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A grand afternoon

Amber Plummer reaches 1,000-point mark in win over Mascoma

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

Amber Plummer poses with her family after notching her 1,000th career point in a game at Mascoma on Jan. 4. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 06, 2014
CANAAN — Amber Plummer had a look of confusion on her face.

With 10.7 seconds to go in the first half of the Newfound hoop girls' game at Mascoma on Saturday, Jan. 4, Plummer had just hit a foul shot and coach Karri Peterson was yelling for a timeout.

Plummer may have been the only person associated with the Newfound team who wasn't 100 percent aware that she had just reached a major career milestone.

The free throw gave Plummer 14 points on the afternoon and pushed her to the 1,000-point mark for her career.

But the quiet Bear senior wasn't really keeping track.

"I didn't really know," Plummer said after the game, acknowledging that she knew she needed 14 points heading into the game, but during the game, her head was in the task at hand, not on how many points she had.

"It's nice for her to get that accomplishment and reach that goal," Peterson said. "She has a lot of respect from other coaches and players."

In the end, the Bears pulled away for a 55-37 victory over the Royals, allowing the Newfound girls to continue their undefeated season.

And that was what mattered most to Plummer.

"It's nice, but I'm happier that we are still undefeated right now," Plummer said.

The Bear senior acknowledged that the individual accomplishment was nice, but she said playing in the Final Four a few years ago was even more exciting.

"That was exciting," she said.

The Bears continued their strong season, but the trip to Canaan wasn't exactly without lumps.

Plummer scored off her own steal to open the game, but Mascoma came back and tied the game. Allie Symonds drilled a three, putting the Bears up by a 5-3 score, but Mascoma came back and hit two hoops and a free throw to go up by a 9-5 score.

Plummer followed with a free throw and a Karissa Bony three-pointer with 35 seconds to go tied the game at nine. Plummer added a three-pointer with 20 seconds to go following her own steal and the Bears went to the second quarter with a 12-9 lead.

A Shelby Nostrand rebound and hoop and a Bony steal and hoop upped the Bear lead to 16-9 to open the second quarter. After a Royal hoop, Bridget Lavin drained a three and Plummer hit two free throws to push the Newfound lead to 21-11.

Mascoma went on a 6-0 run to cut the lead to just four, but Plummer answered with a basket to stop the Royal run. After two Mascoma free throws, Plummer hit a free throw, Kayla Messersmith hit a hoop and Plummer hit another hoop, putting Newfound up 28-17 and putting the Bear star within one point of the 1,000-point mark.

Plummer was fouled going to the hoop with 10.7 seconds to play and hit the free throw, bringing the large crowd of Newfound fans to their feet and Peterson down the sideline to call the timeout.

After the presentation honoring Plummer, Messersmith put back a rebound and the Bears went to the half with a 31-19 lead.

After Bony and Lavin hit back-to-back hoops to open the second half, the teams exchanged baskets the rest of the way, with Lavin and Messersmith hitting hoops and Bony drilling a three-pointer, giving the Bears a 42-25 lead heading to the final eight minutes.

Mascoma scored the first three points of the fourth quarter before Plummer finished off a nice feed from Bony and Bony finished off her own steal to up the lead to 46-28. After a Royal free throw and hoop cut into the lead, Bony hit another hoop for the Bears. Mascoma hit two more hoops, but Bony hit two free throws and Plummer hit a bucket. Brittany McArthur banked home a three-pointer in the final seconds to account for the final points of the game in the 55-37 win.

"At the half, I told them, defense is what changed that game," Peterson said. "When you can get out and make steals and shoot layups, it makes a huge difference."

However, Peterson noted that the Royals did succeed in slowing the Bears down.

"Because they were going slow, we were kind of lulled into it," the Bear coach said.

She also pointed out that the point total was more to where she likes to see things, after a few low-scoring contests in the holiday tournament.

"That's where we should be," Peterson said. "There shouldn't be any team that can keep us below 60 points. We have too many people who can score."

Plummer finished with 18 points for the game, while Bony added 16.

As for Plummer, she's already been accepted at Wentworth Institute of Technology, though is still not quite decided where she's going to go to college. However, she knows she wants to major in architecture.

"And if they want me on the basketball team, I will play," she said with a smile.

Plummer and her teammates will return to action on Friday, Jan. 10, at Prospect Mountain at 6:30 p.m.

NRHS 12-19-11-13

MVRHS 9-10-6-12

Newfound 55

Symonds 1-0-3, Bony 6-2-16, Messersmith 3-0-6, Plummer 6-5-18, Lavin 3-0-7, Nostrand 1-0-2, McArthur 1-0-3

Mascoma 37

Guerin 2-0-4, Reeder 1-0-2, Thompson 6-5-17, Selina 5-0-10, Decamp 2-0-4

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

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