Tournament spot still within Sabers’ reach

PELHAM – The chore is a simple one, convince the young Souhegan Sabers, that even with just three wins heading into the final seven games that the playoffs are still a possibility.

“Last year we had higher hopes, but this is still realistic,” said Sabers’ coach Mike Vetack, after his club fell to Pelham High here on Tuesday night, 46-26.

“We still have a shot if we can get us a couple in a row. There’s a clump (of teams) right above us. We’re playing a couple of them coming up. We were hoping to steal this one, but there’s definitely some other games we need to

focus on.”

With a roster stacked with a couple promising freshman like his two Tuesday high scorers -Hadley Corcoran with eight and Katie Canavan with five – and some excellent sophomores, Vetack is relying heavily on his senior captains to deliver the important message and impress upon the troops the importance of fighting to the finish.

“Our seniors do a great job with that. It’s the players that are keeping that idea with the other kids,” said Vetack. “Our seniors Devon (McGrath) and Halle (VanBallegooyen), the captains are doing a great job with that. It’s awesome. I’m so happy with that.”

Other older Sabers are leading by example.

“(Junior) Hunter Stonebreaker is playing great,” said Vetack.

“She doesn’t always show up in the stats, but she mans our defense, rebounds a lot.

“Our point guard (Canavan) is going to be a good player. Corcoran is seeing plenty of minutes and we have some good sophomores with the seniors here to help mold them. They have the drive. They want to get better.”

Tuesday night’s loss to 9-3 Pelham was another one of those lessons against an elite Division II program.

“We thought we had a chance to win if we played well. Maybe 50 percent of the game, we did what we wanted to do,” said Vetack. “We’re still trying to get us to consistently doing that to better teams. It was a typical game for us, moments of really good things and moments where you pull you pull your hair out a little bit, but definitely good things to build on. We’re looking for more of those things.”