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Seniors say goodbye with big win over Franklin


by Tara Giles
Sports reporter - Coos County Democrat and Berlin Reporter

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These WMRHS seniors were honored by parents and fans during the last home game they will play at White Mountains. Seniors are Bri Watson, Kait Nelson and Makenna Force with team manager Maddison Force. Tara Giles. (click for larger version)
February 21, 2018
WHITEFIELD — Feb. 17 was the last time the senior lady Spartans would be the home team for a packed gym at White Mountains Regional High School. Seniors who were celebrated included Makenna Force, Kaitlyn Nelson and Brianna Watson. Nelson was the high scorer for the game with 26 points, that included sinking five three-pointers.

Force said, "It was definitely an emotional night, which led to a rocky start for us. We were able to switch things up on Franklin pretty easily though, which got us to pull ahead and seal the win on senior night."

During the first quarter the game was tied 9-9 with Franklin putting up an impressive defense. Nelson started things off with a bang by sinking a three-point shot but Franklin answered back to make it a one-point game. Franklin tied things up from the free throw line 5-5 with 5:39 on the clock and a Franklin three-point basket put the competition up 8-5. Lexi Welch seized an opportunity at the foul line to bring the score 8-7 with Franklin still in the lead. The Spartans took the lead after a smooth steal from Welch, who then sent the ball over to Nelson, then to Force, who put up a fast layup to make it a 9-8 game. Franklin tied things up just at the close of the quarter 9-9.

The Spartans began to break away during the second quarter when Nelson sunk her second three-point basket of the game with 2:53 on the clock. Less than one minute later Nelson banged out another three to put the Spartans up 15-11. Watson added two on a layup then freshman Lily Kenison contributed five points, including a three-point shot right at the buzzer. The score was 22-11 heading into the third quarter.

Nelson began the third quarter with a layup then Welch put up two from the foul line. The score was 26-11 and Franklin was losing their first quarter thunder. Watson added three points back to back, two from a layup one from the foul line. The score was 29-11 with four minutes left. The Spartans proceeded to chop away at the net, sinking hoop after hoop. The quarter ended with the home team ahead, 37-15.

There was some fierce defense coming from the Spartans in the final quarter with Kenison and Lydia Beaulieu playing quite aggressively. Nelson scored two more three-point baskets in the fourth quarter and added five more points from a layup and three from the foul line. Taylor Roy enjoyed some varsity playing time and sunk a free throw to bump the score. Watson added four points and sister Danika put up one. The game ended with the Spartans now in the ninth place standing heading into the playoffs.

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