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Eagles give home crowd a thrill

Unified squad loses quarterfinal tilt in overtime

by Joshua Spaulding
Sports Editor - Granite State News, Carroll County Independent, Meredith News, Gilford Steamer, Winnisquam Echo, Plymouth Record-Enterprise and Baysider

COACH COURTNEY TURCHAN talks things over with Luke Tinkham, Jacob Potochniak, Michael Davis, Meghan Hayman and Charles Hill in overtime on Tuesday afternoon. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
March 17, 2014
NORTH CONWAY — Less than a week after the Kennett boys' basketball team provided fans in North Conway with a thrilling playoff battle, the Eagle unified team did exactly the same.

However, the unified kids came up just one point short in their quest to advance to the state semifinals, falling to Profile-Lin-Wood 40-39 on Tuesday, March 11.

"I couldn't ask for more from these kids," coach Courtney Turchan said of her squad after the playoff thriller. "They worked hard."

After the visitors got the first hoop of the game and Jacob Potochniak answered with a hoop for the Eagles, the Patriots proceeded to go on a 9-0 run to pull ahead by an 11-2 margin.

However, Kennett finished the first quarter strong, as Charles Hill hit a hoop and Potochniak hit two more to cut the lead to 11-8 after eight minutes of action.

The Eagles continued their run to open the second quarter, as Potochniak hit a pair of hoops to put Kennett on top for the first time and Hill hit a free throw to push the Eagle lead to 13-11 before the visitors came back and hit a hoop to tie the game at 13.

The Patriots then took the lead back, but Hill hit two more baskets for the Eagles to put them up 17-15. The visitors were able to score the final basket of the quarter and the two teams went to the half with the score tied at 17.

Potochniak got Kennett off to a nice start in the second half, as he scored the first six points of the half on three baskets for a 23-17 lead. After a Profile-Lin-Wood basket, Hill put back a rebound and Hunter Sampson drilled a basket to put the Eagles up by a 27-19 score.

However, the visitors scored the final two baskets of the quarter to cut the lead to 27-23 heading to the fourth quarter.

Potochniak scored the first hoop of the fourth quarter for a 29-23 lead, but PLW answered with three baskets in a row to tie the game at 29 with 3:53 to go in the game.

Hill hit a bucket to put Kennett back on top, but the visitors answered with consecutive baskets to take the lead at 33-31 with 55 seconds to go in the game.

Hill tied the game with a basket with 30 seconds to go, but again, the visitors answered with a hoop with 20 seconds to go to take the two-point lead.

However, a rebound and hoop from Potochniak with 10 seconds to go tied the score at 35 and the two teams headed to overtime.

Michael Davis drilled the first hoop of the overtime period for the Eagles, but the visitors answered with a hoop and a foul shot. Davis drilled another hoop with 40 seconds to go, giving Kennett a 39-38 lead.

"Michael hitting that bucket, thought we had it," Turchan said.

However, the visitors came back and scored a hoop with eight seconds to go to take the 40-39 lead. Kennett had two chances to inbound the ball in their offensive zone, but good defense shut down one chance and though the ball got in on the second one, the shot didn't fall and PLW took the hard-fought win.

"It was nice to see tough defense on both sides," Turchan said. "And I wish Profile-Lin-Wood the best of luck, they played hard."

She noted that at the half, she checked with the team, asking if the kids were having fun and the response was completely positive.

"That's the important part, at the end," Turchan said. "And the atmosphere, the intensity from the fans, that was amazing."

She also praised the Eagle "partners" for their on-court play throughout the season, helping lead the team to a 5-1 regular season.

Potochniak led the charge for Kennett with 20 points, while Hill had 13 points.

KHS 8-9-10-8-4

PLW 11-6-6-12-5

Kennett 39

Sampson 1-0-2, Davis 2-0-4, Hill 6-1-13, Potochniak 10-0-20: Totals 19-1-39

Profile-Lin-Wood 40

Strangman 2-1-5, Hoyt 11-1-23, Chubbuck 1-0-2, Bonilla 4-0-8, Mitz 1-0-2: Totals 19-2-40

Joshua Spaulding can be reached at 569-3126 or sportsgsn@salmonpress.com

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