By Tris Wykes
Kennett High mainstay Maddie Stewart dribbled from high on the right side to the backboard’s far edge Thursday night, somehow laying in an off-balance, lefthanded shot with 6.3 seconds remaining in a NHIAA Division II girls basketball semifinal.
Those two points were enough to give the Eagles a 51-50 victory over Hanover in overtime at Bedford High. A long pass to the Marauders’ Charlotte Johnson, the team’s lone senior, on the left side of the lane glanced off her hand and bounced out of bounds as time expired.
Hanover, which was upset by Lebanon in last season’s state semifinals, struggled all night to keep Kennett off the offensive glass. The Marauders finish the current campaign at 15-1. Kennett is 14-2.
Sophomore guard Stella Galanes led Hanover with 18 points and Caroline Adams had nine. Melissa Whitmore and post player Jane Lackley each had six points.
Whitmore sank a 3-point shot to put the Marauders up, 50-49, with 20 seconds remaining. Kennett inbounded, drove into Hanover territory and called time-out with 14.3 seconds on the scoreboard.
Whitmore, who had 14 points in the quarterfinals, also converted two free throws with 18.4 seconds remaining in Thursday’s fourth quarter to tie the game at 45-45 and force overtime.
Hanover made 16-0f-53 field-goal attempts (30 percent) and went to the free-throw line nine times, making four such attempts.
Galanes, who poured in 26 points during the quarterfinals, was 7-of-17 from the floor and missed her only two shots in overtime. Whitmore was 3-of-10 on field-goal tries, Lackley was 3-of-9 and Johnson 1-of-4. Adams converted 4-of-9 attempts from the floor.
The Marauders’ biggest lead was only four points, at 13-9. The contes was a 1- and 2-point affair for much of the time after.
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