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Grizzlies ‘die by the three’ against Sabers

The Goffstown High School boys basketball team traveled to Souhegan, Friday, Dec. 21, looking for its third win in a row to begin the season. The Grizzlies, hampered by poor shooting and an injury to a key player, fell to the Sabers, 74-65, to drop to 2-1 on the season.

With Goffstown’s up-tempo style, the team’s fate is often decided by their shooting efficiency. While senior Jake Mount knocked down six three-pointers and finished the game with 30 points, head coach Justin Gorham said his team needs more than just one player to shoot well each game.

“A lot of team’s live and die by the three, and we shoot a lot of threes,” Gorham said. “Friday night, we died by the three, but the majority of the time, I’m confident that the kids will get to the point where more than one player is going to make big shots.”

The Grizzlies’ Tyler Barrs had to leave the game in the first half with a hip injury after a collision. Gorham said Barrs was missed for his court presence and hardiness, but also because other players had to play more than usual in his absence.

“He just brings a sense of toughness to the whole team,” Gorham said. “That kind of screwed up the whole rotation. I had to play some guys longer, so it made it a little more difficult. Guys got tired, they couldn’t stop the dribble and we ended up getting beat.”

Heading into a short break and then the heart of the season, Gorham said his team has two major areas to improve on.

First, he said the Grizzlies must hit more shots. Through three games, they have had one player who consistently hit shots each game. On Friday, that player was Mount.

“At that point, he was the only guy that could shoot, so we have yet to have two or three or four of our shooters make shots at the same time,” Gorham said. “They’re all getting open shots, they’re just not going down right now.”

The other point of emphasis Gorham hopes to stress is better on-ball defense. Specifically, he said his players must stop slashers from getting into the paint because they have let up too many easy baskets.

“We have to get better at stopping really good penetrators, ball handlers,” Gorham said. “That’s kind of one of those things, there aren’t really drills for that, they just have to do it.”

Goffstown competes in the Queen City Christmas Invitational Tournament starting Wednesday, Dec. 26, in its final games before taking time off for winter break.

“I can only see us getting better,” said Gorham. “Once [shots] start falling, I think we’re going to get better and better as we go along.”

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