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March 6, 2014

N.H. girls basketball: Dover upsets Salem in first round

Green Wave avenges loss earlier in season

SALEM — Dover showed last night why first impressions shouldn’t always be lasting ones.

The Green Wave, which lost to Salem 48-36 in the regular season, had three turnovers in the first minute and a half and trailed the Blue Devils 6-0 in a Division 1 opener. It seemed like No. 5-seed Salem would cruise to victory.

Instead, after a timeout, No. 12 Dover went on an 8-1 run and took a 17-15 lead into the second quarter. And then it turned it on, outscoring Salem 30-15 in the middle two quarters on its way to a convincing 65-49 upset victory.

Except that Dover coach Peter Driscoll, whose club is now just 9-10, didn’t consider the win that much of an upset.

“We weren’t the healthiest group when we played them before,” said Driscoll. “One starter (Katie Boyatsis) was out, another (Molly Wotton) was just coming back after being out a week and a half and a third (Abby Tilton) was sick and didn’t play much.”

The value of those three was evident last night as the 6-foot Wotton — the two-time New Hampshire volleyball Player of the Year — led the way with 16 points and 12 rebounds, Boyatsis chipped in with 13 points and Tilton added 12.

Dover controlled the boards, connected on 7 of 12 shots from 3-point range and shot 48 percent from the floor. Junior Emily Benson only took three shots — all 3-pointers — and made them all on her way to scoring 10 points.

“That’s the best 32 minutes of basketball we’ve played all year,” said Driscoll. “I was kind of hoping we’d play like this all year.”

By contrast, Salem had one of its poorest shooting nights of the season, hitting just 7 of 33 shots in the decisive middle quarters and only connecting on 27 percent of its shots overall for the game.

The Devils were 2 of 16 from 3-point range.

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