Boys’ basketball: Hillsboro-Deering wins season opener for Hillcats’ first victory since Feb. 9, 2022

The Hillsboro-Deering JV boys' basketball team (red and white jerseys) locks down defensively against Somersworth on Friday night, Dec. 8 in the Hillsboro-Deering High School gymnasium. After the program went winless in 2022-23, both the HDHS varsity and JV teams picked up victories in their season openers.

The Hillsboro-Deering JV boys' basketball team (red and white jerseys) locks down defensively against Somersworth on Friday night, Dec. 8 in the Hillsboro-Deering High School gymnasium. After the program went winless in 2022-23, both the HDHS varsity and JV teams picked up victories in their season openers. Sarah Leblanc Photography

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 12-08-2023 11:48 PM

After a winless 2022-23 campaign, the Hillsboro-Deering boys’ varsity basketball team’s entered this season with a goal to win one game. Mission accomplished. 

The Hillcats locked down defensively in the fourth quarter, holding visiting Somersworth to just five points over the final eight minutes, and senior forward Dan Franklin scored 17 points off the bench to lift H-D to its first victory since Feb. 9, 2022 with a 63-45 season-opening victory over the Hilltoppers on Friday night on its home floor.

The Hillcats led 11-10 after the first quarter and 28-22 at halftime before Somersworth dropped 18 points in the third to cut H-D’s lead to 42-40 heading into the final frame.

Sophomore forward Tony Harris led the defense and also scored 13 points.

“It’s a very exciting win,” H-D head coach Chris Davies said. “We executed better (in the fourth quarter). (Somersworth was) running a spread play and we clogged up the middle and stayed composed. My seniors really did well. They all came together. It was a good all around game.”

The Hillcats were also bolstered by a strong home crowd, 200-300 people by Davies’ estimation.

The JV team was also bolstered by a tremendous defensive performance, defeating Somersworth 33-15.

“After winning just two games over the past two seasons, we won two games in one night,” Davies said. “I’m very excited for the season. The last two years had been rebuilding years. We had a bunch of sophomores and freshmen. There’s nowhere to go but up.”

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H-D next plays at Kearsarge (1-0) on Tuesday night.