Loss to HB ends Souhegan’s streak

HOLLIS – Going up against one of the top teams in Division II, the Hollis Brookline High School girls basketball needed a bit of luck to pull off an upset over Souhegan.

The Cavaliers benefitted from a regrettable Sabers timeout and overcame a Sabers ‘comeback to pull off the 44-40 victory.

Souhegan rode a 10-2 run at the beginning of the fourth quarter, tying the game on a Katherine Almedia 3-pointer with less than five minutes to go.

The Sabers later found themselves with the ball, down by two with 25 seconds remaining. Jaime King made a wide-open 3 at the top of the key, but the basket was waved off after Souhegan coach Mike Heaney had called a timeout only moments before.

“Full responsibility is on me,” Heaney said, “I thought I had an idea for a play at the buzzer and I took a 3 out of my best player’s hand. The loss is mine.”

HB proceeded to make its free throws to put the game out of reach. The Cavalier victory was one of their most impressive wins of the season and head coach Bob Murphy couldn’t have been more proud of his team.

“We had a couple of tough games this season, games where we should have won,” Murphy said, “This was one on paper that we probably should have lost. We fought throughout the entire game, so I’m very excited about this.”

Souhegan had an 8-6 edge entering the second quarter when HB went on a 13-5 run to give itself a six-point lead at halftime. The Souhegan offense came out firing to begin the second half, but the Cavaliers answered with buckets of their own. Bri Hackett scored seven of her team-high 12 points to keep her team ahead.

Hollis Brookline lost captain Sydney Gillis to a knee injury midway through the third, and then lost Hackett to fouls in the fourth quarter.

That left the Cavs without a primary ball handler against a pesky Souhegan press. The Sabers forced a handful of Cavalier turnovers to fight back into the game.

“When you lose a point guard, you’re scrambling to figure out who’s going to bring the ball up the floor,” Murphy said. “We had a lot of trouble starting our offense all through the night, but once (Gillis) went down, it got even worse.”

As Souhegan slowly got back into the game, HB attempted to milk the clock and force themselves to the free throw line.

“We were trying to stall it out and that can be scary,” Murphy said, “I crossed my fingers that the rest of the kids could handle the pressure and they did. I’m just so happy, it’s a huge win for us.”

Amanda Gendron led Souhegan with 10 points while teammate Devon Hickey chipped in nine. The loss was Souhegan’s first since Jan. 13, while the Cavaliers earned their sixth win of the season.