Sunday, November 20, 2016

Bedford Captures First Football Championship in School History

By: Ross Laorenza
The Bedford Bulldogs are NHIAA D-I football champions. Bedford completed their undefeated season with a 7-0 victory over Exeter in the title game. It was a stout performance by the Bulldog defense, holding Exeter to 152 total yard of offense and more importantly holding them off the scoreboard.

The game was scoreless at halftime. Bedford came close to scoring in the final minute of the first half, but Connor Robert was picked off trying to connect on a slant pass to Noah Chaberek. Exeter was content going into the half tied and knelt down twice after the turnover.

Plymouth Wins in Thrilling Fashion to Capture D-II Title

By: Ross Laorenza
The Plymouth Bobcats have won the NHIAA D-II title 27-24 over the Bow Falcons. Plymouth pulled ahead when QB Brandon Roy connected with Garrett Macomber for a wide open touchdown reception with 16 seconds remaining in regulation. It was only Roy's second passing attempt of the game.

After the game Macomber talked about the play," We're not a passing team, so we've had that (play) and it's worked. It's perfect, cause I go right from the secondary and I go right out and I'm there, wide-open, back-side play."

He added," Coach called it and I'm thinking like, "Oh God..I don't know if I can do this." So I kind of stopped and was like, "Come on, come here," And then I caught it and it was crazy."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Maker Commits to Franklin Pierce

A determined, hard-working kid whose love for the game of basketball is obvious to anyone who sees him play - has accepted a scholarship offer to play college ball.

Monytung Maker (Manchester, NH), a 6-foot-7 wing forward has committed to Franklin Pierce University. Maker chose FPU over Post University and Kentucky State University, who also offered him a scholarship. Franklin Pierce is located in Rindge, NH, and competes in the Northeast-10, which is regarded as the most competitive Division II league in the country.

"Having the chance to play in the NE-10 and being able to come back my city to play other NE-10 schools in front of my family means a lot to me" Maker told the NH Notebook. "I also felt real comfortable with the coaching staff over at Franklin Pierce and I like the teams style of play - it fits my game perfect and that's 'Run n' Gun'."

In the NE-10, Maker will play against SNHU and Saint Anselm's, both located in his hometown of Manchester.

Maker has taken his game to new heights over the past couple of years while playing for the Rivals Basketball Club on the AAU circuit. Maker's game is relentless - he plays his tail off, attacks the rim as hard as anybody around, can score the basketball in a variety of ways and plays with a high octane motor and all-around skill set that few players in the region can match.

"My game has developed tremendously" said Maker, who transferred from Manchester West to Bradford Christian School following his junior year. "My 3 point shot has improved, and so has my dribbling. I can really make plays for others. At the height of 6'7" and being really skilled I'm looking forward to making an impact during my freshman year at FPU."

One of the best players to come out of NH, let alone Manchester in the past few years. His hard work has paid off. Franklin Pierce is getting a good one.

"When you came from nothing, all you know is to work hard" Maker concluded.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Plymouth Ends Windham's Undefeated Season

By: Ross Laorenza
The Plymouth Bobcats are headed to Durham for the Division II championship game after a 20-18 upset over undefeated Windham. Garret Macomber blocked the Jaguars go-ahead field goal attempt as time expired. The junior lead the way for Plymouth offensively as well, racking up 124 rushing yards and the game's first touchdown.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

North Advances Over BG

By: Ross Laorenza
The Nashua North Titans are moving on the the D-I playoffs with a convincing 64-41 win against inner-city rival Bishop Guertin. The Titans put up over 600 yards of offense and held BG to just 14 points in the second half.

"We knew they'd keeping battling, and we made some big stops," said Nashua North head coach Dante Laurendi.

