Hanover’s Historic Win Over Lebanon
The cheers from the crowd in the Lebanon High School Gym this Monday were deafening as the Hanover High boys basketball team took a 60-58 win over Leb. This victory breaks a 7 year long losing streak spanning over 15 games, leaving our Marauders undefeated with a 12-0 record, as the Raiders add another loss to their now 8-2 record. As always, it was a close game, with the Marauders leading 12-10 at the end of the first quarter, and 27-22 at the half.
Tensions rose in the gymnasium as Lebanon’s Jon Willeman went 2 for 2 at the free-throw line with just 8 seconds left on the clock, giving Leb a 58-57 lead. Undeniable star of the game, junior Hank Pikus, made the game winning 3 point shot within the final seconds of overtime, assisted by senior Charlie Adams. Adams finished out the game with 24 points, Pikus with 16, and Nolan Gantrish and Jai White with 10 each. Jon Willeman, Leb’s highest scorer, finished the game with 18 points.
Pikus spoke with Union Leader post-game, saying the play was “something that me and Charlie do a lot in practice, as soon as I saw Karsten (Hansen) flip down, I knew that I was going to have an open three. It didn’t matter that it was deep. I just knew it was good.” Pikus had missed four straight three pointers between the third and fourth quarters, making his buzzer-beater shot all the more impressive.
Similarly, the girls team was victorious over Leb with a final score of 51-41. Senior Maddie McCorkle finished the game with 20 points, earning the team’s first 11 in the third period and giving Hanover a 36-32 lead at the start of the fourth. The game was not made easy by Lebanon’s Rebecca Wright, as she scored 19 points, 15 coming in the second half.
Thankfully McCorkle scored six more within the final 8 minutes of the game, one with just one minute on the clock that gave Hanover a lead of 45-39. Wright had to leave the game early after suffering an injury to her ankle, leaving it up to Raider Catherine Cole’s 2 free throws at 1:30 left, which reduced Hanover’s lead to just 4 points. Unfortunately for Leb that was as close as they got for the remainder of the game. Junior Charlotte Johnson earned 6 points in the first half and finished the game with 11 as Hanover’s second-place scorer, followed by Lebanon’s Sally Rainey with 5 in the first half and 10 overall. The two rivals will meet again in one month in the Hanover High gym on the 5th of March.