LONDONDERRY — When the Londonderry High girls' basketball team found itself in a close game against Bishop Guertin of Nashua late in the fourth quarter Friday night, the Lancers did what everybody expected. They turned to their star, senior point guard Aliza Simpson.
Simpson, who scored the 1,000th point of her career last Friday against Merrimack, scored seven of her team's final nine points to help Londonderry pull out a 41-38 victory.
Simpson, who has committed to play at the University of New Hampshire next season, scored nine of her team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter.
"I'm looking for the easiest shot — I'm not looking to force anything," Simpson said. "Let it happen. In games like that, players get nervous and stuff. I just try to let the game come to me."
The victory raised Londonderry's Division I record to 5-0. The Lancers' four other wins came by at least 32 points.
"(Simpson) is not afraid to want the ball, and not everybody does that," Londonderry coach John Fagula said. "There are kids who are pretty good scorers when nothing is on the line, but do they want the ball in tough situations? Not always. She's got so many instincts. Some of the other kids have athletic ability, but they don't all have the instincts, and I think that's a big thing."
Junior forward Casey Evans added nine points for Londonderry. Senior point guard Jamie Sherburne led the Cardinals with 16.
BG tied the game, 30-30, when Sherburne made a jumper with 6:26 to play, but the Lancers took the lead for good when Taylor Collins scored 21 seconds later.
The loss dropped BG's record to 6-2.
"Our girls battled hard, but we were facing a major disadvantage in terms of height," first-year BG coach Jeremy Faulkner said. "We got all the shots we wanted, we just went ice cold on shots we usually hit. This was a very winnable game."
BG led 12-11 after one quarter, but Londonderry carried a 20-19 advantage into halftime. The Cardinals struggled mightily on the offensive end in the third quarter, when BG's only basket came on a 3-pointer by Sherburne. Londonderry had a 28-22 lead with eight minutes to play.
Another Sherburne 3-pointer cut Londonderry's lead to 36-35 with 3:19 left, but a basket by Tara Burke and three Simpson free throws extended Londonderry's lead to 41-35 with 15.4 seconds left.
"I'm very happy with where my team is at eight games into the season," Faulker said. "We're a young team and we're going to get a lot better. We're going to be tough late in the season."