They were both games the Pinkerton Academy girls’ basketball squad was expected to win, and coach Lani Buskey’s Lady Astros got the jobs done last week to finish the regular season on a high note.
The academy girl cagers closed out their 2014-15 season with lopsided wins over the Concord and Exeter ladies’ contingents last week to wind up at 13-5 in tough Division I.
Combined, the Concord and Exeter squads had tallied five wins out of 35 contests when they faced the PA team, so Buskey’s bunch faced two relatively easy contests to close out the regular campaign.
The Lady Astros took care of business against the struggling Concord High Crimson Tide in Derry Tuesday, Feb. 24, by besting that 2-15 visiting crew by a 57-42 tally.
Buskey’s PA bunch led 11-3 after one quarter, but the Concord side served its host notice that it wasn’t about to roll over in this game by outscoring Pinkerton by a 14-10 tally in quarter two. That left the Lady Astros grasping a 21-17 lead at halftime.
Buskey’s bunch won the third period (17-10) and the fourth (19-15) to snag the victory.
Senior forward Val Martin led the Pinkerton attack with 15 points, junior guard Marissa Stacy tallied 10 points (with a pair of three-pointers), and senior forward Jaime Caron and junior forward Sara McLeman both contributed eight.
The Lady Astros then made a road trip to Exeter last Friday, Feb. 27, and snagged an even more lopsided win – 58-31 – over an Exeter High crew that became 3-15 with 10 consecutive losses to end the season.
The academy hoopsters raced out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter, were up by 14 points (26-12) by halftime, and after outscoring their hosts by a 21-3 tally in the third period, the locals led 47-15 going into the final eight minutes of play.
Martin paced the Pinkerton offense – once again – by netting 18 points. Nicolette Arnold was good for nine, and Stacy collected eight. All in all, 11 Lady Astros contributed points to the decisive victory.
The Lady Astros found out Monday, March 2, that they’d received the number five seed in the Division I tournament with their 13-5 record. That lined them up with the 12th-ranked Salem High Lady Blue Devils (6-12 record) in preliminary-round tourney play that was to take place Tuesday, March 3, after the Nutfield News went to press.
A win over the Lady Devils would place the Pinkerton crew in a quarterfinal-round contest against either number four Bishop Guertin in Nashua or number 13 Trinity in Derry this Friday night.