Monday, July 21, 2014

Hoops for Hope David Bradner Tournament - Event Recap

The Hoops for Hope summer league wrapped up its David Bradner Tournament last week, with Prep 1 winning the tournament championship 72-67 over Pelham in double-overtime. The Kirsch brothers Max and Mitchell and former Exeter High guard Ben Swett all played major roles in the title run for 'Team Kirsch'. Max Kirsch (team-high 21 points) hit a clutch 3-pointer at the buzzer to tie the game at 65-65 and force a second overtime. He hit another 3 in the second-OT, and then his younger brother Mitchell (both from Atkinson, NH) connected on 4 big free throws to seal the victory.

Pelham deserves a lot of credit, as they played their tails off and left it all out on the floor. They beat Saint John's Prep in a hard fought battle in the semi-finals in a game that went down to the wire. And they pushed Prep 1 to double-OT, which is impressive considering they're a high school team going up against an all-star squad of prep school players.

"I think the story here is Pelham" said Prep 1 head coach Dave Kirsch, father of Max and Mitchell. "For a small town high school team to make it this far, either team could have won this game - Pelham is my new favorite team."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gaukstern, Gendron & Hoffman to Continue Hoops Careers in College

Three more local girls basketball players from the class of 2014 will be continuing their careers at the college level. They are as follows:

Emily Gaukstern, Souhegan HS - RPI
Amanda Gendron, Souhegan HS - Daniel Webster College
Brianna Hoffman, Milford HS - Curry College

Gaukstern was a 3 year varsity player, helped the Sabers win a D-II state title as a sophomore and was the team's leading rebounder this past winter as a senior. Gaukstern was also a two time all-academic selection from the NHBCO.

Gendron was the 6th man as a senior for the Sabers. According to Souhegan head coach Mike Heaney she was their best defensive player.

Hoffman meanwhile was a 4 year varsity player at Milford and was a key player on teams that made back-to-back Final Four appearances. She is a very good outside shooter.

Congratulations to all 3 players for their accomplishments and best of luck in their college careers.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gibbs Hired as Trinity Girls Coach

After 3 years as the head women's basketball coach at NHTI, Kevin Gibbs is returning to coaching at the high school level. The former Bishop Guertin head coach has officially been hired on at Trinity. Gibbs takes over for Matt Courchesne, who coached the Pioneers for the past 2 years, including last year when they went 11-7 and advanced to the D-I quarterfinals.

Courchesne stepped down however, at the end of the season. Then word came out that Trinity's best player Amanda Torres was going prep, and transferring to Proctor Academy. Meanwhile Gibbs has been busy this spring / summer AAU season helping to coach the NE Crusaders, but he's found time to apply, interview for and then get hired as Trinity's new coach.

"I can say without hesitation that Paul Hogan (NHTI A.D. and men's basketball coach) is one of the best people I have ever worked for and with" Gibbs told the NH Notebook. "He runs the athletics department like an NCAA Div 3 program - everything is done top flight. His support and guidance during my time at the school was fantastic!

Theos Takes Over at Londonderry for Fagula

Replacing a legend is never easy - but Nick Theos is going to give it a shot. Theos has officially been hired on as the next girls basketball head coach at Londonderry High, taking over for the legendary John Fagula. Fagula announced he was retiring from coaching prior to last season. Then he went out on top, guiding the Lancers to the state title with an upset win in the finals over previously unbeaten Bedford. Fagula ended his illustrious 32 year career with 624 wins and 12 championships (between Nashua High and Londonderry).

"Nick has been there long enough, he's paid his dues" Fagula told the NH Notebook. "He's been coaching here 14-15 years, he was here even before I was. Plus he works right at the school and he is a Londonderry alumni."

Theos served as Fagula's varsity assistant and JV coach the whole time Fagula was at Londonderry. He has been Fagula's right hand man on the varsity, and Theos' JV teams have consistently been among the top JV squads in Division I. Theos has already taken the reins of the program, as he is running a basketball camp for the youth girls of Londonderry this week.

Monday, June 23, 2014

McManus Commits to Penn

It's not every day that a kid from New Hampshire commits to play Division I college basketball - this is one of those days. Not only will Collin McManus (Bedford, NH) be playing D-I college ball, but he'll be getting an education from the best academic conference in the country - the Ivy League. As first reported by the New England Recruiting Report, the 6-foot-10 center will take his talents to the University of Pennsylvania.

"The factors that led to my commitment were definitely the UPenn coaching staff and their commitment to the program as well as being able to play in the Ivy League which is getting more competitive every day" McManus told the NH Notebook. "Also being able to play in the Big 5 which is all the great Division I colleges in PA."

