Double the pleasure


Knight girls earn wins over Pembroke, Brady



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AERIELLE GLAZIER drives the baseline on the way to the hoop during action against Bishop Brady on Friday, Jan. 14. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
January 17, 2011
WOLFEBORO — When his team lost to Kearsarge back on Friday, Jan. 7, Kingswood girls' basketball coach Grady Charland said that, despite the loss, he still felt a pulse and sensed good things were coming.

Four days later, the Knights won a road game for the first time in a few years and they then grabbed a home win to run the win streak to two.

The Knights welcomed Bishop Brady to Wolfeboro on Friday, Jan. 14, for a game Charland knew his team needed to win if the girls wanted to stay in the Division II playoff picture.

However, the Knights struggled out of the gate, trailing 11-7 after one quarter and 21-19 at the halftime break.

At halftime, Charland switched the Knights to man-to-man defense with the hope of getting the girls' legs moving to help cut down on Brady's perimeter shooting, which had been the key to their success in the first half.

The man-to-man also helped the Knights on the boards, as they rebounded much better in the second half.

However, with three minutes to play, the Knights were still down four points and in need of buckets to get them over the top.

The Kingswood girls staged a comeback and Alyssa Nelson came through with the go-ahead bucket to put the Knights up 41-39 and they added a foul shot to close out the game with the 42-39 win.

The Knights had the chance to put the game away a bit earlier, but struggled from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, hitting just seven of 14 from the line.

"We just couldn't put them away at the line," Charland said. "That could've come back to hurt us."

On the positive side, the Knights did shoot over 50 percent from the line for the first time this season.

Nicole Matarozzo led the way for the Knights with 13 points, while Brittany Roy chipped in with 11, including a huge third quarter in which she netted six points. Aerielle Glazier added seven points. Morgan Ekstrom played the entire 32 minutes and earned her coach's praise for her strong defense on the perimeter, which resulted in five steals. He also noted it was a big confidence game for Matarozzo in knocking down the 13 points.

The Knights opened the week with a trip to Pembroke Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 11, and made the trip home with a 49-29 win.

"That was a big one for us to win on the road," Charland said.

The Knights came out and held a slim 13-11 lead after one quarter of play. However, the visitors dominated the second quarter, outscoring the Spartans by a 13-4 margin to take a 26-15 lead into the halftime break. The Knights continued to shine, outscoring the hosts 12-8 in the third quarter and 11-6 in the final frame to walk away with the 20-point win.

"That second quarter was big," Charland said, noting that Megen Pollini was five of six from the free throw line in the frame to help the Knights to the big lead.

Roy had another double-digit game, knocking down 15 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. Pollini had nine points and 10 rebounds and Matarozzo had seven points. She also had a good game on defense, grabbing seven steals, which led to a lot of fast breaks, which resulted in some Kingswood points.

Charland also praised the work of Erica and Alyssa Nelson off the bench, as the senior twins had a solid game on the boards for the Knights.

"It was a great week, we're happy with it," Charland said. "We definitely needed that.

"I kind of felt it coming on with the loss at Kearsarge," the Knight coach continued. "The girls played hard and it felt good."

Charland is also aware that the Knights haven't reached their peak and he is hoping they continue improving as the playoffs move nearer and nearer.

The Knights head to Coe-Brown on Friday, Jan. 21, for a 7 p.m. game. On Tuesday, Jan. 25, the girls will host Laconia at 6:30 p.m. in search of a little revenge from an early season loss.

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