Tomahawks knock off Panthers

Dan Wyborney can see the “W” at the end of the tunnel. It’s been within reach at least five times this season, including Tuesday night.

Unfortunately for his Nashua High School South girls basketball team, the three-minute mark of the fourth quarter seems to trip up the Panthers on their way to the final horn.

Such was the case Tuesday as the visiting Merrimack Tomahawks utilized strong free throw shooting and South turnovers to rally from a slow start then hold on for a 38-36 win over the Panthers.

“Turnovers,” said Wyborney, whose Panthers are still searching for their first win of the season and his first as head coach.

Nobody came up as big in that turnover department as did Merrimack’s Amanda D’Amico. The 5-foot-5 freshman guard not only gave the Tomahawks the lead for good on a baseline floater with just under two minutes to play at 35-34, but she locked up the win defensively with two steals.

With 39 seconds remaining Merrimack’s Kelly Watkinson hit one of two free throws for a 38-34 advantage. South got down the court in a hurry for two, closing the gap to 38-36.

Attempts to foul Merrimack players were unsuccessful on the inbound, but somehow a missed Tomahawks’ shot ended up in South’s possession with three seconds left. A long outlet pass was at the Panthers basket, but they couldn’t get the shot off before the buzzer.