McManus was recruited by a slew of D-I schools, and it was just in the last week that Penn came to the forefront. Then the Quakers landed the commitment from the big man, adding to their Class of 2015 recruiting class.

"I visited UPenn on June 17th" explained McManus. "The visit went great. UPenn gave me a great feeling when I went there and the academics are unquestionably great. Everything there felt right. After I visited on the drive home was really when I started thinking about the school and what it had to offer. Other schools I visited were: Northeastern, Loyola, Quinnipiac, Holy Cross, Monmouth, Elon, George Mason, UNH and Lafayette. Colgate and UNH made me offers."

McManus attended Bedford High his freshman and sophomore years of high school, leading the Bulldogs to the NHIAA Division II title game as a sophomore. Then he transferred to Northfield Mount Hermon, where he helped the team win a National Prep Championship in 2013 and then the reach the semi-finals this year.

"I feel like I have made great gains since transferring to NMH" McManus pointed out. "I would attribute my improvement to John Carroll my NMH coach. He has helped me greatly as a coach and asked me a lot about what I want and what I would strive for. NMH helped me by playing with great talent as well as playing against teams in one of the best leagues."

McManus has played AAU for the NH Titans, the NE Playaz and this year for the Middlesex Magic. McManus becomes the second Northfield Mount Hermon player to commit to Penn for 2015, joining guard Jackson Donahue who also plays with McManus on the Middlesex Magic.

"Jackson is a good friend of mine, but we didn't visit UPenn together" said McManus, who is undecided on a major at this time. "It is unusual to have a teammate go to Penn as well, but I have not thought about it much when thinking about my commitment. We play AAU together as well as play at NMH, so I know him well and we are good friends on and off the court.

Not only has Mcmanus worked hard on the court to develop his game to be a Division I player but he has also achieved a balance with academics to get into an Ivy League school as prestigious as Penn.

"NMH helped me a lot in school because of the small classes and individual attention which was something I needed as a student" McManus concluded. "NMH also helped me find a balance between basketball and academics both at the highest level which is great preparation for the Ivy League."

Monday, June 16, 2014

BST Prospect Series Event Recap - Class of 2017

BST Basketball's third installment of their 2014 NH Prospect Camp Series took place recently, and this time it was time for the Class of 2017 to take center stage. The event took place at Rivier College and Nashua and was run by BST Basketball co-founders Brett Sellingham and Will Flowers.

Like the workouts they did for the other classes, the players were again put through a rigorous series of full and half court skill work drills, full/half court game situation drills and 1 v 1's before getting into full court controlled scrimmaging. Everything was done at a fast pace with an emphasis on making the smart basketball play and all of the kids worked their tails off.

There was over 20 prospects in the gym, and this was our first look at many of them so this is definitely a deeper class than anticipated. Caleb Green and Tshiefu Ngalakulondi continue to show great chemistry on the court together. They're teammates in AAU with the DC Blue Devils and also at Proctor Academy, and they combined for the play of the night. Green led the break, stopped at half court and threw a lob pass up right on the money. Ngalakulondi leaped high up at the rim, catching the pass and in one motion slammed down the alley-oop dunk. Clearly it wasn't the first time those 2 have played together.

Other standouts at the event included Geo Baker, KJ Matte, Joe Bell and Parker Smith. The workout went at a fast pace and these kids all thrived in that up-tempo style of play. Here's a closer look at all of the prospects in attendance

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

BST Prospect Series Event Recap - Class of 2016

The BST Basketball Prospect Camp Series continued last week with their workout / showcase for the Class of 2016. This is a very deep and talented class. You had D-I college recruit Ian Sistare proving that he's as good as advertised and you had Keith Brown battling him tooth and nail during drills. Down low you had a great battle between Luke Rosinski and Dana Bean who went at each other hard and both showed tremendous potential.

Meanwhile, Bryant Holmes hit about 100 3-pointers, Jourdain Bell was a constant threat with the ball in his hands and Bedford had 4 players there, showing they will be a tough team for years to come. In total there were 26 players, and this was our first look at a few of them so it was nice to see some new talent. All of them worked hard and all are players to watch in the coming years, which shows just how deep this class.

