Dartmouth girls basketball earns its place in the ‘Sweet 16’

Mar 2, 2024

The Dartmouth High girls basketball team joins 16 teams across the state in moving to the next round of playoffs after scoring a commanding 76-45 victory over Shepherd Hill Regional High School on Friday, March 1. 

The Indians scored a quick 5-point lead seconds into the first quarter and continued to widen that margin, ultimately burying Shepherd Hill beneath an impressive 31-point lead. 

“When we have a lead, we can’t just slow down, and we kept building on it tonight which was nice,” said Coach Brian Jalbert. 

The Indians will play a home game against Whitman-Hanson Regional High School on Tuesday, March 5. With a 16-4 season under its belt, Whitman Hanson will make a formidable opponent for the Indians, whose 17-3 season began with a 12-game winning streak. 

“They’re a very good team,” Jalbert said of Whitman-Hanson. “They’re very good offensively, very good defensively, so we got a lot of work to do.”

But for now, the Indians can celebrate holding their own in division 2 after falling short of joining the sweet 16 last year when they lost the round of 32 to Westwood High School by the razor thin margin of just 46-45. 

“Our goal at the beginning of the season was to make the sweet 16, we’re adjusting our goals now because we don’t just want to stop now,” Jalbert said. “We came up one point short of the sweet 16 last year, and so this is a huge hump to get over.”

The Indians’ victory comes off the heels of its losses last month to St. Mary’s High School and Andover High School. But on Friday, the Indians fought their way back into the winner circle with a relentless offense and by sinking their free throws. 

This was sophomore forward Kaelyn Zuber’s first game back after recovering from a sprained wrist and nerve damage in her elbow. 

“We all played our hearts out, we all wanted it,” Zuber said. “Our starting five did absolutely excellent together. We worked really hard all week for this game.”

The team’s top earner was by far junior captain Katherine Cheesebro who scored 32 points Friday night.

“We came out ready to play, our intensity was really high from the beginning,” Cheesebro said.