Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Hollis Improves to 8-0, Beats Defending Champs Souhegan

On Tuesday night at Souhegan High School the Hollis-Brookline girls basketball team continued an undefeated season with a 59-46 win. They got the win over a Souhegan team which went undefeated en route to the Division II championship last season.

Hollis got tremendous play from their 'Big Four' of Katie Stopera, Olivia Gillis, Kelsey Berry and Jillian Gillis. All four of them are seniors, they all have great chemistry together and they can all shoot, defend and handle the basketball.

"They've been playing together since 4th or 5th grade" said Hollis-Brookline head coach Bob Murphy. "They're a great group of kids to coach."

Below is the video highlights and post-game interview. Keep reading for the rest of the game write-up.

Stopera shot the ball well from all over the floor and used a quick release en route to a game-high 23 points. Olivia Gillis and Berry both scored 15 points, while Jillian Gillis played tough defense and made some great passes in her first game back after missing a couple weeks with an injury.

"Rachel King also gave us a lot of good minutes" said Coach Murphy. "She did a nice job on defense and rebounding."

Hollis jumped out to a 17-9 lead at the end of the 1st quarter. Souhegan (led by Jane White with 18 points and Ceara McNamara with 14) were able to cut the lead to 4 in the 2nd half, but that's as close as they were able to get. Hollis was just too tough though - they forced a lot of turnovers on defense, moved the ballw ell on offense and hit their free throws down the stretch.

Hollis and Lebanon are the only 2 remaining undefeated teams left in Division II. They don't play each other in the regular season, but they did play in a tournament over the holidays, with Lebanon winning 49-40 (Jillian Gillis did not play in that game for Hollis).

As for Souhegan they need to try and right the ship. They were the preseason favorites to repeat as champions and for good reason - they are essentially returning 5 starters from an undefeated state champion team including the best player in the state (Jane White) and 4 of their 5 starters are seniors. So who wouldn't pick them to win it? However they have now lost 3 games already (4 if you count their loss to BG over the holidays) and they haven't even played Lebanon yet.

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