Lady Astro Hoopsters Suffer First Defeat of the Season

After driving its Division I-leading record up to 10-0 and solidifying its standing as the only unbeaten squad in the division by defeating Manchester Memorial, the Pinkerton Academy girls’ basketball squad finally tasted defeat.

The Lady Astros downed the host Memorial Lady Crusaders in a solid 48-41 decision in the Queen City on Wednesday, Jan. 27. But the academy bunch then had its 2015-16 record blemished by a 43-29 loss to visiting Nashua North in Derry Friday night, Jan. 29.

In the win over a Memorial team that entered Jan. 27 play with a 5-4 divisional record, Pinkerton grasped leads of 19-14 after one quarter, 29-17 at the half, and 40-28 after three full stanzas.

The Lady Crusaders worked hard to whittle away at their deficit in quarter four but in the end fell a ways short.

The victorious locals received 19 points from Amanda Lemire, 11 from Courtney Velho, and eight from Sarah McLeman.

But there was both frustration and a key lesson learned by the Lady Astros during their 43-29 loss to 6-4 Nashua North last Friday night.

The hosts didn’t have a lot of luck with having shots fall in the defeat, and they saw their guests win every quarter where points were concerned.

The Lady Titans led 11-10 after one stanza, 22-16 after two, and 31-20 rolling into the last period.

“There certainly felt like there was a lid on the rim, but that wasn’t the only reason for our loss,” said coach Lani Buskey. “We didn’t execute the game plan. We lacked focus on the offensive end, and we didn’t have legs on the defensive end to match North’s speed. It was a long, three-game week, and our exhaustion definitely played a factor tonight. We just couldn’t seem to get over the hump. There was never any momentum for us to build off of, but this will be a learning tool for us. It gives us motivation, and it shows us there is room for improvement. I have a group of girls who will respond well to this. They always try to work hard for me. Tonight just wasn’t our night.”

Lemire led the PA effort with eight points, and Brooke Kane netted six.

The Lady Astros will aim to return to the winning path this Saturday afternoon when they travel to Londonderry High to take on a rival Lady Lancer crew that suffered a frustrating and decisive loss to Winnacunnet in Hampton while Pinkerton was losing on its home court on Friday night. That game tips off at 1:30 p.m.