Kearsarge crowned champs, upsets Hopkinton

By KJ Cardinal

The fourth-seeded Kearsarge Cougars were crowned 2024 NHIAA Division III Girls Basketball State Champions on Saturday evening with a 38-27 victory over No. 2 Hopkinton at Keene State College.

Kearsarge earns the third title in school history and the first since 2002. The Cougars were led by Tessa Marinello’s 15 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks, while Ava Shapiro added 12 points.

The favorite Hawks came ready to play as they jumped out to an early seven-point lead with two minutes to play in the 1st quarter and led 12-7 at the end of the opening frame.

Kearsarge then reeled off an 8-0 run to start the second quarter and led the rest of the way. The Cougars held the Hawks scoreless in the second quarter and took a 15-12 lead to the break. Hopkinton was 0-12 from the field in the quarter as both teams shot a combined 10-50 (20%) from the field in the first half.

The third quarter was all Kearsarge. The Cougars stifling defense continued, winning the quarter 15-5 and taking a 30-17 lead to the final stanza. The 13-point deficit was too much for the Hawks to overcome and Kearsarge was crowned.

Leading the way for Hopkinton was Shaylee Murdough with 15 points. Sydney Westover dominated the glass with 19 rebounds as the Hawks out rebounded the Cougars 37-30.

Watch as Kearsarge takes home the crown and the Cougars did it with Kearsarge defense…

Check out a photo gallery by Jill Stevens below. High resolution images of the gallery are available here.

Check out another photo gallery by Jeff Criss of Perfect Photos…

Check out another photo gallery by Chris Laclair of Chris Clicks Photography…