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February 27. 2013 11:08PM

Memorial girls win in hoop tourney in shocker


Everyone tries to stop Londonderry's Aliza Simpsonincluding, from left, Nashua South's Caitlyn Perry, Jennifer Gaudet and Holly Gaudet in the first period, in the Division I preliminary round game, at Londonderry High School on Wednesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)
Manchester Memorial pulled off a shocking upset last night in Derry.

Amelia Imamovic's three-point shot with 14 seconds remaining in overtime lifted the 14th-ranked Crusaders to a 40-39 Division I girls' basketball first round playoff victory against a stunned third-ranked Pinkerton Academy team. During the regular season Pinkerton (16-3) started the season 14-0 and posted a convincing 64-40 victory over Memorial.

But the Crusaders (6-13), behind 13 points from Mekenah Grisson and 11 from Allie Hartford, led the Astros yesterday 19-13 at halftime. Despite scoring just two points in the first period and four in the third quarter, Memorial still led 23-22 entering the fourth stanza.

"Hartford and Grisson stepped up for Memorial and played well," said Pinkerton head coach John Barry. "We had a hard time finishing off our plays."

Val Martin was the only Pinkerton player in double figures with 10 points followed by Corina Moore with nine. Imamovic netted eight points for Memorial and Jessica Sweetser added six as the Crusaders were 10 of 16 from the free throw line.

Bishop Guertin 85, Timberlane 26: Top-seeded BG, last year's Division I champion, led 24-4 after one quarter and 42-9 at halftime. Sophomore guard Megan Kerutis led the Cardinals (18-1) with 17 points. BG will face eighth-seeded Merrimack in Saturday's quarterfinals. Dakotah Vondrasick scored a team-high 11 for Timberlane (5-14).

Salem 71, Merrimack 49: At Salem, the eighth-seeded Blue Devils received a season-high 20 points from Amanda Bickford and earned a quarterfinal-round matchup against top-seeded Bishop Guertin. Emily Hickey added 17 for Brenna Blakslee scored 11 for Salem (12-7). It was Salem's first postseason victory since 2008. Merrimack completed its season with an 8-11 record.

Alvirne 66, Exeter 41: At Hudson, junior point guard Sandi Purcell tossed in 21 points and the seventh-seeded Broncos extended their season by outscoring the 10th-seeded Blue Hawks 39-17 in the second half. Alvirne (14-5) led 17-10 after one quarter, 27-24 at halftime and 49-35 entering the third. Exeter completed its season with a 7-12 record.

Bedford 56, Manchester Central 33: At Bedford, junior center McKenzie Brown scored a game-high 19 points and the second-seeded Bulldogs posted the first postseason victory in the program's history. Rachel Collins added 16 for Bedford (17-2), which will face Alvirne in the Division I quarterfinals. Katherine Johnson tossed in a team-high 14 for Central, which finished its season with a 5-14 record.

Winnacunnet 61, Dover 21: At Hampton, the sixth-seeded Warriors scored 49 of the game's final 55 points and breezed to a preliminary-round victory. Winnacunnet (14-5) outscored 21-2 in the third quarter. Dover (7-12) traled 22-15 at halftime.

Londonderry 64, Nashua South 35: At Londonderry, the fourth-seeded Lancers (15-4) outscored the 13th-seeded Panthers 26-4 in the second quarter en route to a comfortable victory. Nashua South (5-14) trailed 37-13 at halftime and 54-25 at the end of three quarters. Aliza Simpson led the Lancers with 24 points and eight assists.

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