Tomahawks fall to Cardinals

All Jamie Sherburne needed was 12 points to reach the 1,000-point milestone.

For three quarters of play in Wednesday night’s Division I girls basketball first round matchup with Merrimack High School, it appeared all host Bishop Guertin would need was 12 points to secure a win.

When Sherburne stripped a Tomahawk of the ball at mid-court, got a handle on the loose ball and drove to the net for the final two of her game-high 12 with 7:27 remaining in the fourth quarter for her 1,000th point, No. 3 BG had all but wrapped up its 51-20 win over No. 14 Merrimack.

“I heard the crowd screaming, ‘You have one more. You have one more,’ ” said Sherburne of the 1,000-point play. “So I just played really hard and think I overplayed and just got that tip. Then we were trying to get the ball and I kind of like crossed over and laid it in for my 1,000th point.”

Sherburne’s milestone was merely icing on the celebratory cake, which the Cardinals did enjoy postgame as they look ahead to hosting No. 6 Pinkerton in Saturday’s quarterfinal round at 7 p.m.

The Astros beat No. 11 Manchester Central 43-27 Wednesday in Derry.

In Nashua, first-year coach Jeremy Faulkner got exactly what he wanted from his Cardinals (15-4), as Sherburne, Megan Kerutis (10 points) and Paige Parkinson (nine) paced the offense, which came off a plethora of steals by Sherburne, Kerutis and Marie Laplante.

“We wanted to come out here, give a little pressure, control tempo of the game and get a quick lead,” Faulkner said. “Merrimack did a couple things on us that were different than the last two times, which took us probably the first quarter to adjust on until we got a little more comfortable. But that was our plan – apply pressure, control tempo and have us dictate control of the game.”

The Cardinals did just that, jumping out to a 13-4 lead after one quarter, then finishing the second quarter with a 12-0 run for a 25-7 halftime edge.

BG put things away for good in the third quarter, scoring 14 and allowing just five for the Tomahawks – their first bucket of the quarter not coming until the final minute of play in the frame on a Samantha Hilston 3-pointer.

Hilston led Merrimack with five points off the bench, while Grace Mulvey chipped in with four of her own off the bench. Only two Tomahawk starters scored in the loss, as Brianne Nordegren and Elise Jolly added three and two, respectively.

Despite the final score, Merrimack first-year coach Courtney Cheetham was happy with her young Tomahawks and how they opened up.

“This week, in preparing for the game, we talked a lot about mental toughness,” Cheetham said. “A lot of these guys are freshmen and haven’t really played in playoff games, and don’t have the experience. They don’t know what it’s like to play in front of a crowd. They don’t know what it’s like to mentally prepare for a big game like that.

“I actually felt like for the most part, they did a good job. They weren’t coming in the first half and first quarter and turning the ball over all the time. There were some jitters that you can expect, missing some of those open shots we got, but for the most part I thought they did a really good job of being prepared mentally.”