MANCHESTER, N.H. – A stiff full-court press late in the first half stymied the Blue Knights of Manchester West as they fell 70-41 to Lebanon in girls’ basketball action on Friday night.
Both teams started hot from beyond the arc, with the first non-three-point scores coming as Lebanon senior Rebecca Wright sank a pair of free throws just under five minutes into the contest.
West trailed 16-13 in the first quarter, with both teams trading the lead, but Lebanon exploded any thoughts of a tight contest after that point, heading into the half with a 44-21 advantage. Wright’s nine second quarter points almost singlehandedly outpaced the Blue Knights in the quarter, and the combination of five team steals and a 9-to-2 rebounding punctuated a frame where the Marauders seemed more energetic on offense as well as forcing West mistakes in the backcourt.
The press subsided after the break, but the damage was done. Lebanon’s lead grew as high as 31 points before ending the third quarter with a 56-28 advantage, and the Blue Knights actually outscored Lebanon in the final stanza as the running clock slowly ticked away the game into the record books.
Wright had four three-pointers on the way to an 25-point night, with fellow Lebanon senior Megan Gradijian adding 16 points along with five steals, three assists and five rebounds.
West junior Abuk Teng was the only Blue Knight in double digits, finishing with 11 points.
West (2-3) now travels to Pelham for a 6:30 p.m. contest on Tuesday.
Across the city, Central’s girls trounced Alvirne on Thursday, 67-32. That leaves them at 4-1 until they host Winnacunnet next Friday. Winnacunnet will hope to avoid a repeat of their Friday night trouncing at the hands of Memorial, falling 50-14. The Crusaders’ big win puts them at 4-0, they head to Portsmouth next Tuesday for a 7 p.m. matchup. In the north country, Derryfield was obliterated at the hands of undefeated Colebrook, 68-27. They’re now 5-2 and will seek to rebound at home against Newmarket with a 5 p.m. tilt on Tuesday.
On the boys’ side, Central defeated Spaulding 51-47 for their first win of the year, as Memorial lost at home to Winnacunnet, 68-60. In Division II, West dropped a 78-44 decision in Lebanon and Derryfield took a 63-56 road victory against Colebrook.