Junior wideout Sclyler Boykin shined offensively with 3 touchdowns for the Titans. Senior Jeffrey Baldassari managed the game well from the quarterback position. He passed for 4 touchdowns and rushed for another in the win.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lebanon Punches Ticket to Post-season with OT Win

By: Ross Laorenza
Lebanon came into today's action needing a win to clinch a post season birth and did just that with a 21-20 overtime victory against Bow. The Raiders received the ball first in OT and only needed one play to reach the endzone. Ryan Milliken rushed to the right for the score. The extra point put Lebanon in front 21-14. Bow also only needed one play to score on their first possession of OT with Mac Kimball scoring on a sweep play.

That's when disaster struck for the Falcons. Bow planned to run a fake extra-point attempt, but the snap sailed way over the kickers head. After tracking the ball down back around the 30 he was able to hurl it forward a few yards to a teammate, but the play was snuffed out. Ball game over.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Preston Returns Home to Manchester

Just a couple weeks before the start of season, and the landscape for NH high school basketball has been shifted in a big way. One of the top players in the state has returned from prep school to his hometown NHIAA school.

Craig Preston is back at Manchester Memorial. The Crusaders are now contenders in D-I, and Preston is a preseason Player of the Year candidate.

"I am very excited to be coming back to Memorial High School for my senior year" Preston told the NH Notebook. "I feel that we are going to have a successful season and will be a tough team, to say the least. Despite losing some key players from last year, this young team is going to be athletic and can really run the floor."

Running the floor is what Memorial has been known for, especially these past couple of years under head coach and Athletic Director Jack Quirk. Key returning players who join Preston include senior guard Jake Carrier, plus Michael Roumraj and Zach Lubin. Preston and Carrier form one of the most explosive backcourts in the state.

"Last year I was at St. Mary's in New Jersey and had college coaches in the gym" Preston said. "I have had some D-I and D-II colleges showing some interest so far, but no commitments. I will be doing a post-grad year following my senior year."

Preston is a 5-foot-11 point guard who can distribute and handle the basketball, drive the lane and has a deadly long range jumper. He played for Memorial his first two years of high school before transferring to prep school. Now he's back to the school where his father Scott Preston played (he also played for Coach Quirk). Scott Preston is also Craig's AAU coach with the Mass Evolution.

"I am really looking forward to this upcoming year and looking to be back up in Durham by the end" Craig Preston concluded.

Here's a look at what opposing D-I teams will have to deal with this winter.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Torres Commits to UNH

Since taking over as head coach of the UNH women's basketball team, Maureen Magarity has made it a priority to recruit in-state talent. This includes Marist transfer Katharine Fogarty (Peterborough, NH) and junior point guard Aliza Simpson (Londonderry, NH).

Now, the Wildcats have received a commitment from another local recruit, as Amanda Torres (Hudson, NH). The 5-foot-7 Torres is an explosive point guard who is nearly unguardable off the dribble. Few players in the region are as good at penetrating into the lane and creating offense. It's been clear for awhile now that Torres was a scholarship player, it was just a matter of where she'd end up.

"My decision to commit to UNH was a pretty easy choice for me" Torres told the NH Notebook. "During my visit I immediately felt comfortable and that I could have a very good future here. The team had a family atmosphere that I liked. Walking around campus and getting to know the coaches I felt like this could be my home for the next four years. I definitely liked the coaching staff a lot, they made me feel at home and were really welcoming."

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Goffstown Defeats Central Behind Strong Defensive Performance

By: Ross Laorenza
The Goffstown Grizzlies improved to 6-1 with a convincing 21-10 over Manchester Central. The Goffstown defense only allowed three points on the afternoon and stifled the Central offensive attack at every turn. Nik Moquin and Franklin Castillo-Diaz connected for a pair of touchdowns in the victory.

The game started out a little shaky for the Grizzlies, as they fumble the opening kickoff giving Central a first down at the 21 yardline. But the defense held, stopping Central running back Jeremyiah Rivera on three straight plays. With such good field position Central went for it on fourth down, but the pass by Alex Hawkom was knocked incomplete. An offside penalty stalled the Grizzlies opening drive and they punted back to Central.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ngalakulondi is St. Bonaventure Bound

Three New Hampshire kids, all from the same prep school team and the same AAU team - all going D-I. Caleb Green (Londonderry, NH) has committed to Holy Cross. Geo Baker (Derry, NH) is a Rutgers recruit. Now the trifecta is complete, as Tshiefu Ngalakulondi (Manchester, NH) recently made his commitment to St. Bonaventure University official. This is a great story! Three talented, hard working kids from NH. All with a common goal - to be the best players they can be, and play D-I college ball. All three made it happen.