The workout was run by Brett Sellingham and Will Flowers. They put the kids through a series of skill drills in the full court and half court as well as game situation drills, positional drills before moving to full court scrimmaging. Here's a closer look at the players who took part in the event, all from the Class of 2016.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

BST Prospect Series Event Recap - Class of 2015

This week BST Basketball is having their annual Prospect Series. They kicked things off on Monday night at Rivier College with the Class of 2015, as 15 of the state's top recruits and a slew of college coaches in the house. The workouts are being run by BST Basketball founders Brett Sellingham and Will Flowers. They do a great job with skill development and teaching the nuances of the game.

The showcase consisted of full court skill work, half court skill building drills, full court game situation drills before getting into full court scrimmaging. It was a beautiful spring night in June, but these kids were in the gym working hard on their games. Clearly they are motivated athletes, and they all worked hard and were receptive to the coaching they received. Here's a closer look at each of the players, all from the Class of 2015.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

NH vs. VT Twin State Games Rosters

The New Hampshire vs. Vermont Twin State Games are back, and the rosters have been finalized. The games are the last chance for these kids to represent their high school on the court. Not only will they be representing their high school but they'll be representing their state, as the top senior players from NH go up against the top senior players from VT with bragging rights on the line.

The games will take place on July 19 at Keene State College. Here is the roster for the NH girls team:
Melissa McLeod - Forward - Winnacunnet HS
Haley Driscoll - Forward - Bedford HS
Ali Glennon - Forward - Bedford HS
Amber Plummer - Guard - Newfound HS
Erika Waterman - Guard - Sunapee HS
Clairee Putnam - Guard - Windham HS
Riselly Deoleo - Guard/Forward - Bishop Brady
Emily Hickey - Guard - Salem HS
McKenzie Brown - Forward - Bedford HS
Heather King - Forward - Lebanon HS
Skylar Bonnette - Guard - Hinsdale HS
Allison Scott - Guard - Hinsdale HS

To view the roster for the boys team click here: http://nhsportspage.com/news.php?news_id=937243

Hanson Transfers from Central to Tilton

Brett Hanson was as good as any player in the NHIAA this past high school basketball season, wreaking havoc on both ends of the floor, showing the ability to take over a game at any time and leading Manchester Central to perfect 22-0 season and a Division I state championship. He had such a tremendous junior season he has decided to do it over again.

The final buzzer had barely sounded on Central's title and the rumors had already started about Hanson transferring to prep school. Now the rumors can end, as the 6-foot-2 guard has made it official - he's headed to the Tilton School where he'll repeat his junior year and reclassify to the Class of 2016.

"The decision to transfer was not an easy one" Hanson told the NH Notebook. "We had a great year at Central and there were so many great guys which made it a very difficult decision to leave. In the end, I made the decision because I wanted do what was best for the development of my game. I want to be playing against and with the best kids in the area and I believe going to Tilton will provide that opportunity. I learned a lot from Coach Wheeler and will forever appreciate his coaching and guidance for the past three years. I am also excited to learn from Coach O'Neal and his excellent staff at Tilton."

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Girls Basketball Class of 2016 Prospect Rankings Released

Well folks, they're finally here. Thank you for your patience, but we are finally ready to release our list of the top girls basketball prospects in NH's Class of 2016. This is a very deep and talented class. Our goal is to achieve a rankings list that is as accurate as possible for the college coaches to use as a resource. Sometimes though you just have so many good players who are similar in ability and/or size which makes it difficult to differentiate them. That's why we waited a little longer with this particular class. I wanted to get to some workouts, tournaments, events to see them play more and also have reviewed hours upon hours of game tape from this past season as well as talked to many high school / AAU coaches in the area.

The rankings are here in order to get the kids' names out there for college coaches, to give them exposure. They're also posted to recognize the local athletes who have been working so hard. Any player from NH from the Class of 2016 who is looking to play basketball in college is eligible for the list.

Keep reading to see the list, along with scouting reports on each player. All of this exposure is at no cost for the kids. We're just trying to help these talented, hard working athletes get the recognition and exposure they deserve. Any comments / questions on the rankings can be directed to: jeremy.leveille@gmail.com.

So without further ado, here are the NH Notebook's top 26 girls basketball recruits from the Class of 2016...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Hodgson to Blaze Own Trail to Salve Regina

Conant High is synonymous with NH basketball, and the Hodgson family is synonymous with Conant basketball. Eli Hodgson has kept both of those traditions alive. He led the Orioles to back-to-back Division III state titles during his junior and senior seasons. He was named first team all-state as a senior, and will also represent NH when they take on Vermont in the Twin State All-Star game this summer.

Hodgson will now carry on the tradition of Conant athletes who go on to play college ball, as he has recently given a verbal commitment to head coach Sean Foster at Salve Regina University. Salve is a D-III program that competes in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and is located in Newport, RI.

