Sunday, March 13, 2011

Winnacunnet Girls Beat Londonderry, Win 5th Straight Title

Well folks, 'The Beattie Bunch' has done it again. They graduated 2 Division I college players and 8 seniors who formed one of the best classes NH basketball has seen in a LONG time. And yet they just keep on winning. And on Saturday night at Southern New Hampshire University, they became champions of Division I girls basketball for the 5th straight year.

"This team is really special to me" said Winnacunnet head coach Ed Beattie. "We had a lot of doubters after we graduated all of those players. But I was not one of those people."

Samantha Corcoran, Kirsten O'Neil and Carly Gould all had big games for the Warriors to lead the way. Aviana Morrison hit 4 threes off the bench. And while Londonderry played a great game and put up a valiant effort, Winnacunnet was just too good in the 4th quarter and they win it 55-46 for the 5th straight title, and 77th consecutive win.

Team Effort for Warriors
I've said it before but I'll say it again. Winnacunnet only rotates about 6 girls in and out, but those 6 players all have tremendous chemistry with each other out on the floor. And to be able to play on the college size floor, rotating 6 players and still play the way they did in the 4th quarter means they're in terrific shape.

"We run A LOT in practice and do a lot of conditioning" said coach Beattie. "But I just tell them, do you want to win another title? Then run. We're able to maintained high level defensive pressure, in various forms. Eventually it wears teams down.

That's what happened in this game. Londonderry was right there. They led 40-38 late in the 3rd quarter. But like always, the 4th quarter belonged to the Warriors, as they went on a 9-0 run to take a 47-40 lead. From there the lead grew to as many as 11 points, 55-44.

Senior forward Samantha Corcoran (10 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks) and sophomore forward Carly Gould (12 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals) both had double-doubles for the Warriors, while Kirsten O'Neil had a game-high 17 points, along with 7 assists and 2 steals.

Gould had a sensational game for the Warriors. She's only a sophomore, but she's 6'0and VERY fast and skilled.

"Carly was playing like she was shot out of a cannon today" said Coach Beattie. "She can jump out of the building."

Anna Sullivan, Aviana Morrison and Kiel DiPetro also played well for the Warriors. Sullivan is one of the most unselfish players out there. She played 28 minutes in this game but only took 1 shot. She also had 8 rebounds and 2 steals. Morrison hit not 1 but 4 BIG three-pointers for Winnacunnet, showing that she is one of the best spot-up shooters in the state. DiPetro also fits in nicely with the team, doesn't try to do too much and plays tough defense.

Valiant Effort for Lancers
Londonderry fought back from a 17-17 1st half deficit to make it a 2 point came. From there it was a back-and-forth game. The Lancers then took a 40-38 lead late in the 4th quarter. Guards Amy Johnson, Lindsey Bolduc and Aliza Simpson all came off the bench and really gave Londonderry a nice lift to get them some momentum. Simpson (the best freshman in NH) was calm with the basketball and made some great passes, Johnson hit 2 big threes and also made a nice steal and layup on the other end, and Bolduc played tough defense and hit a big three of her own. The bench got them back in the game.

Senior forward Savannah Butterfield also played a strong all-around game. She had 10 points, 8 rebounds and 2 steals. She also made some nice passes and drew a charge.

"I thought we did a nice job on Savannah" said Beattie. "She's a tough player and has had a great career."

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