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:

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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sam Carey Classic 2016 - Girls Game Recap

Props to Mike Stys, Luke Bonner and the rest of the gang who put on the Sam Carey Classic to include a girls all-star game in the event for the first time in 2016. Of the event's three games that were played on Friday night, the girls all-star game was the most competitive game from start to finish - and had more passing!

One team consisted entirely of local NH prospects, while their opponent was all players from out of state (mostly Massachusetts). The NH Team made an impressive 2nd half rally, but fell short in a thriller, 59-57.

The NH Team trailed by as many as 16, 55-39 with 7:20 left in the 2nd half. It looked like the game was all over at that point. Give the NH Team credit for battling back, as they went on a 14-2 run, cutting the lead to 57-55. The comeback was led by seniors Abby Streeter (Nashua, NH) of Lawrence Academy, Rebecca Ripley (Stratham, NH) from New Hampton School and junior Eva Hodgson (Rindge, NH) also from New Hampton School. Streeter is committed to Rhode Island, Ripley is committed to Miami and Hodgson holds 9 D-I scholarship offers.

Sam Carey Classic 2016 - Boys Game Recap

This past Friday night was the 5th annual Sam Carey Classic, held at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester. Mike Stys in conjunction with Luke Bonner and the Rock On Foundation do a great job with this event, which honors and the memory of the late Sam Carey. Carey, a former standout forward at Manchester Central and SNHU lost his life in a motorcycle accident in 2011. Proceeds from the event support Carey's family, and also to the Rock On Foundation which builds and renovates basketball courts for the area's youth.

It's a great cause and fans get to see some great basketball as well. This was the first year that the event featured a girls all-star game, in addition to an alumni game and boys all-star game.

Between the girls, boys and alumni, never before has there been that much NH hoops talent playing on the same court on the same night. It was truly a historic night for NH basketball. All three games were oozing with local talent and were played at a high level. If you add up the money in scholarship offers from all the NH boys & girls who played Friday night you could solve U.S. debt. It's crazy to think of all the talented local players in the Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. It is the golden age for NH basketball.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Gendron Brothers Commit to Brown

It's an extremely impressive achievement to get accepted by an Ivy League university. It's also an extremely impressive achievement to play Division I college athletics. For the same kid to do both, well that's an even greater accomplishment. For two brothers to both make this dream a reality - well, that makes this one of the best stories of the year.

The Gendron brothers from Bedford have done it. They're both committed to Brown University - Gardner (pictured above) will play football and Colby will play lacrosse. Both brothers will also attend Phillips Academy in Andover, MA prior to enrolling at Brown. Gardner, who graduated from Bedford High this past spring, will do a PG year this year. Meanwhile, Colby is repeating his junior year at Phillips Academy this year - so he'll be there for 2 years before enrolling at Brown.

Both brothers are multi-sport athletes. Gardner (6'5" 262 lbs.) was a standout player in both football and lacrosse, while Colby (6'7") was a force to be reckoned with in both lacrosse and basketball.

The Gendron brothers get the job done - in multiple sports - and in the field as well as the classroom. They're good role models for other kids. Congratulations and best of luck to both of them at Phillips Academy and then at Brown.

On a side note, the loss of Colby really hurts Bedford's chances in D-I next season - both in basketball and lacrosse. He would have been one of the NHIAA's top players in both sports. Once again, it is hard for the NHIAA schools to compete for all that the nearby prep schools have to offer - both academically and athletically. If you have the opportunity, it's tough to pass up.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Yarmo and Hughes Embark on Admirable Journey

Chase Hughes and Brycen Yarmo. Two outstanding football players and exceptional young men. They will both play D-I FBS college football. Hughes is headed to the University of Wyoming and Yarmo will attend Brigham Young University (BYU) as a preferred walk-on for the football team. But first they will both embark on a 2-year Morman Mission, and then enroll at their respective schools during the fall of 2018. Both players are also great friends off the field.

Hughes is 6'1", 205 lbs and projects as a linebacker for Wyoming. He was the best LB in NH last year as a senior for Bishop Guertin. Yarmo is a 6'6", 240 lbs. tight end. He played at Alvirne High before doing a post-grad year last year at Phillips Exeter Academy.

