BOW – The midpoint of the Division II girls’ basketball season has passed, and wins are becoming more crucial for teams caught in the middle of the standings as they position themselves for the tournament.
Bow earned a critical win Thursday night over Pembroke, 43-35, lifting the Falcons back to .500 as they begin a busy stretch with four games in six days.
The Falcons (5-5) pieced together three wins in a row in mid-January but hit a two-game slide before facing the Spartans (6-6) on Thursday.
Those two losses were by a margin of six points or fewer. Falcons coach Bill Vermette hopes the win puts his team back on track as they try to stay sharp in the later minutes of a game.
“We’re not saying we’re the best team in the state, but if we can compete then you never know what happens,” Vermette said. “This was important to bring us back to .500 and hopefully it creates a little momentum.”
Bow senior Lea Crompton said the team has improved its focus and didn’t let those losses undermine confidence.
“Staying mentally tough is a big thing for us,” she said. “We’ve been lacking it lately, but tonight we were able to pull through.”
Thanks in large part to a 19-point second quarter that pulled Bow out to a comfortable 23-12 lead at halftime, the Falcons didn’t let Pembroke back within six points.
The Spartans made it interesting in the fourth quarter as they cut a 13-point deficit down to six. A pair of baskets by Crompton and Patty Nordin plus two free throws by Lauren Goyette late in the fourth helped the Falcons hold off their opponents and capture the win.
Nordin led Bow with 15 points while Crompton poured in nine. Erin Boldwin and Goyette each had eight, and Julia Landcastle chipped in seven.
The Falcons’ bench helped out in the defensive end to hold off Pembroke but couldn’t turn in points on offense. Bow plays again Friday night at Laconia and then two more games in the next three days after.
Contributions from the bench on both ends will be needed for the Falcons to come out of this stretch in good shape.
“We just have to go on the fly and hope that we can have a few kids off the bench give us good minutes,” Vermette said.
Pembroke was led by Brooklyn Zanis who scored a game-high 19 points. Madison Gaskell was behind her with six points, Savannah Youngman scored four, Morgan Allen scored three, Olivia Langevin chipped in two and Emily Lacasse hit a free throw in the first for one point.
The Spartans were coming off a tight 36-31 loss to Hanover on the road less than 24 hours before Thursday’s game. Coach Michaela Champlin thought fatigue may have been a factor as Pembroke scored just 12 points in the first half.
“I think running out of gas is part of that,” Champlin said. “As a team, we’re working on how we respond to adversity, which I think is a challenge at any level.”
Pembroke’s 35 points was its third lowest output offensively through 12 games this season.
“I think the frustration in the first quarter, we had a hard time responding,” Champlin said. “Bow is a tough team and tonight was not our night.”
The Spartans are off until Monday when they host Oyster River.