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Winni AD reflects on hoop seasons


by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

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Senior Sara Andrus and the Winnisquam girls’ hoop team reached the Division III quarterfinals in an impressive season this winter. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
March 19, 2012
TILTON — Two seasons are in the books for first-year Winnisquam Regional High School athletic director Rick Hinck, as the winter season came to a close recently and spring practice was slated to begin for all sports this week in Tilton.

"Things went more smoothly (in the winter), just having the experience of the fall behind me," said Hinck. "When the sports move inside, and that passion is contained within four walls however, it can feel a little more intense. That can be part of being cooped up in the winter. But the spring season has crept up so fast and we're just continuing business as usual over here. People might think there's downtime between the seasons but that's definitely not the case."

The girls' basketball team led the Bear teams this winter, as the team coached by first-year head man Everett Andrus reached the Division III quarterfinals after an upset road victory over Somersworth in the preliminary round. The Bears went on to fall by 10 points to eventual state champion White Mountains in a game that saw WRHS ahead into the third quarter.

"They had a very good season and I think it's a season that the seniors will remember," said Hinck. "Looking at the style they played this year…they ran when the opportunity was there but for the most part, they played a very patient, methodical style and I think it served them well. I think Everett had a good feel for the athletes he was coaching, having almost all of them in middle school."

The season-ending loss to White Mountains was impressive, considering how the Bears suffered a pair of lopsided defeats at the hands of the Spartans during the regular season.

"To go up to White Mountains and be right there is something to be proud of as well," Hinck said.

Coach Kevin Dame's boys' hoop team got off to a rough start this winter, but the Bears captured a pair of wins late in the season to gain some momentum heading into next winter.

"I thought near the end of the season we were going to start putting some wins together. It looked like we were primed to do that but some of the teams we ended up facing were scratching for the same spaces," said Hinck. "We ultimately finished about the same record-wise as last year but there were some positive things that we can hopefully build on."

One of those positives was the JV basketball team's performance at the Newfound Tournament, as the Bears claimed the championship thanks to some outstanding play against solid opposition.

"We had five seniors that are graduating and that leaves some big shoes to fill, especially in the paint with Quags (Mike Quagliana)," Hinck began. "But we're looking for the JV players to step up and take what success they found at the JV level and carry that forward to varsity. There's nowhere to go but up."

Hinck admitted he found himself more nervous than normal during the team's first win of the season against Farmington.

"I felt when we were playing that game and coming down to the last minute, I wanted it for the boys and I couldn't sit still," he recalled. "So I started pacing around and walking up and down, getting really antsy. That's not quite the way I normally would have been at one of those games but you get to that point where you want these guys to get a win so badly. I guess if I had been watching on TV, I would've probably been screaming at the TV and jumping up and down. For me, that's probably as intense as I've gotten during a game. It was a tremendous burden lifted off their shoulders to get that first one."

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