"I'm very excited to announce that I've accepted a walk on roster spot at BYU, from the OC Ty Detmer #GoCougs" Yarmo announced via Twitter.

Detmer is a former NFL quarterback. The above picture is of Detmer, Yarmo and BYU tight ends coach Steve Ckark.

"I can't believe this is it" Hughes commented, also on Twitter. "Tomorrow I will be leaving on my mission to teach the people of El Salvador the true gospel of Jesus Christ for two years. I have been waiting for this moment for my whole life and wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything. Thank you to everyone who has supported me in my journey in life, school and football. I will miss my family and friends very much, but it's time to play for the lord's team. This will be my last tweet for awhile. Until we meet again."

Congratulations and best of luck to both of these young men with the journey they are about to embark on. This takes a lot of courage.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Graham is the Most Clutch Shooter in the NHIAA

Cody Graham's Twitter handle is @codyclutch23 and he lives up to it. Graham led Portsmouth to an undefeated D-II state title this past season as a sophomore. He has continued to light it up on the AAU circuit, running with the NH Spartans, coached by Chris Coates and Lewis Atkins.

Check out this video. It's from the Adidas Uprising Tournament. NH Spartans vs. Empire Basketball, a team from California. It was a tight battle. Graham hits not one but two HUGE three-pointers in overtime to lead the Spartans to the win. Check out the video, at the 5:00 mark is where he hits a three to put the Spartans ahead, and at the 10:00 mark is where Graham drills the game-winning shot from downtown.

Not only is Graham clutch, but you also have got to love the swagger he shows, as he stares back at the opponent's rowdy fan section after hitting both shots. He's tough, fearless and confident. He's a fun player to watch.

Bufalino is one of NH's Most Underrated Prospects

Since he's from a town in the middle of nowhere (Peterborough, NH) and attends a school that doesn't get a lot of media publicity (St. Paul's School), Vincenzo Bufalino has flown under the radar. But make no mistake, this kid can flat out play. The 5-foot-11 point guard is a tough kid, who knows hot to create offense - both for himself and teammates.

Take a look at his junior season highlight video:

Most impressive is that he's got not one but two plays in there where he's taking a charge. Not only that, but Bufalino makes numerous high level passes and shows a very quick release on his outside shot. He's definitely a player that should be on the radar of college coaches from the Class of 2017.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

NHIAA Continues to Lose Its Top Players to Prep School

Ronnie Silva, Bol Akot, DJ Frechette and Matt Corey. If you asked me to look ahead and predict who the top players in NHIAA D-I boys hoops would be during the 2016-2017 season, all four of the aforementioned players would be on my short list.

Frechette would have been a candidate for D-I Player of the Year, Silva and Corey would be preseason all-state picks and Akot (Manchester, NH) would have been one of the state's most highly touted incoming freshmen. All four of these talented kids are headed off to prep school.

Frechette transfers from Nashua South and will repeat his junior year at Governor's Academy in Byfield, MA. Frechette reclassifies to 2018. Fellow Nashua product Silva (Nashua North) will do the same, reclassifying to 2018. Silva is headed to Bradford Christian Academy. Nashua North and South would have been two of the favorites next year in D-I. Londonderry would have also been one of the favorites next year, but Corey is transferring from there to Worcester Academy. Corey will repeat his sophomore year and reclassify to 2019. Frechette and Silva are AAU teammates with the DC Blue Devils, while Corey plays for the Rivals Basketball Club.

Then there's Akot. Akot dominated middle school basketball last year while playing for Hillside in Manchester. Akot had a huge summer on the AAU circuit, making the top 40 all-star game at the CP3 Rising Stars national showcase. He'll never play a game in the NHIAA though, as Akot is headed to Proctor Academy where he'll play alongside Derry's Geo Baker (Rutgers commit), Londonderry's Caleb Green (Holy Cross commit) and Manchester's Tshiefu Ngalakulondi (over 10 D-I offers).