Ngalakulondi has committed to St. Bonaventure, which is located in New York and competes in the Atlantic-10 Conference. He had a total of 17 scholarship offers. Ngalakulondi is a senior this year at Proctor Academy in Andover, NH. He's a 6-foot-5 wing with explosive athleticism and a deadly long range jumper.

"I narrowed it down to Duquesne and St. Bonaventure" Ngalakulondi told the NH Notebook. "I did a lot of research on both schools. I took an official visit to Duquesne and an official visit to St. Bonaventure two weeks later. I think St. Bonaventure will make me a better student-athlete and a better player. It's more like Proctor. I got to know the St. Bonaventure players on my visit there, and think I fit in well with them. Plus I will have more of a chance to play right away at St. Bonaventure. The two wings on the team when I'm a freshman there will just be me and a senior. They recruited me to be their wing."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

St. Thomas Surges Past Souhegan

By: Ross Laorenza
St. Thomas Aquinas put on a dominant performance Saturday with a 31-12 win over Souhegan. Tim Bouchard led the way for the Saints catching two touchdowns and nabbing an interception on defense.

"I think we came out pretty strong, which is good," said Bouchard. "We came out swinging. We always want to be the ones to get the first hit."

Dan Evans ran the offense well after coming into replace injured starting QB Shawn Dekorne early in the 2nd quarter.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Girls Basketball Class of 2018 Recruiting Rankings Released

Yes, we're finally posting this. Girls basketball fans can rejoice! The Classes of 2016 and 2017 were both loaded with talent, including D-I recruits like Madison Springfield (Holy Cross), Gabrielle Hunter (Dartmouth), Libby Underwood (William & Mary), Abby Streeter (Rhode Island) and Rebecca Ripley (Miami). So the Class of 2018 has a tough act to follow.

The Class of 2018 looks very promising, though. At the top you have two girls who already hold multiple D-I offers. Overall it's another deep and talented class. Also worth noting is the abundance of quality point guards in this class. College coaches looking for a floor general from this class have plenty of options.

The rankings are on here to provide exposure for NH girls looking to play basketball at the college level. None of the players, their parents or coaches pay me a dime. This report is completely objective. Therefore it can be used as a legitimate recruiting resource for the hundreds of college coaches who have frequented this site since 2009.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Goffstown Wins Thriller at Pinkerton

By: Ross Laorenza
The Goffstown Grizzlies improved to 2-0 with an impressive 37-33 road win at Pinkerton. Nikolas Moquin connected with Carter Cormier for a 23 yard go-ahead TD pass with 1:12 remaining in the game. Pinkerton would drive within striking distance, but Charles Keith intercepted an Aiden Goujon pass, in the end zone to seal the victory.

Monday, September 5, 2016

NH Elite 9th Grade Team Makes Statement in 2016

They flew under the radar, but NH Elite had one of the top 9th Grade AAU teams in New England this year. The squad went 35-4 and was the NH AAU State Champions. That's right, people - 35-4. That's an outstanding record. And I'm not not talking about an AAU team who's going to all local tournaments here in NH, or going to the bigger tournaments but playing in the 'B' or 'C' division.

NH Elite went head to head with some of the top competition in not only the region, but in the country. Of their four losses, 2 came against NY Rens EYBL who is one of the top teams in the country and sponsored by Nike. Those were both close games, with NY Rens winning 44-41 and 53-42. The other two losses came to Nike sponsored Expressions Elite (56-44 in Finals of Zero Gravity National Championship Game) and to Boston Spartans (51-50 in NH Elite's first game of the season).