"In my recruitment there were a number of schools that showed interest but a select few that pursued me hard" Hodgson told the NH Notebook. "Among those who pursued me strongly were Plattsburgh State, Keene State, Springfield, and Salve Regina. All of these schools had coaches that talked with me and made it clear I’d help their squad. I ended up choosing Salve over the others for a number of reasons completely unrelated to basketball. Each and every school had a program and facilities that were exceptional and met my expectations, but I wanted more than just basketball from school. I wanted to challenge myself academically, pursue theater in college, have a large number of options for majors, not be financially strained, and honestly love the campus. I knew going into the process that I wouldn’t want to come out of school with debt so I weighed that heavily. Salve Regina met all of these requirements and when I visited the school with my mother the coach toured us and the campus blew us away. I knew after that visit that’s where I wanted to be, and it was a huge burden lifted off my shoulders."

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Flames Roll to 3 NH State AAU Championships

The 9th Grade edition of the New England Flames girls basketball program captured the 2014 AAU State Title at the NH SportsZone in Derry. Fresh off a solid national level performance in the famed Boo Williams Red Tide Invitational Tournament in Virginia, the Flames continued their very high level of play in their home state tourney by sweeping the weekend contests.

The Flames won their games by an average of 15 points beating Guilford, NH AAU and the Mass Frenzy twice on the way to the Finals. In the early games, the girls fought through uncharacteristically cold shooting and compensated with aggressive defense, solid rebounding and unselfish team play. The girls ripped down an average of a whopping 37 rebounds a game in the early going, and their swarming defense produced nearly 15 steals a game.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NH AAU State Tournament 2014 – Event Recap

May 21, 2014
By: Jeremy Leveille

DC Blue Devils & GS Raiders Loaded With Talent, Win Titles

It is always best for teams from New Hampshire to get out of state, travel around and test themselves against top notch national competition to really get better. With that being said, state tournament weekend is annually a great weekend for NH basketball as you get all the top teams and players from the state in the same tournament which really helps to create interest and excitement around NH basketball.

This year’s tournament was one of the best in recent memory as far as depth of talent and number of potential scholarship players are concerned. The GS Raiders 11th grade and DC Blue Devils 10th grade teams were loaded with talent and won championships in their respective divisions, while the NH Spartans took home titles in both the 9th and 8th grade divisions.

To read this story in its entirety, click here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Weighing in on Pembroke Controversy

By: Jeremy Leveille
At the NH AAU State Tournament this past weekend I had a chance to speak with Pembroke Academy boys basketball coach Matt Alosa, as well as Jamie Timbas (father of Dominic Timbas), Patrick Welch as well as numerous other local coaches. Here's what I think about Pembroke being denied a schedule, Timbas being ruled ineligible and Welch being stripped of his Player of the Year award.

The latest development? The Manchester schools have agreed to put Pembroke on their schedule.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Crusader JamFest 2014 - Event Recap

The NE Crusaders held their annual Crusader JamFest this past weekend. It was one of the more competitive AAU tournaments in New England, attracting many of the regions top programs. In addition to many of the Crusader teams other programs in attendance included the Lone Wolf, NE Flames, CT Premier, Maine Maniacs, Mass Sting, RI Breakers and NE Evolution. It was a well organized event with high level games and many college coaches in attendance.

The NH Notebook was in the house at Nashua High North on both Saturday and Sunday to take in the action and scout the local talent. Here's a look at who impressed from the Class of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Iozza Commits to Seton Hill

Christian 'CJ' Iozza's story is one of determination and perseverance. As a result he was able to beat the odds. What odds? The ones that say kids from New Hampshire won't go on to be scholarship players in boys basketball. Plus knee and hamstring injuries caused him to miss half of his junior and senior seasons. But he worked hard to get back on the court, and was also helped by attending prep school and being seen at some key exposure events. As a result Iozza accepted a scholarship offer from Seton Hill University, a Division II program in Pennsylvania.

"Most of my recruitment came from going to Hoop Groups Elite Camp at Albright College" Iozza told the NH Notebook. "I came in touch with a lot of D3's and some D2's. From that camp I came in touch with Catholic University, a school I was very interested in. I sent Seton Hill game tape and was in touch with them during my senior summer through the season. In early April I was fighting myself on where I wanted to go thinking it would probably be Catholic, but then Coach Morocco from Seton Hill surprise called me one day offering me a scholarship. It was my goal for my family and I to not have to worry about paying for college. I really enjoyed my visit prior to the call and felt like it's a great fit for me."