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TOWNSEND — North Middlesex girls basketball coach Pat Murphy was quick and to the point after his team’s disappointing 40-35 loss to Lunenburg on Friday night.

“You can’t give away the house,” said Murphy. “Turnovers and free throws killed us, especially in a five point game.”

The numbers backed the veteran Lady Pats’ mentor up. North Middlesex commited 23 turnovers in the contest, compared to 16 by Lunenburg. At the free throw line, North Middlesex hit on just seven of 17 attempts while the Lady Knights were 16 of 25.

Keyed by outstanding perimeter shooting by Ally Watkins (13 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals), North Middlesex jumped out to an 8-3 lead after the first three minutes of the game, but Lunenburg bounced back, scoring 11 of the final 15 points in the quarter to take a 14-12 lead after one quarter. Ellery Kerylow (11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) keyed the run with four points.

Lunenburg maintained the momentum to start the second quarter. Kerylow hit a pair of free throws, and Jessie Klauer followed with a 15-footer to make it 18-12. Two minutes later, a free throw by Molly Poirier extended the lead to double digits.

North Middlesex climbed back into the game with six consecutive points. Watkins buried a turnaround jumper and followed by converting after grabbing an offensive rebound. When Brittney Nelson sank two free throws, the Lady Pats had drawn to within 23-19.

Lunenburg finished the half with a free throw from Poirier and a follow-up basket by Briana Proctor to take a 26-19 lead to intermission.

Proctor extended the lead to nine by finishing off a drive to open the third quarter, and the Lady Knights took their largest lead of the game later in the quarter when Kerylow’s perimeter jumper made it 34-23.

The Lady Pats dug in defensively and made one last run, closing the third quarter with the final four points and opening the fourth quarter with the first four points. Jenn Kirk’s follow-up basket made it 34-31.

Lunenburg got a drive from Klauer and North Middlesex countered with a follow-up basket by Hayley Lynch and it was 36-33 with five minutes left.

Both teams went into an offensive drought over the next 3:30, the only points during that span coming on a pair of free throws by Klauer, who finished with six points and five rebounds.

North Middlesex finally broke the ice on a fast break lay-up by Lynch off a nice pass from Nelson, but the Lady Pats wouldn’t score again and fell to 1-2 for the season.

Lynch finished with seven points, three rebounds and two steals while Nelson added six points and five rebounds.