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Prospect girls take Lakes Region title

Timber Wolves beat Laconia, Belmont and Newfound to win tournament

THE PROSPECT MOUNTAIN basketball girls pose with the championship plaque from the Lakes Region Holiday Tournament. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
January 03, 2011
GILFORD — They weren't the prettiest of games, but the Prospect Mountain basketball girls won three in a row to lay claim to the Lakes Region Holiday Tournament championship plaque last week.

With the tournament delayed a day because of the snowstorm early in the week, the girls got started on Tuesday, Dec. 28, facing off with Laconia in the first round.

Sydney Robertson put the Timber Wolves on the board first, but Laconia answered to tie the game. After a Rachel Roberge three-pointer, the Sachems cut the lead to one at 5-4. Debora Bulhoes hit two hoops in a row to stretch the lead to 9-4, but Laconia hit the quarter's final two hoops and trailed by just one, 9-8 after one quarter of play.

The Sachems tied the game with a free throw to open the second quarter, but the Timber Wolves followed with a 13-point run that stretched the lead up to 22-9. Sahara Brown hit two hoops, Bulhoes hit one, Roberge hit a three-pointer, Izzy Glazier hit a bucket and Robertson hit a pair of free throws in the 13-0 run.

Laconia finally got back on the board with 1:40 to go in the frame and then hit a free throw to make it a 22-12 game at halftime.

Robertson put Prospect on the board first in the second half, but Laconia answered with a pair of hoops to make it 24-16. Glazier sunk one from the charity stripe and the Sachems responded with a three-pointer, cutting the lead to 25-19.

Glazier came back down the court and drained her own three-pointer and Roberge followed with another three, upping the lead to 31-19. Laconia drilled a three-pointer and then a conventional hoop to cut the lead to 31-24, but Roberge sunk another three-pointer and the Timber Wolves led 34-24 after three quarters of play.

Brown hit the first bucket of the first quarter, but the Sachems then netted six points in a row to cut the lead to six. Bulhoes hit a free throw and Laconia hit another hoop to make it 37-32. Glazier then hit a free throw and a three-pointer to put the lead to 41-32 and Brown sunk one from the line to push the lead to 10. The Sachems hit a hoop and two free throws, but Roberge answered with a pair from the line and Bulhoes hit a basket to make it 46-36. Stephanie Burke hit a free throw for the final Timber Wolf point and the Sachems got a three-pointer at the buzzer, accounting for the final 47-39 score.

"They're still playing pretty good defense," coach Jeri Blair noted after the game. "We had good ball rotation and ran the offense a bit better.

"We'll take it and go from there," he continued.

Roberge led the way with 14 points, while Glazier added 10 points and Bulhoes chipped in with nine. Brown added seven and Robertson hit for six.

The girls returned to Gilford the following day to take on Blair's former team, the Belmont Red Raiders, who had advanced with a win over host Gilford. The Red Raiders entered as the defending tournament champions.

In quite possibly the lowest scoring quarter in a while, the two teams combined for nine points in the opening eight minutes, with Belmont holding a 5-4 lead. Roberge had a hoop and Robertson put back a rebound to account for the other two Prospect points.

Prospect took a 6-5 lead on a Robertson hoop to open the second quarter, but Belmont answered with a three-pointer to take a two-point lead. Robertson got a rebound and hoop to tie the game at eight, but Belmont answered with a field goal.

Glazier hit a pair from the line to tie the game at 10, but Belmont got the half's final two points and took a 12-10 lead at the break.

Robertson tied the game with the first hoop of the third quarter, but Belmont answered right back. Glazier then hit a three-pointer to put Prospect up 15-14 and after Robertson sunk a free throw, Prospect led by two points. However, a trio of free throws and a field goal put the Red Raiders up by three. Robertson hit another hoop but Belmont answered with two free throws. Robertson hit another hoop, but again Belmont answered and kept the lead at three.

After Bulhoes hit for two, Belmont sunk two free throws to make it 25-22. Emily Barrett hit a free throw in the final 11 seconds to cut the lead to 25-23 after three quarters of play.

Prospect came out firing in the fourth quarter, scoring the frame's first eight points. Glazier hit two free throws and Robertson hit two buckets in a row. Brown then finished off a Glazier steal and Prospect had a 31-25 lead before Belmont got on the board.

