Souhegan falls to Coe-Brown in quarterfinals

AMHERST – The Souhegan girls basketball team could not overcome a rough start as they fell to Coe-Brown in the quarter-finals of the Division II playoffs on Friday night, 48-39. Senior Mickenzie Larivee and the Sabers’ defense showed up for all four quarters, but the offense struggled for stretches throughout the entire game.

Coe-Brown raced off to a 9-2 lead after the first quarter. The Sabers made their first basket on a Larivee layup with 1:35 remaining. The Bears extended their lead to 14 before the Sabers offense finally found the basket. Souhegan went on a 11-3 run to end the second quarter, pulling within six. Larivee scored six of her team-high 16 points to spark the run.

“That’s a four-year senior for you,” said Souhegan coach Mike Heaney. “She came in and did her job.”

A Jaime King 3-pointer cut the Sabers deficit to three at the beginning of the third. King left the game with an injury a few plays later, and the Bears made four straight baskets to take a 10-point lead. Souhegan’s Morgan Brady made a 3-pointer at the end of the quarter, cutting the Bears lead to five.

Coe-Brown started the fourth with a 6-0 run, and the Sabers could never recover. The team managed to get within six with three minutes remaining, but the Bears sank their free-throws down the stretch to secure the win.

The Sabers forced their opponent into 26 turnovers but could not consistently sink shots going the other way. Souhegan also had trouble at the line, making only three of eleven free-throws.

“It was a real tough game,” Heaney said. “Shots didn’t go our way, foul trouble hurt us. It wasn’t our night.”

The Sabers were returning to the playoffs as a much different squad than last season. The team finished the regular season 14-4 to earn the four-seed. Coe-Brown finished 13-5.

“The turnaround was really built by the seniors,” Heaney said. “From a 7-11 team last year, to be 14-4 this year. They showed real heart and I’m real proud of them.”

Chloe Bettencourt led Coe-Brown with 20 points.