Hoop season ends with tourney losses
For many, especially the seniors, the high school boys and girls basketball seasons came to an abrupt halt this winter.
Neither the Milford High or Souhegan High girls reached the postseason, while on Monday night, the Sabers and Spartans each bowed out on the road in the opening night of the Division II boys playoffs
After leading by just 23-22 at halftime, Lebanon went on a quick 6-0 run to start the third quarter en route to outscoring the Spartans (9-10) 21-9 in the period to pull away.
Gavin Urda had 15 points and Jake Greska 10 to lead the Spartans. Lebanon (16-3) moves on to face No. 3 Pelham in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Sabers led 19-18 at halftime but couldn’t take control as the Eagles eventually took over the game.
Souhegan ends its season at 9-10, while Kennett (13-6) moves on to Friday’s quarterfinals and to face No. 2 Bow.
For the Spartans, a longer run was hoped for.
“It went fast,” said Urda, the senior guard. “Too fast. I think we expected more.”
Milford coach Dan Murray graduates six, including the incomparable Urda.
Sharp-shooting Jake Greska, crafty Christian Jones and bruisers Joey Shepard and Kyle Forsley all closed out fine careers for the Spartans.
Milford will now look to rebuild around sophomore starter Caden Zalenski.
Souhegan, which feature a pair of 4-1 stretches in the 9-9 regular season, mostly likely had its die cast back in July, when senior starting point guard Trey Johnson was lost in a 7-on-7 football tournament with a knee injury.
The Sabers battled hard all year, working and defending behind the likes of scrappy Curtis Redd, Mike Maroun and Co., but they just couldn’t get over the top.
The good news in Amherst? The big fella, Matt McCool, has one more season back with coach Peter Pierce’s Sabers.
On the girls side, there is renewed energy and life with a pair of newer coaches, Mike Davidson in his first year at Milford and Mike Vetack in his second season with Souhegan.
That didn’t translate immediately to wins as the Spartans went 0-18 and Souhegan finished out of the playoffs at 5-13.
Each team will look to building numbers and gain experience in order to move up the ranks.