The Red Raiders hit a hoop and then a three-pointer to cut the lead to 31-30 with just three minutes to play, but Robertson sunk a hoop to push the lead to three. Belmont then hit a free throw and bucket to tie the game and then sunk another from the line to take a 34-33 lead with 2:33 left on the clock.

Then, the Timber Wolves began hitting their free throws.

Roberge hit two to put Prospect up one with 1:50 to go. Another Belmont free throw tied the game, but Glazier hit eight free throws in the final minute and a half, allowing the Timber Wolves to slowly pull away and they walked off with the 43-36 win and a trip to the title game.

"I give Belmont credit, they played a great defense," Blair said. "They packed it in and did a good job on our outside shooters.

"We had some misses on the defensive end, but overall, it was a good game," the Timber Wolf coach said.

"In the fourth quarter we got the ball inside like we're supposed to do," Blair continued. "Rachel made some nice passes into the middle."

Blair told his girls before the fourth quarter that if they wanted to come back to the championship, they had to play a full quarter.

"They responded and did a nice job in the fourth," he said.

Robertson finished with 19 points to lead the Timber Wolves, while Glazier added 15, including 10 free throws in the fourth quarter.

Prospect returned to the court on Thursday, Dec. 30, for the championship game, which pitted them against Newfound, who had advanced with wins over Kingswood and Moultonborough.

The Bears came out and hit the first two shots and added a foul shot for a quick 5-0 lead, using their press to keep the Timber Wolves off the board.

Prospect finally broke through with 3:30 to play, as Glazier hit a bucket. The freshman guard then hit a free throw to cut the lead to 5-3 before the Bears hit another hoop for a 7-3 lead.

Prospect then went on a 7-0 run to close out the quarter, as Bulhoes hit a hoop, Glazier drained a free throw, Robertson hit a bucket and Brown drilled a field goal, giving the Timber Wolves a 10-7 edge after one quarter of play.

The Timber Wolves opened the second with a 9-0 run, as Bulhoes went baseline for two points, Glazier converted off a Brown steal and Roberge sunk a three-pointer, giving Prospect a 17-7 lead. Bulhoes hit another hoop for a 19-9 lead before Newfound finally got on the board, hitting two buckets in the final 1:45 to cut the lead to 19-11 after two quarters.

The Bears hit two from the line to open the third quarter, but a rebound and hoop from Robertson pushed the lead back to eight. Roberge then hit a three-pointer to make it 24-15.

However, Newfound made three shots in a row to cut the lead to 24-21. A free throw from Brown and a hoop from Robertson off a great pass from Bulhoes made 27-21. Newfound netted the frame's final points to make it 27-23 after three quarters.

The Timber Wolves went on an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter, basically putting the Bears out of the running. Robertson hit three hoops and Bulhoes added one as the Timber Wolves stretched the lead to 35-23. Newfound hit four free throws to cut the lead to 35-27, but Robertson hit another hoop for a 37-27 lead. Newfound added two hoops in the final minutes to close out the game at 37-31.

"We broke the press and got them into a halfcourt game and did a tremendous job defensively in the first half," Blair said. "That team's been averaging 60 points a game, so to hold them to 31 is pretty good."

He noted that Robertson was rushing herself in the first half and he was pleased that she listened to the halftime adjustment, which slowed her down and allowed her to put the ball in the hoop easier.

He also pointed out that the Timber Wolves don't always slow the game down when they need to.

"We have a hard time slowing the game down," Blair said. "We tried to preach patience, but they tend to rush things. If you're up eight or nine points with three to go, if we control the ball, they can't score."

For the game, Robertson led the way with 14 points, Bulhoes added eight and Glazier and Roberge each had six.

Glazier and Robertson were both named to the All-Tournament First Team and Glazier was presented with the tournament MVP Award.

"She's matured since the first practice," Blair said of his freshman point guard. "She's going to be a hell of a player. She is right now."

The Timber Wolves will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 7, when they head to Raymond for a 6:30 p.m. game. The girls are home against Bow on Tuesday, Jan. 11, for a 6:30 p.m. contest.

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