7 of NH Elite's 10 players are from NH. All 7 of these kids should be on the radar of college coaches. They include Zac Bennett (Brewster Academy), Marcus Peterson (New Hampton School), Jack Schaake (Winnacunnet High), Alex Tavares (Portsmouth High), Jake Ross (Exeter High), Ben Allen (Winnacunnet) and Ty Vitko (Dover).

Friday, September 2, 2016

Parr, NH's All-Time Winningest Coach Retires

Great article by Mike Zhe of Seacoastonline on the retirement of Danny Parr from coaching after 55 years and 704 wins. Take a look: http://bit.ly/2bQofge

Of all the head coaches I've covered since 2007, Parr is definitely one of the nicest guys. Plus the kids love playing for him. He'll be missed on the sidelines. Congrats to Parr on a great career and thank you to him for his many years enriching the lives of NH youth athletes.

Whoever takes over for Parr at Portsmouth will have a team capable of contending for the D-II title. They lose Heather Durand to prep school (Bradford Christian Academy) and Sadie Shore will miss the season with an injury, but the Clippers still return reigning D-II Player of the Year Libby Underwood as well as 6-foot-1 sophomore Abbe Laurence and sophomore guard Arianna Hebert.

In addition to Parr, other coaches who have stepped down since the end of last year's high school basketball season include:

Jim Migneault, Bishop Guertin boys
Sean Young, Epping boys
Lewis Atkins, Portsmouth Christian Academy boys
Aaron Brochu, Bishop Brady girls
Deanna Goodwin, Goffstown girls
Mike Romps, Dover boys
Kevin Gibbs, Trinity girls
Ricky Oliver, Nashua North girls (now at Salem)
Dave Chase, Hopkinton boys (now at Concord)
Matt Regan, Pelham boys (now at Bishop Guertin)
John Finnegan, Concord boys
Michaela Galvin, Salem girls
Ed Tenney, Sunapee boys

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Berube Overcomes Torn ACL, Earns D-I Scholarship

The town of Londonderry continues to produce basketball talent. Londonderry High's girls basketball team won back-to-back state titles in 2014 &a 2015 and the boys team went undefeated in 2015. Now, the town has produced yet another scholarship basketball player, as 6-foot-2 senior forward Ashley Berube has accepted an offer from Central Connecticut State University. Aliza Simpson (UNH), Cody Ball (Saint Anselm), Casey Evans (Saint Michael's) and Caleb Green (Holy Cross) are the others. Once again, Londonderry is the basketball capital of NH.

Berube announced her commitment to CCSU Thursday on Twitter. The Blue Devils are coached by Beryl Piper and play in the highly competitive Division I Northeast Conference. Berube overcomes a torn ACL injury and earns the scholarship.

"I think the best thing about CCSU other than the amazing campus definitely had to be the coaching staff" Berube told the NH Notebook. "I connected with each one and really enjoyed my time each visit. I was receiving interest from UMass Lowell, Adelphi, Franklin Pierce, UMass Amherst, and a couple others this AAU season. CCSU was the best fit for me because of distance with family reasons and the opportunity to play in such a great conference."

Monday, August 29, 2016

Boys Basketball Class of 2018 Recruiting Rankings Released

Since 2009, the New Hampshire Notebook has been the authority on NH basketball recruiting. Like we have since 2009, we continue to rank the top players in each class. We do it for 2 reasons. First, to give these kids exposure to the hundreds of college coaches who frequent the site. Secondly, to motivate the players to work hard so they move up higher on the list (and if they're ranked #1 to motivate them to work hard to keep the spot).

Kids, there's always someone else out there working harder than you - maybe even someone outside of NH. After all, these are recruiting rankings, and college coaches recruit kids from all over the country - heck, all over the world, not just NH. So stay hungry and stay humble. For every tweet you make that's a jumper you could have taken in the gym.

That being said, this is a very exciting time for NH basketball. More local kids are getting D-I and D-II offers than any time in recent memory. The Class of 2016 alone produced five scholarship players.