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Salem girls fall on last-second shot

\Head coach Anne Alosa’s Blue Devils had battled from behind the entire game. Late in the fourth quarter, they took a 1-point lead, but Winnacunnet came back to tie.

So, the game came down to a final possession. Winnacunnet had an inbounds with just under three seconds to play and the game tied at 58. A Warriors player caught the ball near the top of the key, heavily defended, and sank a quick turnaround jumper as time expired.

“That’s a great shot by No. 20 in the end,” Alosa said. “We got some great opportunities, but the ball’s just got to swing one way or the other.”

The Jan. 8 loss snapped a three-game win streak for the Salem girls – A streak which started with Salem’s own tight, 53-52, win over Manchester Memorial on Dec. 18.

“That’s a fun game to be in,” said Alosa. “Winnacunnet’s a great program, so this is a huge game for us and we’ve just got to get better day-by-day.”

Despite the loss, Alosa said she was pleased with both the improvement her girls showed since their encounter with Winnacunnet last year, and their improvement over the course of the game.

“We didn’t rebound the ball as well as we would’ve liked to in the first half, but our defense and rebounding picked up significantly in the second half,” she said. “We got all the looks we wanted and we moved the ball well on offense, so a coach can’t complain.”

Emily Hickey was the Blue Devils’ high scorer for the evening. She knocked down six threes and an early 2-pointer for 20 points. Amanda Bickford was second on the team with 10 points.

The Blue Devils travel to Keene on Friday, Jan. 11 in their next contest, and come home again Jan. 15 to face 2-5 Nashua South. Keene was blown out by Winnacunnet in the second game of the season, 71-49.

“We’ve just got to fight out and every possession matters because obviously it doesn’t come down to that last possession,” said Alosa. “Every possession from the start to the end matters and that’s a huge lesson for any program, and especially our program where we’re young.”

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