Souhegan surging after road win at HB

HOLLIS – The high school basketball season can often hinge on survival skills.

If Tuesday night’s 52-38 win at defending Division II state champion Hollis Brookline is any indication, Souhegan High coach Peter Pierce has to be riding high into the weekend.

The Sabers, now 6-1, entered the game without a key contributor in junior Sam Corbett, who was injured in Friday night’s tight, 48-45, victory over Coe-Brown.

“He really had been playing the best basketball of his young career the last couple games,” said Pierce, who needed somebody to step up and fill the void.

The coach actually found two Sabers, who were ready, willing and able: Senior Ries Grondstra and junior Curtis Redd.

“Both of those guys hadn’t played many minutes to this point of the season,” the coach said. “Those minutes (from Corbett) had to go somewhere. And those guys did what they had to do. They made good contributions for us.”

With the sophomore big fella, Matt McCool, kept in check early against HB, the Sabers went long range, canning five three-pointers and assuming a 24-20 lead at the break.

“The first half I was not playing my best,” said McCool. “But in the second, my teammates really had my back, trying to get me the ball and get me going.”

It certainly worked. McCool had 11 points after the break, but it was more than just scoring. The offense ran through him. And when Pierce went to him in a high-post set, it yielded layups and clean looks for his teammates, pushing the advantage as high as 22.

“There’s a mutual trust there,” said McCool. “And as time goes on, the more reps we get, it’s only going to get better.”

“Teams have to pay attention to Matt, and that can only help open things up for the other guys,” said Pierce.

Jeff Keisewetter added a dozen Saber points in the win, and Jeff Boehm pitched in 11.

Hollis Brookline, now 5-2 in Division II, did not have a scorer in double figures.