Souhegan falls to Goffstown

GOFFSTOWN – If Mike Heaney had known before Wednesday night’s playoff game that his Souhegan High School girls basketball team would hold Goffstown to 18 points in the first half, he would have liked his chances.

The Sabers coach still liked the team’s chances when halftime did arrive, but despite holding the Grizzlies to under 20 points, Souhegan trailed by 12.

It didn’t get better in the second half, as No. 11 Souhegan fell to No. 6 Goffstown 37-23 in the Division II preliminary round. The Sabers finish their season at 8-11, but Heaney feels better days are to come.

“We were a little deer-in-the-headlights early,” Heaney said. “I attribute that a little to inexperience, but I told them in the locker room, you can’t get away with that next year.

“We’ve got 12 of the 15 back. I’m going to be sad for a couple of days and I’ll miss our seniors, but this is the first time in my eight years that 12 of my varsity players are back. Now it’s just trying to tweak what’s in and we should be bigger and stronger.”

It was Goffstown (14-5) that was bigger and stronger Wednesday, as the Grizzlies controlled the paint on defense, forcing Souhegan to continuously pull the ball out in the first half. Rene Rogenbuck, a 6-2 senior, led the way for Goffstown defensively and also added seven points while Kathtyn Howe had eight.

“We did a great job getting rebounds,” Goffstown coach Deanna Goodwin said. “We didn’t let them get a lot of second shots. Our big player (Rogenbuck) is a senior and she just understands how to play behind and be able to have hands straight up. It’s an advantage most definitely.”

Mia Len led Souhegan with 11 points, which all came in the second half, and Caitlin Watson came off the bench to score four.

Both teams struggled to hold on to the ball early in the game, but Goffstown was the one that got its offense going, scoring the first points of the game 2:30 in. The Grizzlies led 8-0 when Souhegan scored its first points with 1:23 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter was more of the same for the Sabers, as they turned the ball over 13 times in the first half and trailed 18-6.

“I kept going up and down the bench telling them that we’re in, we’re stopping them,” Heaney said. “I kept thinking that something was going to fall in the hoop.”

Although Souhegan was getting looks at the basket in the second half, not enough shots fell, and Goffstown went up 16 points after three quarter and led by as many as 21 with 6:42 to play.

The Sabers outscored Goffstown 9-2 over the final 4:48, but it wasn’t enough.