TOWNSEND -- The unbeaten Nashoba Lady Chieftains came into Arthur Bartlett Memorial Gymnasium and put on a three-point shooting clinic. Nashoba hit four-of-six three-point shots in the first to build a 15-4 lead midway through the opening frame. Freshman center Erin Antosh led North Middlesex with a game-high 24 points.
"The freshman had a good game, that's a sign of what's to come down the road," North MIddlesex head coach Pat Murphy said. "Mackensey didn't have her best shooting night. A bad game from Mackensey is better than almost anybody else."
North Middlesex fell flat in the third quarter. North Middlesex trimmed the deficit to six and eight points in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough as it fell to Nashoba, 57-44.
"We didn't do as good of a job rebounding as we needed to do," Murphy said. "That's really it. We withstood a first quarter, where they (Nashoba) played outside of the playbook. They had four-out-of-the-five kids hit threes in the first quarter. I thought we showed some resiliency in trying to come back."
Nashoba started out hot in the first quarter from behind the arc, and it showed no sign of cooling off. Lady Chieftians' junior sharp-shooter Kelly Poole drained a pair of three-pointers to fuel a 20-6 opening flurry for the visitors. However, North Middlesex continued to peck away behind eight first quarter points from Antosh. The Lady Patriots trimmed the Nashoba lead to 11, 25-14, at the end of one.
North Middlesex cut the Lady Chieftains' advantage to its smallest margin, six points, three minutes into the second quarter on back-to-back strong drives to the basket by Farina. Farina led the Lady Patriots on the glass with 15 rebounds. The Lady Chieftains' largest lead of the second quarter came late in the frame on a pick-and-pop jumper by senior captain Emma Duggan, who stretched the lead out to seven, 31-24. North Middlesex whittled Nashoba's advantage down to four with 25 seconds left on a driving layup by Marissa Amichetti. The Lady Patriots trailed Nashoba at the half, 33-28.
Nashoba outscored North Middlesex 18-6 in the third quarter. The Lady Chieftains' lead snowballed to 15 points following a canned Duggan three-pointer in the corner to make it, 51-36, with 2.7 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
North Middlesex continued to scrap in the fourth quarter, and it refused to go down without a fight. The Lady Patriots trimmed the Nashoba lead to eight, following a Farina feed to Antosh, who converted under the basket to make it, 54-36. That would be as close as North Middlesex would get. Nashoba's Emmalie Keenan provided the three-point dagger with 1:45 remaining in the fourth quarter to hold off the Lady Patriots' comeback bid. Erin Cressman led Nashoba with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
"We showed the resiliency and hung tough," the coach said. "We made a cut in the fourth quarter to trim it down to eight, but we could not get two hoops in a row. We didn't lose to a bad team. At one point, it could've been embarrassing."
Senior Brittani LeBlanc facilitated the Lady Patriots' offense with seven assists.