Thursday, February 2, 2012
Raiders Extend Home Winning Streak to 58 Games
Lebanon Over Souhegan 62-56 in D-II Girls Basketball
57 games in a row at home that was at steak Wednesday when the defending state champion Souhegan Sabers headed north to take on the undefeated Lebanon Raiders on their home court known to all of their previous 57 victims as the 'Snake Pit'. Most of their previous opponents are put away early with the venom of the Raiders full court press.
Coach Faulkner had his Sabers well prepared to take on whatever Lebanon had to offer. Most teams struggle getting the ball past half court but Souhegan went over top of the press with their bigs coming back from the front court and catching well timed passes in the middle just before half court.
They also spread the floor making it very difficult for the Raiders to leave their men and trap. Coach Kehoe was so frustrated he called an early time out and was heard telling his players "we need to play our game"!
The first quarter was hard fought with neither team gaining control. Early on both teams most inexperienced starters were carring the load. Mickenzie Larrivee the Sabers young sophomore was stroking every shot scoring 14 first half points. For Lebanon it was Heather King doing a great job defending against a veteran Saber front court racking up 9 1st half points.
Souhegan accomplished what few teams have been capable of doing over the last 6 years and that was make it through the 1st half leading 31-29 on Lebanon's home court. Coach Kehoe is not familiar with being down at half time, and went to the locker room looking for answers to what Souhegan was doing to his press.
If you left your seat at halftime you made a mistake, because the Raiders figured things out fast and ran off 10 points within a minute and turned a 2 point halftime deficit into an 8 point lead. That first 2 minutes was the difference in the game. Both teams battled for the remainder of the game, but Souhegan could never recover from that awesome defensive burst!
Both team's superstars battled the whole 2nd half. Jane White scored 21 points (12 in the half) for Souhegan and Lebanon's Moriah Morton had 14 of her game-high 22 in the 2nd half.
Lebanon's defense stepped it up in the 2nd, limiting the Sabers to 25 points with a blue collar performance from Taylor Friedman, Emily Kehoe, Colleen Taylor and the sophomore King. Tori Forrest and Ashley Tighe battled for Souhegan, but they could never recover from those first 2 minutes of the 2nd half and came out short in a hard fought, well played girls high school basketball game 62-56.
This chapter may not be over. Souhegan now with 4 losses is lining up for a 7 or 8 seed which may find them back up in the snake pit in the second round of the playoffs. I am sure Coach Faulkner would trade this loss if he can get another chance to come north and break the streak when it counts!