One win down, three to go in Cougars’ title quest

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Stacy Harrison photo

MANCHESTER, NH – If the Derryfield School boys basketball team is to compete for a state championship this season, the path goes through the North.

Having earned the No. 3 seed in this year’s Division-IV boys basketball tournament, the Cougars are likely going to have to defeat at least three teams from New Hampshire’s North Country, and very possibly four.

Thankfully for the Derryfield coaches and players, the first two steps in that journey are right at home, where they’ve brought the North to Cougar Country.

“Those two home games definitely make a big difference. It’s nice to not have to travel or be thrown out of routine,” said Derryfield head coach Ed Meade. “It’s a big advantage.”

That was certainly the case Monday night when Derryfield welcomed 14th-ranked Pittsburg-Canaan (7-9) to the Holland Court and swiftly redirected the visitors back toward the Canadian border following a 78-49 dispatching.

Among seven players contributing to the scoring line, Jack Krasnof and Alex Comire led the Cougars with with 21 and 20 points, respectively, while Alex Drake contributed 12 markers, Zach Martin offered 11 and Krishna Katragadda had 8.

Despite his team’s impressive and well-rounded scoring output, Meade said his players will have to become more disciplined if they’re to make a deep playoff run this year.

“If there’s one area we need to clean up, it’s inopportune fouls that kill our momentum,” said Meade. “We’re in game 20-something now, so if you look at it that way, we are who we are, so we have two more days of practice before the next round, so it’s something we just need to keep working on and hopefully we don’t fall into the same trap.”

Next up for the Cougars (17-2) is three-time defending D-IV champ Woodsville, this year’s No. 6-seed, which earned a trip to this year’s quarterfinals courtesy of a 55-32 opening-round win over No. 11 Hinsdale.

“Woodsville has been known to turn it up in the playoffs,” said Pittsburg-Canaan head coach Josiah Riley. “Profile’s been on fire all season. Littleton’s been on fire all season. Derryfield is definitely up there with those teams, but it’s not going to be an easy road. That’s for sure.”

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About this Author

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.