SHS Boys Basketball Team Earns Berth In Final Four
First Trip since 2008
The Stevens boys basketball team, which earned the # 3 seed in the NHIAA Division III tournament, started its second season on Thursday night, hosting the 14th seeded Mascoma Royals at Frederick Carr Gymnasium.
The Cardinals, playing before a large and boisterous crowd, jumped out to a 31-18 halftime lead and went on to defeat the Royals 65-56 to move on to the Quarterfinals. Zach O’Brien paced Stevens with 18 points, and matched his scoring output by hauling down 18 rebounds. Noah Spaulding scored 17 points, Richard Bell added 11 points, and Parker Smith chipped in with 7 points to lead Stevens on to the round of 8.
On Saturday night in front of a packed house, and student body white-out, Stevens took on the Belmont Red Raiders with a trip to Southern New Hampshire University and the Final Four at stake.
Stevens took a 14-13 lead after the first quarter, but fell behind 19-18 midway through the second quarter. It would be the last time the Cardinals would trail as they took a 26-23 halftime lead. A 20-point third quarter, with Belmont tallying just 13, elicited a deafening roar from the home crowd as the quarter came to an end with the Cardinals enjoying a 10-point lead. The Red Raiders made a late run and at one point cut the lead to 5 points but Noah Spaulding connected on 9 of his 10 fourth quarter free throws down the stretch, as Belmont had to resort to fouling, and Stevens had a 71-64 victory and a berth in the Final Four. Nick O’Brien scored a season high 20 points and recorded the double-double with 10 rebounds. Zach O’Brien recorded yet another double-double as he dropped in 17 points, and grabbed 14 rebounds. Spaulding finished with 16 points and went 11 of 12 from the charity stripe. Parker Smith had some big baskets on the way to scoring 12 points. He also grabbed 6 rebounds.
Stevens is making their first trip to the Final Four since 2008,
and will play at Southern New Hampshire University at 6:00 p.m. on
Wednesday night, as they will take on the #2 seeded Hopkinton Hawks.
The #1 seeded Kearsarge Cougars will take on the #5 seeded Somersworth
Hilltoppers in the nightcap. The two winners on Wednesday night will
meet for the State Championship next Saturday night.