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Bobcats roar back for another victory


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

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Collin Sullivan drives along the baseline during action against Hanover on Dec. 18. RC Greenwood. (click for larger version)
December 20, 2012
PLYMOUTH — The Plymouth boys' basketball team continued its strong start to the season with a come-from-behind 49-42 win over Hanover on Tuesday, Dec. 18.

"That's a great win for the program," coach Mike Sullivan stated. "We got off to a good start and we took Hanover's best shot."

The Bobcats came out of the gate strong again, as they did on opening night against Kingswood. The hosts held the Marauders to just 15 points in the first half and took a 26-15 lead to the break.

However, Hanover wasn't quite done yet. The visitors came roaring back in the third quarter and pulled ahead by a 35-31 score after three quarters of play, as the Bobcats were unable to convert on some easy hoops and managed just five points in the quarter.

"We missed eight free throws in the quarter," Sullivan said. "And we probably missed three or four open looks."

The Bobcats didn't let the off quarter get to them, however, as they bounced back with a strong fourth quarter and held the Marauders to just seven points in the frame and walked off with the win.

Sullivan notes that the growth his team has shown from last year to this year paid off in a big way.

"If this was last year's team, we lose that game," he said. "They're a year older, have another year of experience. It was nice to bounce back.

"I just reminded the guys that it's a 32-minute game and they still had a quarter to go," Sullivan said of his talk after the tough third quarter.

However, the Bobcat coach did note that the poor free throw shooting exasperated his team's efforts and it is something that needs to be fixed moving forward.

"We've got to improve on free throws," Sullivan said. "That really hurt us."

The fourth quarter comeback was spurred on by the team's strong defense, as the Bobcats pressed a little and forced some turnovers and got some stops on the defensive end.

"The last five minutes, we played man-to-man and that's where the game was won," the Bobcat coach stated.

The good news continued for the Bobcats, as junior captain Gavin Brickley saw his first action of the season as he returns from injury. Sullivan expects to work him into the rotation a bit more over the holiday tournament, getting him back up to game speed for the remainder of the season.

The trio of Jordan Browne, Kyle Reisert and Jared Kuehl dominated on the boards, pulling down 31 rebounds on the night.

"They had no answer for Jordan, Jared and Kyle on the glass," Sullivan said. "They're physical and athletic and when you combine those two things, it can be scary at times."

Browne finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Reisert had 10 points and seven rebounds and Kuehl had five points and 10 rebounds. Sam Dimick also chipped in with 11 points on the night.

The Bobcats played at John Stark after (early) deadline to wrap up the 2012 portion of their regular season.

The team will play in the Keene holiday tournament, starting today, Dec. 27, at 5:30 p.m. against Lebanon.

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

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