on Dec. 9.

Led by senior captain Emma Losey, the Cougars seem to be improving as the season goes on.

“Honestly, every game is different for us. It’s a real team approach,” said Cheetham. “We have a lot of freshmen who have really stepped into big roles for us.”

Among the ninth-graders making an immediate impact for the Cougars is Elyse Ngenda, Division IV’s top scorer, who notched 12 points against Hinsdale before resting for much of the second half. Her classmates, Chloe Bremberg and Katie McCormick each contributed 11 points, including three three-pointers apiece, both having just returned from sickness.

Ashley Hardner has been a dominant inside presence for the Cougars this season.

As an upper-classman, Losey has also been instrumental on both sides of the court. She scored 7 points Tuesday, while junior Ava Plage, coming off a standout in a 61-21 triumph over Newmarket last Thursday, contributed 4 markers against Hinsdale, in addition to helping facilitate much of Derryfield’s uptempo play.

With the team healthy and in excellent form, Derryfield next looks to extend its recent success when the team travels to Epping Friday before a scheduled rematch with Concord Christian next Tuesday, Jan. 18.

“I think they stack up pretty well,” said Bonnette, whose team has now fallen to both Derryfield and Concord Christian this season. “They play the same type of game. You know, they’re up and down, they switch, run the floor well, get a lot of turnovers. They’re a lot alike, so it should be a good game.”

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ryanoconnor

Ryan O'Connor

As a longtime journalist in Southern New Hampshire, Ryan O'Connor has written for several local online and print publications covering everything from school board meetings and local high school sporting events to major crime stories and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary (yes, the last two are mutually exclusive). In addition to spending time with his beautiful wife and four amazing children, Ryan enjoys attending and serving at church, golfing as much as possible, home brewing, playing softball and snowboarding when time allows.